Something told me I should go out and check on the chickens- that maybe they had laid an egg? I could see someone was in the nest box as I approached the chicken run. The chicken in the box didn’t hop out so I figured she wasn’t done laying yet. Now where was the other chicken? They were always in tandem so it was unusual not to find her guarding the layer. My guts got that sinking feeling something was amiss. In walking around the backyard, I noticed the missing chicken over by the privacy fence where they often go to take a dirt bath when they free range in the yard. I made my way over to her, expecting her to walk away, only to find she had no head and wouldn’t be walking anywhere ever again. But who was it? I walked back over to the nest box and peered inside to see who was sitting in there.
There was Carol, not laying an egg, but sitting there in horror. I talked to her for a little while trying my best to the best I could to reassure her that she was going to be OK. The wild look in her eye abated somewhat, although she refused to leave the nest box. I can only imagine the scene she must have witnessed. The carnage was done by an Osprey out for sport versus hunting for food, otherwise more of Angela would have been dismantled than her head.
I went to the garage, retrieved a shovel and made a fine, deep hole in one of the garden beds. I buried Angela there to fertilize my next crop, which happened to be potatoes. As I was burying her I kept thinking- fresh, organic, free range chicken and I’m burying it. What’s wrong with this picture? Someone- not me- would have loved to eat her. I’m hoping when I harvest the potatoes I don’t find they have grown around any of Angela’s parts. I should have planted above ground plants there this year.
The Osprey is still hanging out in the tree by the chicken run hoping for another opportunity for sport, so poor Carol hasn’t had the freedom she’s used to. She struts about under her netting of protection taunting the Osprey. She’s a little lonely and happy to have the doves and squirrels for company, even though they eat her food.