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Pumpkin: she was the best chicken ever...

I can't believe I'm doing this, but indeed, I am eulogizing a chicken. We lost a beloved chicken to a coyote several days before Christmas. It happened in the late afternoon as they were free-ranging. Pumpkin, a Rhode Island Red, was always a wanderer. The others often stayed closer to home. She was like the ring-leader. Always heading into verboten yards and bringing the others along. It is not surprising that the coyote picked her. Probably because she was an easy mark on her own. Unprotected. Turns out that a neighbor who went out to her garage to get something from her car spotted the coyote at the bottom of her drive with Pumpkin in her mouth. Neck broken. Dead. Feathers everywhere. We adults are all somewhat shaken. Of course, it is the circle of life. As some neighbors had warned, by free-ranging the way we did, it was bound to happen. The shock is still great, and I have not told my kids yet. Due to the bitter, bitter cold we have been experiencing, I have not been letting the chickens out this week. Also due to some fear of it happening again. Because no question, that coyote will be back. If anyone has tips about breaking the news of a pet's death, I'd be most appreciative. RIP Pumpkin.


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