Sometime overnight on Aug. 7, a predator gained access to our chicken coop and killed all four of our remaining ladies. Needless to say, we are heartbroken. While we are intimately connected to the cycles of growth and love and loss on the farm, it really hurts to know that our whole flock was taken at once. And even though we do everything possible to keep them secure and safe, we are sometimes no match for hungry wildlife here in the city. We don’t depend on their eggs for sustenance, but they are an important part of our farm culture at the middle campus and we miss them so much.
Nichole Lupo, our School Farm Specialist, shared the news with students at Morning Meeting on Monday of this week, and there was the expected reaction of concern and sadness, followed by questions of if and/or when we will be getting more chickens. We are in talks now to determine the feasibility of overhauling the coop to ensure all access points are sufficiently sealed, and to find new and creative ways to get students involved in their care and support; if we feel good about having all of those things in place, we will consider moving forward with new chicks in the spring. We just wanted you to know about the loss of these plucky, funny beings so that you are prepared for the conversation if your middle schooler brings it up at home. Students will have the opportunity to discuss this event during advisory next week through the context of domesticated animals and what it means to care for them. Many of us love and care for many different living things, and losing those in our care is an inevitable part of life. Talking and sharing about these experiences can help ease the burden for us all. Wishing us well as we move forward with our continued farming adventures.