The Cottage Smallholder

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Peace is ill

Photo: Hope and Peace

Photo: Hope and Peace

Peace, the softer one of our new pair of hens is ill.

I found her this morning, feathers ruffled and looking very seedy. Peace is very sweet natured and steady. I picked her up and put her inside my jacket. She cheeped plaintively as I stroked her and carried her up the garden into the warm kitchen.

She is now in the bathroom well away from the Min Pins, wrapped in a large towel. Her temporary home is a big cardboard box with food and water. She was asleep with her head under one wing just before I left for work.

Danny sent a few updates during the day. But when I returned home this evening Peace felt so cold that I filled a hottie just from the hot tap so that she wouldn’t overheat. I wrapped it in newspaper and popped it beneath her hoping that she would settle on a warm spot. She seemed to like this.

Bantams (miniature chickens) are delicate creatures. They don’t do well if they are exposed to cold and draughts. It has been below freezing for the past few nights. If she survives tonight she has a chance but things don’t look good for our gentle and beautiful creature.

Update: I just checked her and she has sadly died. I loved this little hen. She was special.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Mandi

    No I wouldn’t eat Peace. She was a pet. However I’ve thought about your comment for some time.

    Peace clearly had something wrong with her and the frosts just brought this to a head. Her companion, Hope is fine to date.

    Even if I was starving, I wouldn’t have eaten her.

    I’d choose a chicken that looked healthy. But actually if the time came, these are all pets so the choce would be hard. If we died the Min Pins would happily eat us. We would eat the chickens before the dogs but I think that I’d prefer to eat through he freezer and larder and then curlyup a

    Road kill is a whole new ‘Kettle of fish’as my step father used to say.

    If you see the creature beore it’s killed, looking healthy but just ormously stepping into the road then yes eat this animal. Never pick up an animal and eat it from the road however tempting. I’ve seen mixy rabbits dying in the road and then hit by cars – these would be a bad idea to cook. I’ve also seensick partrigdes, pheasant and pidgeoon totter onto the road to be flattenedby passing cars.

    Just pick up the creatures that you have seen healthily alive.

  2. So sad for you. I have lost chickens in the past and always felt the bereavement strongly. As everyone says, this weather can’t help. We have a Welsummer bantam, Wendy and she roosts up in a tree in her run. She has done this for a couple of years now and refuses to go into the chicken hut. She flys up before we get to her and cannot reach as she is high up. I worry every night and do not know how she manages to cope with all this cold. She is lovely too and full of character. I have started to call her Braveheart – she is so brave to do this on such dreadfully cold winter nights.

  3. Steelkitten

    I’m so sorry to hear about Peace. It’ so surprising how hens get under your skin. I’d be howling if one of my girls died. They’re such lovable characters and have their own individual personalities.

  4. So sorry Fiona, big gentle hugs.

  5. That’s so sad.

  6. Hi I am sorry to hear about peace but it has provoked a question in me that I dearly hope you are not offended if I ask?
    Would in other circumstances a chicken keeper eat Peace?
    I know she was more a pet than live stock etc but I often see things about people who eat road kill or game and I wonder if its safe to eat animals that one is not quite sure ‘how’ or ‘what’ it died of or if its got any disease that even after cooking might not be good for humans?
    Rabbits are a big question for me …what if they had mitzi but weren’t showing the signs and you shot and ate one?? Not being a real country person I often wonder.
    And would for instance if peace had been owned by a less sentimental owner would she then be eaten?
    Is this the reason you are not eating her? Or is she/ was she the wrong type of chicken?
    I beg your forgiveness and please don’t mistake my questions as one of an uncaring individual because I am fair more interested in animals lives than i am peoples…in fact I have never met an animal that I dis liked, and quite the opposite applies to humans, in that I can probably count their number on one hand that I do like.
    Anyway sorry to hear about peaces passing and may all the others fair better in the cold whilst it lasts.

  7. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Pamela

    As you know, Peace died just a few minutes after I put the post up. She was such a gentle creature and a precious gift from good friends.

    Hi Michelle

    Now Hope has the little cockerel all to herself and seemed very chirpy this morning. Fingers crossed that she stays healthy.

    Hello City Mouse/Country House

    Yes it is sad when such a sweet creature dies. She was my favourite of the two.

    Hello Phillipa

    I think that Hope is coping well. She was always the more go ahead of the two. Beatyl, the small cockerel is looking after her.

    Hello Heidi

    I was sad that she didn’t pull round in the end. We have had sick chickens in the past and they have recovered. But that has been in summer when nature’s on their side.

    Hi nà

    Thanks for the hug. Much appreciated

    Thanks Lindsay

    Great that you have fixed the photo – it’s really lovely.

    Hi Magic Cochin

    She was playing in the snow happily on Monday. Poor little Peace.

    Hello Jackie

    Thanks for dropping by.

    We lost two lavender Pekins in the first year – I think that they might be more delicate. Wyandottes seem to be susceptible to extremes of cold too. Mrs Boss and Mrs Squeaky just go on and on and appear to be as tough as old boots (thank goodness).

    Hi Jo

    Yes as you say, if you have livestock you have dead stock. But I do find the dead end of things sad, especially if a creature dies young.

    Hope is OK. Hanging out with Beatyl and Mrs Boss. She’s always been a bit feisty!

    What a shame about your cockerel. You did the right thing.

    I do hope that all goes well with being snowed in. Fingers and toes crossed for you!

    Hi KarenO

    I hope that we did the best for Peace. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

    Hello Linda

    We’re feeling sad but we still have a happy flock and feel very blessed.

    Hello Kate(uk)

    Thanks for dropping by. Poor Peace killed by the cold.

    Hello Wendy

    Yes that’s one of the great things about blogging. Our pets, livestock and recipes are shared. When one of our creatures dies I gain enormous comfort from our virtual friends. Thank you.

    Hi Belinda

    Thank you so much for the hugs.

    Hi Pamela

    All our creatures are pets (at the moment). So we feel each loss acutely. There is always a niggling question, could we have done things differently and saved the life? But I in the end I reckon we need to try to give each animal in our care the best life and also the best death. Danny generally is in charge of burials but the ground is frozen at the moment. Peace is lying in state in the barn until the great unfreeze.

    Thank you Casalba

    Much appreciated.

    Hi Martyn

    Don’t say that February is a dreadful month. We’ve just had a pretty dire January ?. Many Happy Returns for Your Birthday, whenever it comes.
    Thanks for dropping by.

    Hello Scintilla

    I was hoping for a happy ending too. The cold certainly seems to select the fittest to survive. If she was sickly she would have been attacked by the other hens. Perhaps this is why Hope was fiercely protective of her from the word go?

    Hi Jane

    Thanks for the love and hugs. It seems crazy to mourn a chicken but we did as we loved Peace.

    Hello Toffeeapple

    Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a comment. We’ll miss gentle, sweet Peace.

  8. Toffeeapple

    Oh, I have tears falling down my cheeks now. Such a sad story.

  9. Jane aka:aromatic

    So sorry to hear your sad news. Sending you lots of love and big hugs!!
    Love Jane xxx

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