At 5:45 this morning a neighborhood dog escaped from her yard and made a beeline for our chickens. They were just waking up and I'm sure the noise is what attracted her. She was able to tear off some of the fencing around their pen and get inside, at which point the frantic cackling of the chickens woke up Avery and me. The good news is that two of our chickens actually made it out of the pen and were able to get away. The bad news is that the other two did not. Our silver wyandottes, Rocky and Pippin, died this morning around sunrise. They were smaller than the others, and more shy. They liked to roost on the top of the chicken run, and usually foraged together as a pair. After an awkward chicken adolescence they turned into very pretty birds. I will miss them.
I know that not everyone who reads this will feel the same kind of sadness that I do. They are, after all, only chickens. But when you raise a creature from its infancy, providing for its every need and watching it grow and thrive, there's an indelible connection that's formed. I loved those little hens.
I know I won't always miss Rocky and Pippin, but today I do. Today I miss them terribly. Looking out into our yard, there are no chickens to be seen. The other, luckier two haven't moved from the spot where we buried Rocky and Pippin this morning. I can only see an empty chicken pen, and occasionally hear a sad cock-a-doodle-doo.
|Pippin, Percy the rooster, and Io the cat.|
|Rocky and Pippin roosting...|
|...And taking flight.|
I think they had a good life. They had sunshine and shelter, bugs to chase, grain to eat, and a nice little flock to belong to. It won't be quite the same without them.