Wednesday was an unexpectedly sad day. It started off unusually warm and sunny for mid winter and I decided to plant some more garlic. I was half way through this tasks when I realised how eerily quiet it was. That's when I realised I hadn't seen Shadow my pet rooster all morning. He is usually the first one waiting at the door for me every morning ready to follow me faithfully about my chores. I went down to the coop and had a sinking feeling in my chest, as I got closer I peered inside and sure enough... our gentle giant was gone.
There was nothing to show how he had died so I can only assume it was his heart. At 10 months old, he still had a lot of filling out to do but he was by far the largest and most impressive of our chooks. And also my favourite. As a young chick, he was the nominated leader of his 11 siblings and when the mother hen left them at 3 weeks he immediately chose me as his new mum and it was very entertaining seeing him run eagerly across the lawn to follow me every where I went, wings flapping frantically in his effort to keep up. It was also his behaviour that made the rest of the chicks friendlier towards us as well because anything Shadow did, they followed suit. We were all very upset and saddened by his passing as he had such a gentle loving nature and was more of a peacekeeper than a fighter. He was also very talkative and chatty whenever he saw me so our flock have all become much quieter now. Twin, our black rooster has stepped up and take over his role without any problems, but Shadows passing has left a big gap to fill in the flock so now, after a bit of discussion with some fellow poultry owners I have decided to collect as many eggs as I can in the next week in the hopes that one of the broody hens will hatch them. Who knows? If they hatch there may be another Shadow in the making. Even though he is irreplaceable, hopefully having new baby chicks will bring a bit of life back to the flock.