goodbye to my girls

I am heartbroken.  There are really no other words for it.  On Friday night, our girls fell prey to a hungry raccoon.  I will not go into the details, but I will say that I have never felt such anguish and anger all at once.  While I know what happened is simply part of the circle of life, somehow that knowledge isn’t quite the band-aid my heart needs.

While I have raised cats, dogs, and a child, there was something different about these chickens.  Maybe it was the fact that they symbolized the next step on my farming journey or perhaps it was because they taught me as much about myself as much as any animal can.  Either way, they were a part of God’s creation, and I loved them, and now they are gone.

I will miss how Rosie jumped up on the lawn furniture every evening as the sun was setting.  I will not be able to walk by the rock spiral without thinking about all the crickets who will now be safe from Lucinda and Oreo.  There will be no “shoo”ing or “scoot”ing from the unprotected vegetables and no cooing as I get out of the car exclaiming, “Hey, Girls.”

And so on this Sunday night, I am sitting here trying to come up with profound words on the lessons I learned from the Sisters, but honestly, those words are not ready to come.  It is quiet now on the farm, and honestly, it is very lonely.

 

25 thoughts on “goodbye to my girls

  1. I am so sorry.

    I used to have Chickens here, RI Reds and some pretty White ones with a few Black feather here and there. I would gather eggs and now and then mark one and let it hatch.

    I went out and something had killed mine and not even for food.

    I was BS and So Sad. I am now thinking I want a flock again it has been 20+ years since I found them 😦 but with Coyotes, Fox,Coons,Weasels as well as Fisher Cat just do not know if I can buy enough AMMO

  2. I’m so so sorry. The loss of the special ones is hardest on our hearts. I have a very special one tapping on deaths door and I’m trying to hold him here….. All I can say is, I’m sorry for your pain. ❤

  3. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. 😦 Perhaps, it’s still the remnants of my suburban upbringing seeping through, but I hadn’t known until reading this that one need worry about raccoons eating one’s chickens. It’s definitely something I will have to keep in mind when we, hopefully, get ours in the spring.

    Again, my sympathies are with you. It is difficult when something happens to our fur (and feathered) babies. Sending BIG hugs your way.

  4. I hope you try again. The same thing happened to us…and we reinforced the chicken coop like Fort Knox. Nothing has penetrated it in over a year now. As much as your miss your chicks (we did too), you can move on…xo Joanne

  5. Ohh that’s so sad. We had chickens when I was a child and I still have really strong memories of the attacks we had on those grrrr 😦

  6. So sorry, We grew up in the country and one of our dogs brought home a baby deer, fresh and wet with umbilical cord attached! (Our retriever wanted to be a mom soooo bad.) But the deer was healthy, we coaxed it to nurse from a bottle and it grew and grew. My mom didn’t want to “trap” it so it was allowed to roam free around the place. One morning my mom found a cougar had come for a midnight snack… she was devastated! MY friends just lost some chickens about two weeks ago to some raccoons, so gruesome. Sorry 😦

  7. I feel your pain. Several years ago we lost 32 hens in one night but could not discover the culprit… until the next night when we lost 5 more and spotted the killer IN THE BARN!! I can’t think just one coon did all that killing the first night, but it killed 5 in a half hour. They are truly a horror. I’m so sorry this happened to you.

  8. I was saddened to hear about your girls, Cameron. As you know, animal companions are a big, and emotional part of my life, too. Their losses are the losses of innocence.

    My grandma, a stocky little peasant woman who came to America from the Transylvanian Alps of Romania in the early 1900s, told a story about a farmer who lived across the street. Every year, the old man raised two hogs to feed the family, during the Great Depression. Every year, grandma said he cried for three days when he had to send those hogs to be slaughtered.

    She thought he was a silly old man.

    I know you and I can empathize with that long-dead old farmer, who did what was necessary to take care of his family, even though it broke his heart every time.

    1. Thank you, Rob, for your kind words. I will admit that I would have never imagined such grief, but it came, and I have honored it. There are days when I drive up the driveway and expect the girls to coming running to the side of the coop, and when they don’t, the tears surface. I know it will get easier, and there will be more girls in my life, but I will always hold a gentle fondness for my first three Sisters.

  9. Oh boo. I am so sorry. It’s one of those things – you know it happens, it’s all part of life on the farm, but it doesn’t make it any easier to wake up to. We’ve (knock on wood) never lost chickens, but we had our entire batch of quail done in by a skunk a couple summers ago. He didn’t even eat them – that made me angry. Such a waste.

    Your first girls are always the sweetest . . .

    1. The therapy for you is to get more chickens, and to safeguard them more securely. Built a good fence, tall and strong, surrounding the coop with an ample-sized yard (my chicken is about the size of a big suburban lawn). At nightfall when you put your chickens to bed and close the hatch, secure the hatch with a dowel that passes through a hole drilled through hatch door deep into the framing of the coop. No beast will be able to force its snout under the hatch and push it up and enter. I’ve lost a couple of hens to eagles or hawks, but have never had your sad experience.

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