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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Last Sunday Morning

Last Sunday morning, I arose late and finally went to feed the hens and let them out for the day. Imagine my surprise when they were all by the porch steps. Well, not all of them. One little one was not present. I just fed them their oats by the porch steps. Hoping against hope, I started to the pen. The last little one, started to eat, but when I passed her on the way out back to the pen, she came right beside me, walking in the position where a dog would heel. She did not run into me and cross in front, almost tripping me as the little ones always do. As I looked down and watched her, she seemed to be possessed of a mission.

She was so different than usual. I went into the pen and she came in, also. I looked around and noticed she was looking around also, not walking around, just turning her head and body, barely moving her feet. We trampled on the little, delicate, yellow feathers. We were both hoping that the other little one was somewhere, just anywhere.  We were sad. It was evident from our long walk and time in the pen all this disturbed her.

I have learned that chickens have real feeling of loss. When Thelma was the last left after something ate Pepper, and I killed Louise the same day, Thelma just sat and moped on the table. Only her wanting to kill new girl Patsy Cline helped her out of her depression and loneliness. Unfortunately, rage was the antidote. Hate gave her a new reason to live, but the next night, they cuddled.

Last Sunday night, I could have sworn that I closed the door to the pen. Then, I started imagining someone was opening the door to cause mischief. But, that is not true. It was my fault.

This last little one better be a girl. She is almost the size of Patsy Cline. She is already as tall as Patsy Cline, but is not as sturdy looking. The comb is showing and still very pale pink.

Your turn
Once again, I am sure some of you understand predators and mistakes. Those who don't, just keep it to yourselves. I am not in the mood. Do you ever realize that even a chicken, can grieve and look for the lost one? Do you ever sense that the others look to you for help, yes, even a chicken?

14 comments:

  1. I have lost two...one to old age and a young one became egg bound. My other chickens did feel the loss quite strongly. They seem to be tender hearted creatures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patti.
      One of mine is going strong after 5.5 years. That will be sad for me, more so than the ones so far. I think their loos and grief show more when they witness carnage or death.

      Delete
  2. Oh yes. Aninals feel the same emotions we do. Without question. And it sometimes hurts my heart. Humbles me, and hurts me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC,
      Unlike us, they probably do not understand the loss. I feel sad when I see them sad and confused about one of their being gone.

      Delete
  3. Certainly animals have emotions. Compassion is one I notice often with my puppers. Loss/grief for an animal is so sad to watch. I hope you found your little chick. Or was it only feathers you saw?
    A bumper crop of snakes here this year doesn't put me at ease in the least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sissy,
      Feathers was all there was. I hope all the snakes are nice snakes. Chickens will eat snakes, but the snakes will probably be after eggs unless the chicks are tiny.

      Delete
  4. A couple of time I have accidentally said the name of my dog who died in 2010. Harper jumps up and looks for Faulkner, after all these years without him. Some years before, Faulkner went into a deep depression when Thoreau the hound dog died. It took months for him to come out of it. They know when something is wrong, as do your chickens.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie,
      That is amazing that he looked for the dog years after he died upon just hearing his name! Between the trauma of seeing the little one killed and the very fact they ever came, Patsy Cline is still not laying over one egg each week. She was up to 5-6 eggs each week.

      Delete
  5. Most Definitely! When a red tail hawk swooped down and killed one of my eggers they were so tramatized that they huddled together in the corner of the pen instead of there large house. They let me gather them in handfuls to safety and morned that bird for three days until I went in and encouraged them to leave their house. One little thing will scare them into their house now....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ME,
      I can imagine their terror. Mine were attacked in their not-closed-by-me pen. Then, they ran to me. Today, I saw a feather on the porch from the little one. I looked and it appears the little one, at least, took refuge behind some things on the porch.

      I am glad you went to encourage them. Sometimes, I have to encourage mine, too. Mine are also skittish after things like this happen. Poor chickens, mine and yours.

      Delete
  6. That's very touching. I had no idea they were so caring. Thanks for sharing...and sorry that all happened. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1st Man,
      Thanks. They care, they remember, they fear afterwards. When you get your own hens, you will see. A rooster would have attacked whatever got them. Hens just cower and try to get away.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Wendy,
      Thanks. Now, after last night, I know the dogs that killed the little one.

      Delete

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