Monday Meg and I returned home to discover Duchess and Quinn lying in the yard. We were only gone less than 2 hours but tragedy only takes a minute. I am still uncertain and will never really know what exactly happened but here is what I've pieced together:
Duchess and Quinn were settled in their yard for the afternoon like always. The gates are still intact so I know they didn't just walk out nor did one of the dogs venture in. There is a large pile of feathers in one corner. Sunday we noticed a couple of hawks making more than a casual fly-by while we were working on the Peeps' new coop.
I think that either a hawk or one of the neighborhood cats tried to get a chicken which scared them enough that they flew over the fence (which they have never even attempted to do previously) into the yard and became a play toy/snack for the dogs. A kind of out of the frying pan and into the fire scenario.
I couldn't bring myself to call hubby at work and tell him his chickens, which were a Father's Day gift, were dead. It was a very, very long afternoon. He actually took the new better than I expected. Maybe it was because he had chickens growing up and experienced that type of loss before. Meg and I however took it pretty hard. We took it so deeply that I changed our normal Monday night dinner of Grilled Chicken Salad to Take-Out Chinese with NO chicken ordered.
I have to admit I was not very keen on the chickens in the beginning. I have bird issues to begin with so outside of cooking them or their eggs I truly had no desire to own some. Duchess and Quinn eventually grew on me. They were funny, clueless, and sweet. If they saw me out in the yard, Duchess especially, would start squawking until I came over. I know it was me she wanted to see and not her morning fruit treat. These past few weeks I had finally gotten comfortable enough with them that I was taking them out of their coop daily so they could play in their yard. I learned their different clucks for when they were out of food which was different from when they wanted to go back into their coop.
The Ladies, as we also called them, were bantam chickens which were the perfect size to learn/grow with. Their eggs were the size of the small plastic Easter eggs but were delicious. It would take a dozen just to make scrambled eggs for 3 of us. We learned quite a bit from the Ladies including a lot of NOTS. They will be missed.