Hetty, our remaining chicken became ill yesterday morning. By yesterday evening she had passed away. Not sure what exactly was wrong with her, possibly perotinitis, possibly sour crop, possibly coccidiosis. She went downhill so fast that I was truly shocked at her death. The day before I had made a mental note to myself that her wings needed clipping as they were looking full again as she was stretching them out. She had come running out the hen house like a horse at the starting gate of a race, I had been about 20 minutes late in letting her out and she was raring to go!! How she is no longer with us is just difficult to fathom.
Hetty was such a character. Whilst the others would follow you around the garden, Hetty would make for the back door, knowing that if it were open there would be scraps on the kitchen floor for the picking. The time she investigated the rest of the downstairs and got flustered when I tried to shoo her out of the lounge! She was an escape artist extraordinaire, standing on the top of the eglu, jumping up and launching herself over the netting that was our attempt at keeping the chickens in one part of the garden (seeing a chicken flying up the garden at head height is quite a sight!!). She always had a bit of a wild look about her, feisty I think the word is! She was never happy being handled, and could give quite a vicious peck! In later years, her and Betty were inseperable, she is now laying at rest next to Betty at the bottom of the garden, in their favourite dust bathing spot.
We have decided to not have any more chickens for now, they need more space than we can happily give them (if we are wanting to use the garden too), but I have truly loved having them in the garden the last 3 years. I have loved knowing which chicken has given us the egg we are about to eat; I have loved being greeted when I open the back door; I have loved their eagerness when they see the saucepan, knowing there would be porridge; I have loved looking out of the kitchen window and watching their antics (I didn't realise how much I did this until today when I kept catching myself gazing out the window looking for chickens). An end of an era indeed, a journey I have enjoyed, and hope to repeat again at some point, but not right now. Rest in Peace Hetty (and Betty and Little). xxx