I am deeply saddened to say that we had to say goodbye to two of our sweet, sweet hens over the past two weeks. Billy Joel says, "Only the Good Die Young" and Janice was certainly our best. She was the first to go. Disappeared somewhere. We were devastated. She was a lap chicken, a loud chicken, the first out of the coop in the morning, the biggest, a bit of a bully to the other ladies and the first to lay an egg. She followed me everywhere and I always joked she thought I was her rooster. Well, she's gone. I took this picture just a few days before she disappeared. It pretty much sums up her disposition.
She would just hop in the car and you'd really have to check to make sure she was not in the car before you left the driveway. Janice was a Jersey Giant and Keana named her very fittingly after the sister in the Sopranos.
We also lost our Little Red Hen. She was much more chicken-like keeping to herself and minding the slugs in the garden mostly. I bonded with her first as a chick but then she went on to do her thing. We are very sad about losing her as well. She was our third hen to start laying.
We knew when we started raising chickens that loss would be an inevitable part of the experience. But, it just isn't easy. Jorn is really sad. At first we were just so troubled by what, all of a sudden, was taking our chickens. Well, a few nights ago we figured it out. Greg was walking outside and right behind the coop was a fairly large Bobcat. Luckily we got all the ladies into the coop safely. Our hens free range but we're in the process of building a large, enclosed area for them which we hope will provide them with more safety. For now they are spending their days in our garden which is fenced in and really close to the house so we can keep an eye on them. I have a feeling a dog is in our future though since we have our cats to worry about as well now that this Bobcat thinks there's a fast food joint in our backyard!
Sorry for the unhappiness on what is supposed to be a day of happy but you can't experience one without the other.
Here's one more picture of Janice where she usually was. I think I've posted it before but it's one of my favorites...