Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sad Christmas

Today, Christmas Day, I lost my first chicken.

My big australorp alpha hen, Shadow, was dead on the floor of the coop this morning. She apparently died from exposure.

It rained yesterday and all the birds got wet. By the time they went to roost, she was the only one still wet and the others excluded her.

I have to ask, did she really die from exposure, or was something else wrong that kept her body heat from drying her like the others? Have I really done everything I can to protect my birds? Should I have toweled her off? Would that even have made a difference?

One thing for sure, I am going to put a roof over that part of the pen so water does not get into the coop when we have horizontal rain.

On a day where most of us are thinking about family and gifts, this certainly puts things in perspective.
Shadow, in happier times