I went running out to the little chicken house and saw Mama Hen frantically running around the pen cackling, with her chicks peeping around her like crazy. There were feathers scattered around the pen, and one dead, headless chick.
I went on to do the cattle chores, and Mama Hen was still in the driveway cackling when I was done. She was obviously traumatized, and was still cackling for over an hour after it all happened.
Finally she acknowledged her babies and foraged around in the yard and garden all day. Cliff and I had plans to lock the hen and chicks into her little house/pen securely tonight, and then put our varmint trap right in front of that house, baited with the headless chick that was killed last night.
When we went out at dusk, I heard the chicks peeping loudly and the mom clucking, but they weren't in their little house. The noises were coming from the big hen house. Mama Hen was sitting on a nest in there, as it turns out, and the babies were trying, one by one, to fly up and join her.
I was amazed. I was speechless, and honestly, almost had tears in my eyes. Chickens are among the dumbest animals God ever created, but that mommy thing is stronger than any weak mind, and the hen had no intention of letting her babies be killed. She had moved out of that death-trap of a house.
I shut the chicken house door, knowing no chickens would die tonight. We did put the trap in front of the now-uninhabited brooder house. I doubt we catch anything. But Mama Hen has it under control, and no chickens will die tonight.
God bless mothers everywhere.
Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day