Sometimes, Homesteading Just Really Sucks.

Like the random march morning when a bobcat comes in and kills half your flock.

oh wait, that was this morning. This fresh new nightmare started around 930am.

We lost some beautiful, smart, lovely egg laying ladies and my heart is really effing throbbing right now.

I want to say, you try to prepare yourself for things like this. We’ve had racoon attacks, one resulting in a death. But this friggen bob cat came in and JUST BROKE THEIR NECKS.

My poor girls. They died for NOTHING. The only solace we take is that most of it was probably quick.

my poor husband that had to call me at work and tell me he could only find 4 living chickens and they were out of the pen at the end of our neighbors driveway. For having to pick up the bodies of chickens we raised from a few days old til now 4 years later. who is now trying to figure out how to take care of the bodies in march, with 3 feet of snow on the ground still.

poor hawk, who was our sickly baby chick from our first flock, that was now fat, robust and going to outlive them all, we joked this very stupid morning. Who was the last chicken standing, that caught my husbands attention so he could stop the thing from doing more damage. That managed to get so much further away then the rest of the girls and could be seen from across the pond and street.

Poor Dawn, Buffy, Hen, Na, Falcon, Pippi, Lucy and Ethel as well, for having to live their last moments in fear.

Poor Scout, who is still missing somewhere out in the woods on our property. Who we have little hope of finding, now that it is snowing again and the bobcat has already been back once. (eta- we found Scout the next morning, several hundred yards away, in a clearing. She was the tenth loss. I’ll spare you the details.)

And my remaining girls, Peatree, BeeBee, Milk, Matilda, Luna and Rocky, for having to be stuck inside a coop where their flockmates were killed. I gave them watermelon rinds, strawberry tops, wheat bread scraps and other treats to help make them feel normal again. But I know, they know what happened. Their little chicken hearts are under some serious stress right now, and science shows, they have feelings like grief and empathy.

Lastly, poor me. I feel so defeated right now. I don’t know if I want to get more chickens  after all this. I, for a moment, made plans to give up having chickens altogether… find a new home for my remaining girls and just focus on plants.

But I can’t. I love owning chickens, even with the heartbreaks of late. The tidal wave of gratitude I felt at finding even 6 of them alive and healthy… I couldn’t give them up.

We are going to make big changes to the fence, we’re going to work extra hard to clear more forest and push back the boundary. We’re going to ensure a safer future for our flock.

But for today, we’re going to tell stories, and remember the girls that we lost today.

In light of this, I’m going to suspend the Chicken Profiler Blog Series I wrote about previously. Maybe later I can sit here and talk about how great all these hens were, but for now, I’d rather talk to my husband about them.

Until next time.







Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

6 thoughts on “Sometimes, Homesteading Just Really Sucks.

  1. You must be devastated. I have just found your blog and following as I have just bought 12 Rhode Island Reds. I am in French cow country and every Sunday the locals go shooting, so predators to chickens here thin on the ground. But still good to be vigilant. Hope you get this resolved. Regards Judi


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