A second day of stifling heat today – the maximum temperature here was only 38 degrees centigrade ( just over 100 degrees Farenheit) and nowhere near the highest for the state of 45 – 46, or over 113 F. It was horrible, we all sweltered in the heat and could not get cool, the garden is scorched, the house is still hot, we have another few days of abnormally high temperatures forecast, and one of my lovely chickens died of heat exhaustion.
The chook run is covered with shade cloth, they had plenty of water, they all seemed ok early this morning when they had their daily taste of freedom, but it must just have been too much for the old girl when it warmed up this afternoon, and I found her when I went to collect the eggs at the end of the day.
I think it is Dorothea who died, but I am not sure. I shall be able to tell tomorrow by the behaviour of Delores, the little brown one, who was raised by her and who followed her everywhere. As I removed the dead chook from the run, Delores was most interested and curious, but I guess I could have imagined it. I wonder do chickens grieve? I know I shall – I cannot be quite as pragmatic as one of my good friends who says “if you have livestock – you will have dead stock.” Dorothea was one of my first chickens when I moved here nearly four years ago, and she laid the most lovely brown eggs. The chook yard shall not be quite the same without her.