Ulrich died today.
I fed him a mouse this morning. Just a little one. Smaller than many I had fed him in the past.
I called him to the fist and let him take his first few bites there. But it was morning, and I had to finish my chores before work, so I set him down on his block in his little outdoor weathering area to finish it up. I went down to the harris' cages to deal with the possum that we had trapped the night before.
I pulled the possum trap up the hill and loaded into the back of my pickup for relocation. Then I wandered back to to check on Ulrich.
He had fallen off of his perch. He lay on his side, one eye closed, the other pointed towards the sky. The mouse was lodged halfway in his mouth., it's tail end hung out.
I'd been gone maybe 15 minutes, and he was long dead.
I took the time to bury him beneath a live oak on the edge of our property before I left.
When I got home this afternoon, I went around checking on the animals like I always do. I make sure they have water, and food. When I checked on my broody hen, she gave me the mean - get away" look. But on closer inspection there was a little black peep sitting next to the hen.
This would be my first ever chicken that I didn't hatch from an incubator. It is kind of exciting - though the chicken could never replace the falcon.