Saturday, April 14, 2007

Tragedy at Henbogle

Marigold was killed today, we think by a stray cat.

I had to be at work today for an event, and since Dan and I hadn't seen much of one another this week, he decided to come to campus with me and work on a project for his grad school class while I worked my event. We had seen a stray cat lurking by the birdfeeders, but we never worried about the hens, as we had in the past seen them scare off a cat foolish enough to jump into the fenced-in area. We never thought about one of the chickens escaping alone.

We left the house at about 10:30, and arrived home at about 4 pm.
Upon arriving home, we went out to see the Girls. Dan went ahead and worriedly called to me, "We're missing a chicken!" I hurried back with some spinach in hand, calling for the chickens. I gave the spinach to the Girls in their fence, calling for Marigold. Dan was headed for the tulip bed when I noticed some feathers.

Dan followed a trail of feathers onto the neighbors overgrown backyard, with me close behind. He found poor Marigold lying dead, eyes closed. She was missing a few feathers and had some gouges, but had no major visible injuries, so we can only surmise it was a broken neck. She must have flown over the fence and alone, was prey to the cat, where the Girls together are too much for a cat.
It is a very sad night here at Henbogle, Marigold was the prettiest of the chickens, with lovely orangey feathers and a beautiful comb. I hope she didn't suffer too much.


Petunia's Gardener said...

So sorry about Marigold. I get upset when I find even wild bird & bunny parts left from someone's meal. She had a nice life with you, though.

Kathy said...

I shed a tear for Marigold. I know the feeling. With me it's usually weasels. They strike fast to kill and the duck does not suffer. In fact, I witnessed this quick kill and was at least glad for some small consolation. That was the fate of my first duck family. That and coyotes.
My friend Kate in Tennessee has the coolest aviary. It is fenced on the top, sides, with reenforcements along the bottom. Still the occasional critter digs its way in. The perils of henmanship!