I was excited to see what happened Thursday morning after the chicken slumber party in the coop the previous night. I assumed they all had a restful night and the chicks would trot down the gangplank behind Daisy to begin their chicken day. And that’s just what happened! Success! I was happy that the babies could sleep in the coop with Daisy and now I could clean my filthy chicken-poop encrusted screened porch. My plan was to keep the chicks until I heard one crow from George. That event was about two weeks away.
It was not to be.
After Jim left for work, I started sweeping and wiping down the porch. I lifted my eyes to see all three chickens happily pecking the ground and enjoying life. I watched them with pleasure most of the morning as I cleaned the porch. I was about to stop and go in for more coffee when I noticed something big and feathery leaning over one of my chicks. I started to run, but was too late. The hawk flew off trying to carry George’s lifeless body and I scared him enough to drop my brave little rooster. I picked him up and went inside to wrap him in an old towel. I went back out to the coop and couldn’t see Daisy or Gracie. They were both huddled together in terror in the nest box. I didn’t see the attack, but my guess is that George was defending the girls. Even little roosters have a protective instinct and many times when I tried to pick up Gracie, she would yell and George would “bow-up” at me.
I knew at this moment that my chicken days were over. I called Daddy and asked if I could bring Daisy and Gracie to live with him. Of course he said yes. I called Jim at work to tell him my plan. He tried to talk me out of it. He said he could build a safe chicken run with wire and heavy boards to keep predators out, but I didn’t want to live in fear of that hawk coming back to kill again. I don’t blame the hawk. He was just being a hawk. I blame myself for being complacent and confident that my chickens were safe in the pen where they could run into the coop if they saw danger. I felt very sad and guilty and rightly so. I managed to get Daisy and Gracie into the bunny cage for the long drive to Purvis.
I’m very sorry George. I enjoyed raising you for seven weeks. You were a funny sweet bird and I promise I’m going to see that your sister has a fun and safe life with my Dad.
To be continued…