Tuesday, December 23, 2008
A life lost, a lesson learned.
It is with a sad heart that I post today, and a bit of a long story. Last Friday I had to drive to Kamloops to pick Hubby up from the airport, I had no intentions of staying the night, even leaving my laptop behind. We were going to be home by roughly 9:30-10:00 PM, the kids would get off the bus at 4 and Mikey, my nephew, would keep an eye out on them until we got home. I had everything planned... unfortunately the airline didn't like my schedule.
While I was shopping in Wal-Mart Hubby called and said the plane had broke down. The airline had planned another smaller plane to get there but it would be late. "How late?" I asked. Well "late" turned into the next day. I had to scramble to get a motel, and then make plans for someone to stay at the house with the kids. I couldn't have the kids stay somewhere else because of the dogs, chickens, woodstove, etc, etc. Someone had to stay there... Dallas came to the rescue when she texted me that Duane, her Hubby, would drive out and spend the night with them. I explained the routine with the chickens, the woodstove, and the kids. Everything would be okay, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Even with the plane postponed until the next day the airline still managed to screw up and by the time Hubby landed in Kamloops the plane was two hours later than what was scheduled. Instead of 7ish he came in at 9:10 PM, it was pretty near midnight when we got home. After unloading the truck it was about 1:30 AM by the time we crawled into bed.
The next morning I got up and headed for the coop. All the chicks came running out but I was mainly interested in finding "Feathers." I quickly scanned over the chicks but Feathers wasn't among them... I darted into the coop and looked around. I found him stretched out in one of the lower boxes looking peaceful but unfortunately... dead. Darnit, darnit, darnit. As I said in an earlier post this month, "I sometimes wonder why I'm here?" and other times I wonder why I leave?
A few things went wrong, and Sydney, as young as she is, has had a stern talking to. I was so upset on Sunday that I waited until Monday to speak with her. All this has been explained to her and she has watched me many times. Instead of laying pellets the chickens were fed only hen scratch, their feeder was totally empty. Duane assumed that when he saw Sydney sprinkling food around it was laying pellets, Sydney didn't think at all. Chickens need food and water, two essential things for living, especially in this cold weather we are having. And because of this cold I have been leaving all the lights on in the coop for heat, Sydney had turned all the lights off except one. Most likely Feathers died from cold, and I think what upsets me is his death was totally preventable. I have taught my children that no matter how small or insignificant to them, all animals have living beating hearts and to die suffering is cruel. I explained to her that when we have to put an animal down we do it quickly and as humanely as possible, and that we are most likely doing it because they have been suffering. We never think of it as an inconvenience when we have to pack water, or trudge out into the snow to feed our animals, we do it because we care and because they cannot do it for themselves. I told her that when you see a feeder or a waterer empty or even low, you fill it up, but you must look for it and don't "assume" that someone else is going to do it. I could go on and on but I did get my point across to her and I think she has a better understanding now.