Chooky Casualty

Monday, 26 November 2012

My chooks have been free-ranging into the neighbours' yards.  It's a bit hard for them not to do so, because there are very few fences around here.  Yesterday evening, Tristan and Selma came back home, but no Patty.

I was hoping that maybe she'd gone broody and disappeared somewhere to lay copious eggs.  I was worried that a fox which is apparently in the area had got hold of her.  But I was hoping that she would come back.  This afternoon, though, our next-door neighbour told me that yesterday his wife heard the dog over the back fence making noise.  And so it looks like maybe poor old Patty (on the right in this photo) has come to an unfortunate end :(

I feel quite upset, actually.  It's funny how those little critters get under your skin.

When it comes to innocent creatures dying in (possibly - probably) circumstances where they are scared, I go to pieces.  I can concede all sorts of suffering accompanying our lives (with difficulty).  But my utopian heart balks at the idea of anything or anyone dying in terror.  It just shouldn't be :(


  1. My folks had chooks that used to roam the nieghborhood until the local cat lady's dog got to them. Very keen to get some chooks myself any advice?

  2. I am so sorry. It is hard to forgive nature for things that nature does that seem unbearably cruel. It is equally painful to see a creature you love behave in a cruel manner.

    I have no idea what one thing has to do with the other, but I have a childhood story to share, a true story that I have pondered in one way or another all my life. When I was in the third grade I found a paper bag full of tangerines in the coat closet, I loved tangerines, so I grabbed one out of the bag, peeled it and ate a couple of pieces quickly, leaving the rest of the fruit and the rind on the floor. Later the teacher demanded to know who was responsible. I was afraid to admit it, so we were kept after school, the person responsible would have to raise his or her hand and admit to being the culprit, else we all had to sit there in punishment. I was frozen with fear. A boy sitting next to me raised his hand and admitted to the evil deed. He was innocent. I was shocked. We were all allowed to go home. He had to write "I will not steal again" 50 times on the blackboard or some such thing, but he was smiling up there as we left the room, knowing I guess that he was a hero. I loved him then, and as I type this, and always will forever.

  3. Wow, Sarah. What an amazing child. How often would a child do something like that? Not very. It has Jesusey connotations, doesn't it. Maybe that's what the link is. Breaching the suffering. I have for long times actually believed that Jesus accomplished something by his suffering also. I am not quite so sure these days that I believe that anymore, though the door stands wide open in case it is true.

    That gap, between on the one hand grace and on the other cruelty. Is cruelty the opposite of grace? Quite possibly.

  4. Hey, Urbs. What a shame the cat lady didn't just have cats, instead of dogs too. Dogs are generally my favourite animal but my ardour has cooled a little today. I can't help it. But then what a hypocrite, right? I can only stand on this level of dismay at things killing other things because someone in an abbatoir kills the things that *I* eat!

    I heartily recommend chooks. The hens are called Isa Browns. They're one of the best breeds to get for egg-laying purposes. I'm still trying to work out the food situation, but I feed them pellets of some description every day along with ground-up (food processor is good) leftover veggies. They love sunflower seeds. Oh, and grit. They can do with a bit of grit in their food (tiny bits of rock) because they don't actually have any teeth, and so the grit grinds up the food in their stomachs in some way. I picked up a hen house much cheaper than the ones in Bunnings here ( I guess McKinnon is a little closer to you but still a bit of a distance. Might be somewhere closer, pays to look around. Don't spend 400 bucks at Bunnings, that's for sure.

  5. sorry about your feathered friend. one of our cats met a horrifying end in the woods behind our home... our dog and teenage daughters found him... it was horrible. I miss him. We all do.

  6. ...any man's - or chook's - death diminishes me, because I am involved in Life...

    (adapted from John Donne)

  7. Oh, that's so sad, Laura :( I wish we lived in a vegetarian world :(

  8. Funny, after you left this comment yesterday I came across it again in another blog post I read. It's a pretty profound but simple statement, isn't it.

  9. I'm sorry, Susie! My sister and many of my friends keep chickens, and I know how important they can become to people. I'm very sorry for this trauma. (The only reason we don't have chickens is the way to keep such a smarty from them.)


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