Wednesday 20 January 2010

As Dignified in Death........

Having dinner with Fudge.

As dignified in death as she was in life our beautiful Big Lovely died in her sleep last night.

After breakfast, of which she ate only a little, she wandered a bit with the others and then quietly took herself back to the nest.  The others came, laid their eggs in the other nesting boxes and left.  She remained watching and sometimes sleeping, the others acknowledged her as they entered and left the henhouse but left her in peace. 

When I checked for eggs in the early afternoon she was sat drifting in and out of sleep and 'spoke' to me in her gentle clucking way.  It was obvious she did not want to be disturbed.  But I checked her over for any signs of a problem I could have helped with.  There was nothing physically wrong with her, so I padded out her chosen nest box with more straw and placed her back.

She was still there at chicken bed time, watching the others as they jostled for their rightful places on the perches, contented in her chosen place.  I knew in my heart that it would be the last time I would see those inquisitive little beady chicken eyes open......but I hoped I was wrong.

This morning she was in exactly the same postion, looking as big and lovely in death as she had in life.  The only way you could tell she was dead was that her eyes were shut.  The most dignified death for the most dignified of my girls.

People who don't keep chickens may not 'get' this post.  But to me each and every one of 'my girls' are their own characters, they form part of our family and each one is respected for their place in the family.  We give the hens love, respect, food and warmth, they give us eggs, manure for the veggie patches and hours of fun with their antics. It's a good swap.

Life is precious, whatever that life, I know I'm an old softy, but what the heck I loved that bird.

Looking for worms with Jemima.

RIP Big Lovely.

Sue xx


  1. All Gods' creatures big and small....and lovingly yours. x

  2. I think somehow they are the most likeable and affectionate of all the farm animals, so it's easy to understand how you feel. Sorry she's gone Sue.

  3. I completely understand your post and I'm so sorry about your beloved hen. One of my chickens went in much the same way. She just sat in the same position for one day and then died. Chickens are much more intelligent than people give them credit. My neighbour had a bantam that was so clever she responded to her name. I love them and would recommend them as pets to anyone.

  4. Sue I'm the same, so I completely agree with you, to me there's nothing worse than one of my girls getting poorly, at least she had a wonderful life.

    lynn xx

  5. Hi Sue
    Sorry to hear about your little chicken...I don't keep chickens ( I really want to) but I do get this post. All creatures on this earth should be loved and respected no matter how small or large they are.....and it's wonderful to see how you care for your animals...
    Julie x

  6. Sorry to read about the sad loss of your lovely hen...

  7. Oh Sue, so sorry to hear your sad news....have tear's running down my face after reading your post. R.I.P Big Lovely. Sue x

  8. I think it is sad that more people do not keep chickens anymore. They are smart, loyal and funny, and they provide fresh eggs which are the yummiest.

    RIP Big Lovely !!!
    XOXOX Sue!!

  9. Oh Bless Big Lovely, sorry to read your sad news. What a great life she had with you though, good feathered friends, a comfy house, lots of space to roam and such lovely, kindly humans that cared for her.
    Love and hugs
    Sarah x

  10. that is very sad but I'm glad for you & her that she went like that quickly & not an illness. I love my girls & the company they give me in the garden - the way they come running when they hear you is sweet ( Ok I know it is cupboard love ! )


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