Natalie in happier times
A tragedy struck our little acre on Monday, April 4 2011, the date that will go down in infamy as marking our first farm death. I let the hens out in the morning like usual so they could roam around the yard. In the evening, after Natalie was asleep, I went back out to close the ramp to their coop. But instead of all four birds roosting in a line, there were only two.
My first thought, I have to admit, was, "at least they got the freeloaders." The two remaining hens are the ones that actually lay eggs so in a way it was the best case scenario as far as predator attacks go. But Natalie loves playing with them all and so for her sake, I hoped that the other two had merely found alternative accommodations, and would return the next day.
Sure enough, we found Starbuck in the yard on Tuesday... or most of her, at least. All the meat had been ripped from her little body, leaving behind just her feather-covered skin, a sack of organs, two rigid legs, and a barely-attached head. The grass was covered in downy fluff. I buried her remains in the garden.
Other than a few brown feathers we couldn't find Cadbury. All the evidence points to a double homicide. The culprit is unknown but it could have been any of half a dozen of the usual suspects (dog, raccoon, fox, coyote, hawk, eagle). I spent the rest of Tuesday evening re-erecting the deer netting fence that had torn and collapsed over winter. On Wednesday morning I was serenaded with a chorus of Spring Peepers when I stepped outside at 5:00. And so the circle of life continues, etc.
RESQUISCAT IN PACEM
Cadbury: MIA (presumed dead)