Last night, I lost Larry. 😦
You might think it an odd name, but Larry is a chicken. A white Leghorn hen. One of my best laying hens and one of my two most affectionate and interactive “girls.”
I knew having free range hens was a gamble.
I know I would be furious and out for revenge if Larry was lost to a free running dog that a neighbor should have contained better.
But….Larry was taken by a Bald Eagle…doing what Bald Eagles do.
Now I don’t know how to feel. Very sad, of course, I love Larry and all her fluffy, happy sisters. She was a pet to me, like another person’s cat or dog. But, how can I be furious at the eagle? I would be a hypocrite if I took issue with nature taking its course.
It seems that I should be angry with myself for not keeping the hens in their little coop and, thus, exposing them to danger. But…then they would spend their lives in a little pen, eating what kitchen and garden scraps and chicken feed I gave them; rather than running about happily eating bugs and grass seeds, selecting for themselves what foods they needed, with (and I swear this is true) big smiles on their beaks.
So I ask you.
What should I do? Keep them penned in and safe? OR Allow them free range in the midst of possible danger?
Do you have chickens?
How do you handle this problem?