I am sick to my stomach. I got home from work today and went out to feed the chickens and put them up for the night. As I walk out the chickens run to greet me as they always do, looking forward to food scraps from the kitchen bucket, and some scratch to be strewn upon the ground. Innocent and simple.
Until I walk into the chicken barn and notice that BO is not on her nest and there are only 10 eggs! There is a broken shell and I am looking for mom and some baby chicks. She is out and about without a care in the world. Oh my gosh! What I see next sinks my heart. One of my chickens is running around with a dead baby chick in it's beak with 2 others chasing her trying to steal her catch. I don't know what has happened over the course of the day. I left this morning with mom on her clutch, carefully turning eggs as I fed this morning. Now, half are gone without a trace. Just one eggshell and one dead chick. I don't know if the rest hatched and the other chickens attacked the chicks and mom couldn't keep the others at bay as she tried to defend her little ones. We have never had our hens attack baby chicks and have always had more worries about skunks eating them than anything else.
I am just sick. I came inside to cool down and call DH. I went back out a short while later to see if mom had gotten back on the nest. What I saw made me even madder! One of the chickens was pecking at an egg! I don't know if that is how they all met their demise, from being pecked out to open the shell and then a meal for a mean, nasty hen. Oh, how nature can be so cruel. I gathered all the rest of the eggs and I just got them in our incubator and have it in the living room. I don't know if anything will come of it, but I can't just let life slip by. They are our chickens and I will try my best to save them.