Free ranging kills. And then there were sixteen.

Gidget just died in my arms, contorted, flapping and crying, just like Pip. I know the risks we take by letting our girls free rnage, especially living so close to an intersection, and I accept those risks.

I only wish she had died outright, and been spared her 30-hour death. I really thought she was going to make it; she seemed so much better this morning. I have to wonder if she had an egg break inside her.

The ground is still workable enough to allow us to bury her in our chicken cemetery tomorrow, next to Pip.

She was only eight months old.

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11 thoughts on “Free ranging kills. And then there were sixteen.

  1. Oh that’s so sad. I’m sorry for you and your Gidget!
    If it isn’t one risk or threat it will always be another. I have one favorite 8 mo old hen too (my only one that age that I hatched at home). She’s had a hawk swoop down several times this past fall – gave me a scare. I knew it would be devastating. In the way with any animal, It’s always devastating… they are so sweet, and give so much.
    Hugs.

    • Thank you. I don’t know if chickens are consoled by human presence, and I did a very poor job of socialising 2.0. But she wasn’t alone, and she died warm, fed and as comfortable as possible…

  2. Also the contorting and flapping is what happens when their hearts stop. She sounds to me like she had internal injuries that resulted in cardiac arrest. I am so sorry.. really I am.. :( I didn’t even know she got hit until I read that today.

    • Thanks, Aoxa. I was ready for it this time. When I looked at her and saw one eye was closed and the other open, I thought “Oh god; she’s going to die.”. So, I just placed my hands around her and held her gently while she went. Just as much pain for me, but less shock than with Pip.

      • I have seen it a couple times and it still shocks me. It’s really tough to watch. Just know that it’s the body’s reaction to the heart stopping, and not them in extraordinary pain.

        I wanted you to know that.

        Such a sad reality of free ranging. Mine never cross the road, but the cars are almost non-stop. They would be too frightened to attempt it.

        I have another missing cat as well. :( Seems like my missing cats happen when something happens to one of your chickens.

        Definitely not a good road I am on.

        Still free ranging is a risk I am willing to take. Hang in there. You are doing the right thing.

    • Thank you so much. I agree. There are risks to free ranging, as there are benefits. Through my tears last night, I consoled myself that she had lived briefly, but she had lived free. We are hoping the new fence will help…

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