Saturday, December 12, 2009

Damn it to hell

We lost another hen, Penny, to death tonight. I am sad.

These hens have been our friends, day in, day out. They "got it". Since this spring we have lost 5 out of our 6 hens. We have one left tonight. I can only surmise that the cross breeding stinks, Buff Sex Links. We have raised many flocks of hens and this flock has had issue after issue this year. Except for one, which was taken by a predator, the rest have just died across the summer/fall. Our coop is cleaner than you can imagine, the feed is clean and we change out the water daily. If I weren't so bloody conscientious, I'd blame myself.

I knew Penny wasn't well this past week, slowly seemed to be going down, just like the others did. Quietly, gracefully. We have had a nasty cold snap, like much of the nation, this week, so I have kept our last two hens in the coop this week. I checked on them this evening only to find Penny on death's door. I picked her up and held her for the longest time. I put my face to hers and loved her. Knowing she was dying, I decided to bring her to the house for the night. Why? I guess she just deserved that extra measure of care. I got a box, filled it with straw, went back down to fetch her (all within 5 minutes) and she had passed away. Gone.

Death sucks. I've seen too much of it these past few years and I am tired of the training.

Tomorrow will come. Tonight I am sad.


  1. I'm sorry. I know how you feel. It sucks. It's tough to lose friends, feathered, furry or otherwise.

    We lost one of the last two girls we have a couple weeks ago from "something" and now Carmella is missing.

  2. Oh, Nancy. I'm so very sorry. Be gentle with yourself. :o(

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your Penny. I lost a few this summer from our new flock, before they even started laying. It certainly does stink.

    On the upside, watch Craigslist. I've seen a few people offering very young hens (point of lay or just started laying) inexpensively.

  4. I'm sorry to read about Penny. What a hard thing to have happen.

  5. Oh Nancy! I am so sorry you lost Penny. I wonder what's in their genetics that makes them so fragile. Is there a viral poultry thing going around? Be kind to yourself. There's nothing you did wrong. It's life and at times it just sucks eggs!