Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Life and death on the farm

Every year Bomgaars ushers in spring with baby chicks and they are hard to resist, even though there is a big sign 'DO NOT HANDLE BABY CHICKS!!' I like getting a few pullets to replace the old hens that quit laying and this year my sister, Sara, picked up two Blue Wyandotts and two Speckled Sussex from the Bomgaars in Sioux City.

They start their life in the chick crib in the house until they begin to stink, then they are moved to the apartment in the coop to grow up until I think they are safe with the rest of the chickens.

The problem was not the other chickens but Murphy, she killed one of each which broke my heart, how could my darling puppy do that??

So that left Blue and Lucky, Lucky got her name by escaping the murderous Murphy and hiding out in the McGregor garden for five days, it was a joyous reunion when she and Blue were reunited.

They were best friends, never apart.....

....where one went, the other wasn't far behind.

They grew up into beautiful hens, Blue was especially striking with that dark blue head, and they were both finally laying, breaking the egg drought around here.

Last night I went to shut the chickens up and Blue was sitting on the floor, I picked her up without a struggle so knew something was up. I put her in the chick crib in the basement with some food and water and she ate some. Blue didn't have any symptoms of illness so I was hopeful but she died this morning.

I felt sorry for Lucky, last night when I carried Blue out of the coop, she tried to follow me and this morning she was waiting on top of the metal bucket I keep their sunflower seeds in. She cocked her head, looked at me and began crooning. I petted her and told her how sorry I was she lost her best friend. 

I took Blue's body to pond, we have a bald eagle hanging around she will provide some food for him, you know it's the circle of life. I did have to chuckle because I put her body in the back of the gator and called the dogs. They both came running, leaped in, took one look at her and jumped back out.

"Oh NO! You aren't blaming that on ME!!"

Murphy was in trouble a lot this summer and Mollie is always afraid she is to blame also.

"I told her not to do it!"

I must have gotten my message across because they refused to get in the gator until I moved Blue to the front with me.

That is life on the farm, where there is life, there will be death, we accept it, mourn it and move on.

Bruce's dad, Leo, said to him once, "You can't raise them all."

So true, so true.


  1. oh and what a beautiful chicken with that unusual coloring; so sorry for you all....but I have a question. what did you mean when you wrote 'until they begin to stink'?? their body? their poop?? obviously I don't have a clue but then again, all I did was get the eggs and stay in the house!! thanks, CG

  2. Their poop! When they are tiny, they have tiny, cute poops, but as they eat and grow it becomes much more pungent, thus they must go out of the house.