Friday, 9 November 2012

Mini Guinea and Little Legbar - In Memory

Friday 9th November 2012
The calm sunset gave no hint of a shocking start to the day.

A shocking sight met my eyes this morning as I picked my way over the soggy ground to let the chickens out. For there, dead on the ground, was one of the Cream Legbar chicks which we raised in the house. These two chicks never became very streetwise in the big world with the rest of the chickens, but I didn't expect this to happen. In fact, last night I took a picture of the Elvis coop at roost to show how the young chicks had finally been accepted by the others. You can see one of the young Legbars front right - it's the barred plumage tucked under the wing of the older female Legbar.
I had assumed that the other was somewhere in the melee with Elvis, but how wrong could I be?
Little did I know when I took this piccie
that one of the chicks was missing.
It must have got itself stuck outside somewhere.
These two had become very friendly to me, as have previous cock Cream Legbars, but I always knew that one day they would have to go so they never acquired names and I always kept a distance.
But lightning struck twice last night. For I could only count ten guineafowl keets. I had suspected this last night, but wasn't sure in the gloom. It didn't take me long to find MiniGuinea lying dead too. For some days it had been struggling with the damp and the cold nights, often needing help up onto the roosting fence to spend the night protected by the warmth of its siblings.
Since we have lived here things have often seemed to balance out in sometimes cruel ways. These two sad losses closely followed the joyous birth of our third piglet litter.
I have become more hardened to it now. MiniGuinea was always facing an uphill battle and just never grew quickly enough. Always the weakest, the wet winter weather found it out.
The hardest part was telling Sue.

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