Overcast
TEMP: 58.22° WIND: 0.96 mph @ 219°
Humidity: 0.91 Visibility: 8.013 Pressure: 1016.03 mb

Goodbye, Blackie–We Love You.

Friday, March 4th, 2016

chickens_draw_blackie_sideview_630x451

Sadly, Blackie our big mother hen died Wednesday evening. As with many older chickens that no longer lay eggs, she passed an egg that got stuck in her reproductive track and became septic. She also developed a tumor around the egg. There was no hope.

Blackie wanted to be near her flock and used all her strength to crawl from her comfortable nest to the top of the coop ramp a foot away. When Blackie closed her eyes for the last time, Brownie stood guard at the bottom of the ramp and Goldie at the top. Sunshine covered the rear and Peanut the far side of the coop. They only moved when Ana Garcia arrived and began to care for Blackie.

Thursday morning, Barbara, Ana and her daughter Natalie took Blackie to the creek and buried her. Barbara returned to Ms. Siskin’s classroom to tell the kids of her passing and answer their questions. All were comforted that the hens protected Blackie. Many shared their personal experiences with the loss of beloved animals and family members.

Next, each expressed their feelings in a letter, haiku, poem or drawing. All of their messages will be placed in a box and buried next to Blackie. Early next week after the rain ceases, all of Blackie’s little human friends will walk to the creek for a goodbye ceremony. In additions to the messages of love, they will plant wild strawberries (her absolute favorite food) and colorful wildflowers to celebrate Blackie’s life.