On or about Sunday morning 29 September 2013, our favorite chicken Fred Henhouse died. Her mangled body was found in the next door neighbor’s yard.
Only last night, I heard her make her nightly trip to the truck where she had taken to sleeping on top of the muffler. I was concerned because she made far more noise than usual. After a while, I checked on her and nothing seemed out of the ordinary except that she was just standing under the truck.
Because I was worried, at around 9:00 last night I went outside and checked the truck. She was not in her usual place. This was not a cause of great concern, however; she slept in the backyard some times. We had hoped to build her a hen house given that the truck is not always available when she was ready for sleep. (Based upon Fred’s behavior, chickens are early to bed and early to rise.)
This morning at about 8:00, a neighbor from across the street came by and told us that Fred appeared to be dead. We found her next door. She had been largely eaten. And the ants were then having their turn. It was suggested that an opossum might have killed Fred. We do have a large community of opossums here, but the very idea is ridiculous. Opossum are very gentle animals who only eat larger animals who are found dead. It could have been raccoons, but even that seems unlikely. I figure it was a dog, but for all I know it could have been a car. The one thing that seems unlikely is that Fred was ill and died, only to be discovered by other animals. She seemed fine yesterday—and as fast as always.
We buried Fred in our backyard this morning. It was a solemn, if secular, ceremony. She will be missed.