Jo Bar­low

Your Chickens - - Contents -

A triple blow

They say things come in threes. Well I cer­tainly hope so. Ear­lier this year we had to say good­bye to three of our girls in the space of a week. And it left us, and the re­main­ing flock, some­what shell-shocked and bat­tle scarred.

At the start of that ter­ri­ble week, we had 12 girls, a mix­ture of ex-bats and other spe­cial girls who had found their way to us.

One of these spe­cial girls, Lit­tle Nell, or Chick to her friends, was the first to leave us. Tiny in stature, big on char­ac­ter, Nell had only been with us a few months. Af­ter find­ing her fad­ing fast in the gar­den one evening, we brought her in­side so she would pass sur­rounded by love, but amaz­ingly the warmth of a hu­man body re­vived her. She spent the next few days be­ing cos­set­ted in the spare bed­room, be­ing al­lowed a turn around the grounds in the sunny after­noons. How­ever, it soon be­came clear she was get­ting worse, and af­ter talking to our lovely vet, Ja­son, we de­cided it was time for her to leave us. Maybe it would have been bet­ter if she had died peace­fully in the gar­den, but hind­sight is a mar­vel­lous thing.

Our next loss was find­ing Inca dead in the coop. Inca the Tinker was the pic­ture of health, al­most four and with never a sick day in her life. She was also the bossi­est lit­tle hen imag­in­able and ob­vi­ously suf­fered from Lit­tle Hen Syn­drome. So her death was a ter­ri­ble shock for us, but more so for Iona, her BFF. Hatched to­gether, they had never spent a night apart and that first night without Inca, Iona was des­per­ately calling her friend, try­ing to find her. It was piti­ful.

Then, to con­clude our sep­ti­mana hor­ri­b­lis*, we had to say good­bye to Mar­got Eg­g­bet­ter, ex-bat

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