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Hope – the little hen with a big personality

Hope and Peace

Hope & Peace

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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  1. contrarywife

    I’m very new here Fiona, but I offer my condolences to you for your sweet little hen. I also hope you continue to blog as you have started a wonderful thing here.

    Blessing to you.


  2. So sorry about Hope, Fiona, I know how you love your hens. I am so pleased to see a blog entry from you again though — I’ve really missed your blog entries and I often think about you and wonder how you are getting on. I hope we’ll see more soon! And, a belated happy birthday wish from me.

  3. Oh, how sad for you Fiona, I know how you loved little Hope, I too miss my chickens, all lost to the fox. I still expect to see them running about the garden…it seems so empty now.
    However it is good to see you writing again. Huge hugs !

  4. Hugs Fiona for the loss of little Hope. Take comfort from the fact that she was loved and well cared for. I hope you are well – maybe we can meet up sometime xx

  5. Sorry about your lovely little hen. We have all experienced it and it really is hard when they have been such characters and a long time with us. But as the others say, it is so nice to read your blog again. Hopefully you will continue as I like the others, have really missed it. I wrote on your page a happy birthday message and that I missed and hoped you would do your Smallholder blog again and have just seen this. Very glad to see you writing again.

  6. Sorry about your wee hen, Fiona. Have been through that too.
    I am so happy you are writing your blog again and I hope you will continue to do so. We have all missed you so much!
    Hugs to you!

  7. Debbie Finn

    Simple connections to the animals in our lives makes us rich, love really is being rich without money. Glad to hear from you again, your blog was the very first one that I made a connection with all those years ago, hope you are good

  8. It is sad to lose her. I have lost a few over the years, mainly to a fox. I still have Sunny, a lovely Buff Orpington I snatched back from the fox when she was young. She is now 5 and looking old. I have not had an egg from her for some time but that is ok. I have had 10 chicks hatch this year and they are growing well. I cannot imagine being without chickens.

  9. Sorry to read about your loss, Fiona, but good to hear from you again.

  10. Toffeeapple

    That is such a sad post Fiona, I am so sorry that she is gone.

    It is good to see you here again though!


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