the circle of life

It wasn’t but a few weeks ago that I was rejoicing the new life of my baby chicks.  Well, today I got to experience the other side of life.  I lost my first hen today.  I have been nursing  a hen that has a prolapsed vent in my garage.  I went to the coop the other day, found her with an egg hanging from her back end.  After much research, bathing her in epsom salts, removing the egg, constant monitoring,  you can imagine my surprise that it wasn’t her that died.  I walked down to the coop today to collect the eggs, opened the door, to find a dead hen laying right inside of the door.  I have no idea what happened.  Her neck was bent down toward her chest, but there was nothing visibly wrong with her.  She didn’t appear to have been pecked.  Is this one of the mysteries of chicken farming?  Sometimes you just lose a hen?  I am so saddened!!

I immediately shut the door and called Brian.  I knew he couldn’t do anything (he was at work) but I needed him to talk me through what I should do with her.  He first said to dig a hole and bury her.  My first thought was to toss her over the hill, but I knew there was a coyote den and didn’t want to attract them to my girls.  I took a big shovel, put her in a garbage bag, and put her in the dumpster….collection day is tomorrow.  I know this sounds horrible, but I didn’t know what else to do, or what else I could tolerate.  I really didn’t want to dig a hole in this frozen ground.

My beautiful bubble of chicken ownership has burst.  Sometimes you have to deal with the not so fun stuff!  I really didn’t think it could get much worse than putting on a rubber glove, squirting Preparation H all over my hand, and trying to push a vent back inside a hen…I was wrong.  This has been a true test about how much of a farmer I am.  I’ve been playing this role for a year now, today I felt like I can do the hard stuff when needed to.

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