Last night, I locked our flock up in the coop at dusk without realizing that our two Barred Rocks, who seem to have a habit of lingering outside longer than the other chickens, were not yet in. It was too dark for me to count my chickens, and they weren’t anywhere around the coop, so I didn’t notice.
This morning, I found one of them wandering around the yard. I put her in the coop with the rest of them, and my heart sank when I realized the other one wasn’t there, either. I did a circuit of the property with a scoop of corn, but couldn’t find her.
Kevin found her, eviscerated, under a bush about twenty feet from the coop.
I understand that, no matter what we undertake, mistakes are inevitable. If your undertaking is woodworking, you will, at some point, have boards that don’t quite meet at the corners. If it’s gardening, there will, one day, be stunted beets or wormy cabbages. Pushing the cooking envelope? Prepare yourself for the occasional take-out Chinese.
If it’s livestock you’re raising, something will die.
It’s happened to us before. One of our turkey poults drowned because we were careless. One of our chicks got picked off by a hawk. We lost a full-grown chicken to what we suspect was a liver overtaxed by chicken treats. And now this.
It was absolutely, positively, unequivocally my fault that our chicken got torn apart by what was probably a raccoon. It’s gut-wrenching.