dave & i have worked really hard to keep my chickens safe from predators – we went to great lengths to make sure they were safe from the dogs, first and foremost, because we foolishly believed they were the chickens' greatest danger. no fox, coyote, dog, etc could get into the chicken yard – of this i am certain. apparently, probably because we are really city people living in the pseudo-country, it did not occur to us to protect them from air attacks.
in the span of a few days i found 3 of my chickens dead in their yard, seemingly of natural causes. i conducted an exhaustive search of the internet for what virulent strain of disease could be killing my chickens with absolutely no symptoms. then i started to freak out thinking that as virulent as it appeared to be, it could affect my dogs. dave kept suggesting it was some sort of predator but i just kept insisting that there were no marks, no blood - what the hell type of crazy animal would kill an animal like that and then walk away?
when i walked outside (along with several dogs) that afternoon and saw a huge hawk hightailing it away from my chicken yard i realized i now knew what was killing the chickens…but not before it got my last one. that was definitely one of my angriest moments. i was angry because i loved those chickens (and i’m not sure i expected to when i first got them) and because i failed to keep them safe. i was now personally responsible for all of them losing their lives. to top off the matter, probably because the dogs scared the hawk away soon after the kill EVERY time, the damn hawk never even got a meal…so something else died because of that. because i’m a vegan and a buddhist and i wholeheartedly respect the circle of life, i wished the hawk peace and wellness in my meditation practice last night. because i loved my chickens i wished the hawk a safe journey very, very far away from here (possibly to somewhere very hot). i miss their happy little “bawk, bawk” whenever they heard me say “hi chicken ladies”. rip chicken ladies. (i would be remiss if i didn't also add that apparently dave was right...this time).