Kindness is essential in our daily lives.
I will share weekly a new post with a message of how powerful kindness really can be.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

RIP Lucky

Lucky, our wannabe rooster and the only hen identifiable by a specific marking, along with one of her sister chicks is no longer with us.

When a flock of hens is without a rooster a dominant hen will step up to the plate to oversee her 'sister girlfriends' as a rooster normally would do. Lucky, our dominant female, stepped up to the plate. She would always come back into the hen house to check out who was there and what was going on. She always guarded the nest boxes and cackled at us for taking the daily egg production. She walked around the outdoor chicken run being the first one to cackle at anyone within distance. She was #1 in the pecking order and proved it in many ways.

On Tuesday, 3/22/11, Lucky fought fiercely with a chicken predator that tunneled under the hen house right up into the enclosed (with fencing) outdoor chicken run. Less than 2 hours after I fed the chicks, collected their eggs and let them outdoors for some fresh air a muscular female mink with razor sharp teeth and a killer-instinct made a sneak attack on our six chickens. Even though the chicks are fenced in (top and sides) I periodically look out the window just to make sure they're OK. On this particular day it looked like it had snowed in the run. Confused, I looked and stared. From here in the house I couldn't see any chickens wandering about. It quickly dawned on me that these could be chicken feathers. My heart sank and I started shaking. I screamed for my husband to quick run down to the coop and check out what had happened. He called up to me that there were two chickens that were brutally killed. Without getting descriptive it was apparent that Lucky gave her life in protecting her flock.

The remaining four chickens were traumatized. We had to physically force them indoors where they would be safe. The noises they were making were sounds of fear. They refused to eat or drink anything that night. One of the remaining chicks received an injury to her leg, was shaking and developed diarrhea. I was in fear for them and worried sick myself but I knew as long as they were inside the chicken coop they were safe for the time being. These four chickens amazed me the following morning. They never skipped a beat in their egg production. Following such a horrendous attack they somehow found the strength to produce four beautiful brown eggs the very next morning and they continued to do so every day since. They have made a miraculous recovery and I'm happy to report they are now all in good health and enjoying their routine snacks and feed.

Thanks to a local trapper the mink was caught the very next morning as he tried once again to enter into the outdoor chicken run through the same tunnel. As soon as the weather cooperates there will be metal fencing/sheeting buried deep enough into the ground along the barn side of the run where this creature tunneled from to make sure this can never happen again. At the same time the remaining feathers will be cleaned out and fresh new straw will be made available for the chicks return to the outdoors.

Most chicken farmers have faced losing some of their flock to predators at one time or another. Sometimes, no matter how much you watch over them, it's inevitable that something is lurking somewhere. We thought we had done everything possible to protect our flock. Through this experience we learned another valuable lesson to enable us to provide more protection to our 'girls.'

The four 'sister' hens will now have to decide a new pecking order. The strongest of the four will hopefully step forward to fill Lucky's shoes (even though they're not too lucky). There's also a good possibility we might add a few more chicks to the flock after the weather breaks and everyone is settled down.

May you, Lucky, rest in peace.

1 comment:

  1. awwwwwwwwwww was so sad Daph, great story !!!!!!!