RIP Greta, Rocky, and Golden Chicken

This morning the hens were making an awful racket. Calamity Jane would not get down from the top roost of the coop. Later in the morning the hens and chicks were all up on the outdoor roosts and CJ would not let up on the calling. That is when I found the trail of feathers leading to the remains of Greta.

We can’t be sure what got her, but the educated guess leads to coons. We have been keeping the door of the coop open 24/7 for 6 months now. Greta was the only hen on the lower roost last night. Yesterday our neighbour told us he’d seen coons in the big tree in our yard again. Bingo.

A month ago we lost Rocky and the Golden Chicken. The little inner door on our coop swung shut during a wind storm while we were in Moab. Although they were not the only hens caught inside, they were the oldest. Rocky had actually been suffering some internal injuries and her death following the confinement may have been coincidental.

So we seem to inadvertently be making room for the new chicks we are raising. Let’s hope the carnage stops there. It would be nice to keep a few layers around, and its been grizzly burying dead chickens that I have raised.

The Golden Chicken poses by the shiny new installation

The Golden Chicken (Buff orpington) was born in 2008. We adopted her in 2011. She had a rough 6 months adapting to the flock – most of which time she spent bald at the attentions of the head hencho Rocky. She eventually adapted and regrew feathers to become the beautiful golden chicken you see here by the cistern

.

Greta (Ameraucana) and Rocky (Barred Rock) we hand-raised as our first batch of chickens in 2008. Greta was a clumsy, dumb bird. A happy gamma, she was an excellent layer of enormous eggs. Rocky was head hen for most of her life. She liked to jump on my arm and be petted

Greta and Rocky as week-old chicks in our first broody box

Greta and Rocky as week-old chicks in our first broody box

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6 Responses to RIP Greta, Rocky, and Golden Chicken

  1. Nancy says:

    So sad, I must say. RIP indeed.

  2. You have our sympathies. That sounds awful.

  3. d says:

    sorry to hear Jen .. you need dad to show up with a coon culling instrument!

    • jkmcintyre says:

      Actually, Scott has several and has previously shown his prowess. But we also need to start locking them up again at night. Certainly the urban predators have fewer population controls than their wild counterparts, but I am not against complete eradication.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am sad to hear this.

  5. Anonymous says:

    HI, Jen
    I’m sorry to hear about the savage attacks on your precious chickens. That has to be hard
    to handle. Would be for me. Racoons and woodchucks can both go extinct as far as I’m concerned. Their saving grace escapes me. Cute, yes, but that’s it. I hope the baby chicks
    all survive and thrive at your awesome place. Love those bees, too!
    Love you,
    Aunt Kitty

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