And Then There Were 15.....


It was 6 years ago when we decided, on a whim, we needed chickens.  And we needed them now.  No time for raising them from chicks, we wanted a flock of ladies who would start producing eggs in a relatively short period of time.  After much searching we decided to adopt half of our flock from University of Connecticut's Poultry Program and purchase the other half of our flock from a farmer who lived not too far from that campus.  The University of Connecticut had bantams and the farmer had regular barred rocks.

They were our "starter flock", the ones we learned a lot about chicken-keeping from in a very short period of time.  And until yesterday, there were only 2 ladies left from that original group of 12 - Allie and Emma.  Emma passed away yesterday shortly after we got home.  I will tell you that birds can seem ruthless at times.  If one is lame or sick, they all take the opportunity to peck at it.  So while poor Emma was passing the other girls were all over her, pecking and pecking.  We ran toward the coop and I cleared the other girls away from her as J scooped her up.  J held her as the sweet girl took her last breathe.

And now we are down to 15 Coop Girls.

Truth be told, everyday when we go in and out of the coop, we look to see if any of them have passed.  Knowing that we had 2 that were 6 years old and 2 that are 5 years old {Betty & Hattie}, you have to realize that it can happen at any time.

Emma was a sweet bantam Araucana (blue egg layer) who was great at speedily dodging all of the larger girls.  Looking much like a running back who has just received the football, she would weave in and out of them consistently, knowing her size would give them reason to pick on her. 

She was a whiz at stealing worms.  She and I had an agreement.  I would go in the garden, and if I found a worm I would yell her name.  A few seconds later I would nonchalantly walk toward the coop.  She was stationed in the back of all the girls who would line up at the fence.  As soon as I started to kneel down to give my little gift, Emma would bound to the front of the line, weaving in and out, snatch the worm out of my hand, and take off all while choking it down.  It would happen so fast that the girls on either side of her were convinced they had misplaced the worm and would search and search for it on the ground.

She was full of personality and lived a good life.  Goodbye sweet Emma, may you rest in peace.





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6 comments:

Flying VS Farm said...

It is a sad day when a beloved bird dies. I have lost 5 in the last month. several have been slow and ended up pecked in the end and several to coyotes and hawks. We are in the process of redesigning our coop to see if that helps. It breaks my heart every time it happens. I just focus on the new recruits and love on the ones still left.

Peace and love,
The Flying VS Farm

Carol Williams said...

I'm so sorry. I have several older girls too, including Nugget (This is my chicken, Nugget), who was my first incubated chicken. It's hard to say goodbye to them. They all have such distinct personalities. I am actively hunting foxes on my property, who have taken my dear Jane, Amber, two unnamed mallard moms, all of their eggs, and 20 little guinea keets. He will be stuffed and sit next to my fireplace, forced to wear a Santa hat during the holidays.

But I digress. I'm sorry for your loss.

Michele Yates said...

My condolences. She had a good life with you. Bless you.

Dining on Delicious said...

We do get attached to our girls don't we! So sorry for your loss!

daisy g said...

Awwww, that's gotta be so hard. Glad she had the best life with you and J though. God bless...

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

No easier to read about one of your girls passing, than to have it happen in my own flock. Rest in peace, Emma.