Andrew's Blog

A City Boy Making His Way in the Country

Goodbye sweet chickens.

We’ve had a weasel attack in the chicken coop. Over the past 2 days, we’ve lost 16 to the beast. How do we know it was a weasel you ask? Because weasels attack from behind, chomping chicken heads off and then leaving the body to rot. They don’t eat the chicken. Just bite the head of and leave it. Serial killers of the animal world. Killing for fun.

Three roosters have survived. A once bustling coop stands empty. And will remain so. The remaining chickens are free to live high in the rafters of the barn. The coop became a containment cage, with no escape when danger arrived. Now they can escape. But I think, if they’ve survived these two attacks, they’re either too big or too frisky even for the weasel.

It’s weird to go outside now. The farm had been bustling with 19 chickens. Now they are gone. There’s a certain uncomfortable silence. And so it will remain for the season. In the spring, we’ll get some more chicks and try again. But for now, with winter quickly approaching, it would be too much to ask of the babies.

I raised every chicken we lost from day-old chicks. I had three of them for over 3 years. I can be stoic about all this. They’re just chickens. And I’ve gotten in the habit of not naming the birds of the farm because I know their existence can be precarious. But it’s still upsetting. To think about their final moments. And it wouldn’t be as horrible if they were actually eaten. But to be wasted for sport seems excessive – especially in the animal kingdom. All we can do it remember, and do better next time around.

RIP Gloucester, Wallace and Diana. 

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