And then there were three…

So we went to Chicago yesterday for an educational junket (King Tut, aquarium) but the chickens weren’t alone: the hawk came back and nabbed Phyllis.

I am so not good at this farmer thing. I am far too attached. I either need 100 chickens, or I need to really step way the hell back, emotionally. Fortunately, I don’t have to work much today and don’t have to work on Friday, so I am going to construct them a pen. They’ll be so sad, but it beats the alternative, certainly.

5 responses to “And then there were three…

  1. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Phyllis 😦 I know I’d be bad about the situation, too. I think building a pen is a good solution. Sure, the girls will be restricted, but at least they’ll be safe.

    Good luck. I don’t think you need to step back emotionally. You’re human, you’re alive. It just proves that you have a big heart, that you care so much for what many merely consider “livestock.”

  2. Very sorry to hear about Phyllis. Don’t feel bad about the pen. My chickens are in a pen that connects to their henhouse. It is about 8 feet by 8 feet and has mesh over the top too. We also have hawks. I give them treats every morning like apples and swiss chard and keep the pen ‘floor’ covered with leaves/straw/grass clippings etc. They free range on weekends only now but when it got dark later, I let them out for an hour or so every day after work. They would probably be happier running around free but they wouldn’t last very long. I just have to look in the distance behind our house at the broiler houses full of chickens that only see the light of day on the back of a tractor trailer to realize my chickens have it pretty good.

  3. The 2 blogs that I have checked tonight (the other is about dead chickens – poor you El.
    Our chickens are in a run – it is large, the fox can’t get them like he did the last lot, but it isn’t the same and they don’t lay as well. But they are happyish I think – it is probably me that misses the line of followers looking for worms.Jane

  4. Thanks, Colleen, Meredith, and Jane, for your kind wishes. I guess this is something I hoped I did not have to do. If for no other reason, a pen is…well, let’s just say it messes with my feng shui or something, farm masterplan-wise. So I mentioned the word “chicken tractor” to Tom, and he put his face in his hands. So for now we’re planning to do something quasi-temporary. But it still sucks. Next year, we’ll get a rooster, which may help them if I let them out. As it is, they were PISSED at me for leaving them in the coop most of the day…I ended up bringing them into the garden with me and they were so happy.

  5. Hi… just started reading your blog. So sorry to hear about the loss of the chicken. We’ve had hawks around, too, and it’s worrying!!

    I posted something similar a while back about a sick rooster, and people reassured me that it’s good to be “human” about our animals, but that eventually if we persist with raising more, we’ll figure out a good balance of compassion and practicality.

    Good luck!!

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