Death Comes to the Chicken Hilton

Jerry holds hen just killed by hawk

It had to happen sooner or later.

I'd just walked out of the barn to go get my camera in the car, and saw a large hawk standing on the ground just the other side of one of the garden beds.  A blizzard of tiny feathers were streaming away from his feet, caught up on the brisk southern breeze.

Jerry was over by the Chicken Hilton.

“Hawk!” I yelled, and ran toward the predator, which quickly took to the air and settled on a nearby bush. 

The audacity of that bird!  I thought. 

He'd struck not 20 feet from where Jerry was working.

Not only that, he showed no signs of leaving his kill, either.  I finally ran after him and shooed him further away, but I know where he lives–over in Sara's Garden–and I know he'll soon be back.

I hoped against hope that maybe the large buff hen I saw lying on the ground was just stunned, but no such luck.  Hawks probably don't make mistakes like that too often.

I picked her up. She was so warm.  Her pretty head drooped loosely, the neck neatly snapped.  If only I'd come out of the barn 30 seconds before!

I walked over to the Hilton, put the hen on the back of Jerry's cart, and helped him coop up the rest of the chickens.  They were rattled and skittish, and it took a while to get them in.

Guess we'll have to have a chicken shepherd from now on when we let them out to roam.  A new job description to write!

It's a little death, I guess, but Jerry and I were talking just yesterday about how much sheer fun the chickens are, what joy they bring, and how much joy they seem to get from their simple little lives.

Not to mention the eggs.

Well, if He knows when the sparrows fall, He knows when the chickens fall, too.  He cares about the hawk no less, and in the end we shall all be delivered into a mightier hand.