Late last night, we heard a horrible noise. But living off of a busy street, we learned to ignore most noises that manage to filter through our windows. Our dog, Pippi, however was on edge the rest of the night. This morning, I found out why. Our pet chicken, Sunshine, has been attacked and killed in our backyard. She wasn’t eaten, she was just attacked. As chicken owners, we efficiently predator-proofed the chicken coop but with all the nice weather lately we happily let them free-range. Having had no past predator-related incidents, it made us lazy about cooping them up at night. We thought we had a predator-safe backyard. Apparently not. As the chicken owner, I blame my naiveté and feel completely responsible for her death. I dug a deep hole in the corner of our garden, and buried her this morning.
I have never buried a pet before. Every pet I’ve had in the past, has found a home with friends or other family because I’ve had to move so often as a child. I assume it would seem silly to mourn the death of a chicken. After all, we eat these animals on a frequent basis. But Sunshine was our pet. We raised her from when she was just a chick, and fed her and loved her everyday since. She laid beautiful light brown eggs and was always the sweetest of the three chickens. She was always ready to be picked up and cuddled and allowed herself to be petted by children. When the other two hens would explore the backyard, she would stay behind and brood over her eggs. I hope she had a good life with us. We will miss her and cherish her memory always.
_____________backyard chickens, death, reflections, urban farming