A triple blow

Jo Bar­low ex­pe­ri­enced three losses from her flock

Your Chickens - - Jo Barlow -

ex­traor­di­naire. She had been un­well for a few weeks with a tu­mour and, sadly, Ja­son found it had grown, so we agreed that it was time. Ex-bats’ bod­ies un­dergo a great deal, hav­ing to lay in­ten­sively, and tu­mours are quite com­mon, so it was with a mix­ture of grief for my darling girl and anger at a sys­tem that in­flicts such hor­rors on hens that I took her body home to be cre­mated.

All of our girls are cre­mated in a cus­tomised re­cy­cled oil drum. All re­ceive full hon­ours at burial, wrapped in a shroud with seasonal flow­ers un­der their wings – in this case it was the very fit­ting for­get-me-nots – and have grave­stones with their names on.

Our girls are our fam­ily, so when they die we grieve for them as we would hu­man fam­ily; their loss im­pacts on ev­ery as­pect of our life. But, as with tragic events, the need to fo­cus on new life, cre­ativ­ity and pos­i­tiv­ity af­ter the griev­ing process is strong. Life in­deed does go on, no mat­ter how hard it is for those of us left be­hind. It has to. We still have nine pre­cious lives depend­ing on us to en­sure they en­joy ev­ery mo­ment in the sun. *A hor­ri­ble week

When they die we grieve for them as we would hu­man fam­ily

Jo’s chicken grave­yard

Inca

Mar­got

Chick and Inca

Chick

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