For those of you who have not “liked” the Hens and Honey Facebook page, you probably don’t know that we sustained a very hard loss on Thursday. One that is still hard for me to write about.
After free ranging our chickens for the last ten months with no issues, we lost Sweet Pea to a predator attack this week. The attack happened about 70 yards from our house in a densely wooded area, and we’ve determined the culprit to be a raccoon by the type of kill and the remains left behind. We have now decided to only free range under supervision, so the remaining flock is being housed in our chicken tractor, and we are in the process of building a larger run and permanent coop.
I can’t begin to tell you how heartbreaking this is for Drew and I. Sweet Pea held a very special place in our hearts. She has been our friendliest chicken from the very beginning. When she was a chick, she would fly from the bottom of the brooder and perch on your shoulder. She loved being held and pet. She was our first chicken to ever lay an egg, and she had consistently laid one egg almost every day since that time. She was our first chicken to go broody, and subsequently the first chicken to go into the broody breaker. However, when she looked sad and lonely in the broody breaker, she was the first (and only) chicken to come inside the house and snuggle on the couch with me. She was always happy to let anyone pick her up, her sweet little eyes fluttering with every stroke of her feathers.
Drew and I buried her at the foot of a white flowering cherry tree near our garden beds. When the weather warms, we will remember her fondly by the snowy blooms that resemble her beautiful feathers so much. It is a very happy place for all of us.
Here are a few photos of our sweet journey with my favorite little girl. I’ll miss her terribly.