Unpleasantry is putting it nicely. I must say that the pleasantries outweigh the unpleasantries but there is one unpleasantry that is not something that I wanted to deal with, but was forced to this morning. I started out with 4 laying hens. And as they became familiar with their new home they started roosting in the lower branches of the trees in my front yard. Long story short I let them stay out all night once hoping they would be smart and learn a lesson. The next morning I was one hen short. Down to 3. That was ok, because I didn’t find a body so I assumed another animal carried it off.
As usual I went out last night around 9 to put the hens to bed. Peony was already in bed, which was nice. Only 2 to take in. The partners in crime. They were together all the time. So what happened? How did they get separated? I went to their usual spot and only found the one. Where is your buddy? I went for a look out. I saw a feather. “Oh this is not good”, I thought to myself. I looked under the front deck and there I saw her. Lifeless. Poor thing. I wondered if she had died from old age or if something got her while she was under the deck. It was late and dark and cold so I boarded up the hole where they were getting in with a large rock and board and went to bed knowing I would have to deal with it in the morning.
Morning came. Now for the very unpleasant duty of a hobby farmer to take care of a dead chicken. This is not what I signed up for, but I guess if I want to have chickens I have to deal with it. I found some disposable gloves and went to work. The poor thing. I guess I didn’t close up the hole enough or a creature found its way under there another way because she was in much rough shape then she was last night. I’ll spare you the details and a photo of it. No one needs to see it.
I carried her to the far ends of the back field and gave her a burial under a tree. I think she would have liked that. I walked back to the house thinking, “This is the disgusting part of the farm life.” I can only imagine when it is an animal bigger than a chicken and if it is animal that a farmer or the farmer’s kid got attached to.
I had to make a new hole in the lattice on the deck to get the hen out so I patched it up the best I could and did some repairs on the rest of the deck so they can’t get under there anymore. As I was working away Peony and the single lady followed me around, which they never do. They looked under the deck as to say, “Hey, where did she go?” Where they looking for there friend? There were no eggs this morning, which doesn’t surprise me one bit.
It will be interesting to see if the now single hen will start to buddy up with Peony – the one who was always on her own. Will they roost in the same tree together tonight? Maybe they will find there way back to the hen house… together. And will I still get two eggs a day. One of them wasn’t laying. If I get two a day, that will answer the question of who wasn’t. And if that is the case, she might have died of natural causes – she was old. Time will tell.