for me mentally (and physically), and this morning’s events didn’t help any.
After I finished my treadmill run last night, my sister said she heard a noise outside. She and my mom both said it sounded like dogs howling, and although I didn’t hear it, I agreed that was probably what it was.
I wish it had been. When I went out to feed/water the chickens this morning, an owl had gotten in my big pen and killed my baby and his hen. I had raised Sunshine from the time he was 2 days old. He was a big, beautiful 2 year old Americana. I had just put two hens in with him a few weeks ago and he was so happy. He had stopped acting out and had settled into a routine with the ladies and I failed to protect him last night. I failed to close the walk-through door from their yard into their little (big) house. I was so worried about making sure everyone got on roost, as some wait too late and can’t see to get up, so I have to put them on (if it’s going to be cold), that I failed to shut it and never thought a second time about it.
In case you are unfamiliar with chickens, they can’t see at night, so they are at the mercy of their predators if they aren’t properly put up for the night. Also, owls can’t get up with chickens that big, so they take the only thing they can – their heads – and leave the rest. God, if only….
You may think, it’s only a chicken, but when you put as much love, time and attention into them as I do…I know all my chickens by name, and they know their names. They eat out of my hand, and get upset when I don’t show up to feed (I have to have someone feed them for me before they go to roost; otherwise, when they hit the roost they are there until the dawn breaks).
We hadn’t seen or heard an owl in probably 4 months, if I can only catch him in my pens….
I hate to go home and feed this afternoon…. I hate to go to sleep tonight because Sunshine won’t be crowing to wake me up in the morning…he was my alarm clock. He started crowing off and on around 3:00 am, then really got with it around 5:00/5:30….
My hen, Yellow, she was a year old, she was 1/2 Americana and 1/2 red sex link. My uncle gave her to me while she was still in her egg. I hatched her out, and raised her in a box, along with Blue. She laid big, blue eggs, but don’t think she was going to be kind to you. She wouldn’t let me touch her unless I chased her down, smile, but pull out the fed bucket and she’d go anywhere I went, and would beg to eat out of my hand.
The lone survivor was Blue, a full-blooded Americana. She was so traumatized this morning. She usually meets me at the door, ready to be held and hand fed, but when I walked in, she ran. I finally caught her and calmed her down. All she could do was make one certain call, and she has about a dozen different sounds she does when I hold her, but she was stuck on one…probably calling me names for forgetting to protect Sunshine and Yellow.
I took her out of the big pen and put her in with CJ (Crazy Joe, a full-blooded, white-faced Spanish bantam). He’s a little bit smaller than her, so he can’t hurt her. Then I took Sunshine and Yellow and buried them.
Needless to say, when I told my parents, my father was soooooooooo upset with me. He did his own ‘beating me up’, as if I wasn’t doing enough to myself (and still am)…men. They are all the same regardless if they are kin to you are not….
I will have to pick-up the feathers when I get home (or 1st thing tomorrow morning). I’m not looking forward to that at all…. One thing is for sure, Sunshine fought, and he would’ve won, if only he could’ve seen the damn owl!
For the record, I HATE OWLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially those that prey on my chickens (and other animals).
The goal for next week, not to screw anything up. But don’t hold your breath, because I’m among other words, sorry and lazy….and I’m bound to do something wrong.
If I’m lucky, I’ll update on the running, if not…oh well……….