I don't really know how best to begin this post, so I'll jump right into it.
Last week, something(probably a raccoon) killed our Rosie.
We've been setting an animal trap every night since, and have yet to catch anything. Our other three girls are okay, with Ruth being the worst off, having lost quite a few feathers. Ruth has been laying since the attack, though. Marie has laid a couple times, too, while Ada hasn't.
We're pretty devastated. Mr. Bear found Rosie, and had a hard time telling me. I don't know the specifics, as he was keen to spare me the details, and he took care of the aftermath, even though I think that was really hard for him to deal with.
My little flock of three looks so strange.
Neither of us can bring ourselves to finish off Rosie's eggs now that she's gone, but some lovely friends of mine have offered to decorate them with pysanky(the Ukrainian egg-dyeing) and make them into keepsakes, which I think is a lovely idea.
I wrote about Rosie's visit to the vet here, and her subsequent recovery and reintroduction to the flock following her prolapse here.
I know that part of having chickens(or any small livestock, really) is losing them, to disease or predation or accidents, but losing our first girl from our first flock we raised from chicks has been hard on us. We miss her a lot, and we feel guilty for not doing a better job of protecting her.
In the end I have to keep reminding myself that she had a better life with us than most chickens in the world get to experience.
She was a good hen who gave us good eggs and had a good life and one bad day.