Hope – the little hen with a big personalityPosted by Fiona Nevile in Chickens, Cottage tales | 25 comments
The last post that I made on the blog was about Hope – a favourite hen.
She didn’t jump in my arms when I approached. She kept her distance. She knew that she was special. There was something in the strut of that diminutive bird.
Just a few weeks ago I was estimating her age as I watched her pecking her corn.
She must have been at least six or seven years old but she was still out in the run looking superb and doing her own thing.
Once in a while she still laid a small white egg – they were the sweetest and best eggs that I’ve ever tasted.
Hens stop laying regularly after two or three years, so each tiny white egg was a special gift.
She had been a Christmas present – originally one of two. Her sister never moved a feather without checking with Hope first.
We named her sister Peace and she was a sweetheart. Sadly Peace was five short of a six pack and died in the first hard frosts of that year.
When I scooped up Peace, Hope didn’t ruffle a feather. She just kept busy in her own – a feisty little individual who was always alone from that point.
Hope just didn’t have that ‘flock’ mentality.
Although she could be maddening at times, she got under my skin and I loved her.
If you keep hens you will know that some become more special than others. Of course, as with every living being in your care you need to give them all an equal amount of attention but some divert you more than others.
A couple of weeks ago Hope didn’t come out for breakfast. When I searched the hen houses were empty.
Eventually I found her. She was lying in the run, in the mud.
Just a small heap of feathers and a body so small that I could almost hold it in my palm.
She is buried in a nest of rosemary and marjoram.
She’s gone but every time that I feed the hens I still find myself looking out for her.
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