Friday, February 27, 2015

R. I. P. Lucille

I lost one of my hens today. This morning I went out to the coop to open up the box, and found Lucille, my pretty barred Plymouth Rock, lying by the door. She had either fallen or jumped down from the roost during the night, and the cold must have been too much for her (the temperature was -4 at 6:30 a.m.).

I don't know what else could have happened. She seemed like the most robust hen in the flock, always pushing her way ahead of the other hens for treats and attention. I didn't notice anything amiss with her yesterday--she definitely seemed fine last night when I shut them into their box for the night. If I worried about anyone during these cold, cold days, it was Nettie, my skinny little Rhode Island Red, who has already experienced two close brushes with death, from a hawk and a fox.

I'm just so sad today. I keep thinking I should have put a light out there to warm them, or insulated their box, or checked on them more often, or . . . something. But then again, chickens are mortal creatures, and just like us, they sometimes go too soon.

Lucille and Fanny, in warmer times.