This spring and summer has been a sad one for us in the chicken department. We've lost two of our favorite hens Enid and Eleanor. Shortly before we lost Eleanor in early April, I took a bunch of silly photos of the ladies in the backyard one afternoon. It was a nice day, so I took my knitting outside with a beer after work and set up in a comfy chair under the apple tree. The gals were so curious what I was doing, I couldn't help but snap some photos. My phone was fascinating to them and they kept getting really close and pecking at it while I just laughed. Here are some of my favorites:
We just lost Enid about two weeks ago. She was one of the hens that we inherited when we bought this house. She was an older lady, about 6 or 7 years old by my estimate. She was resilient. She had survived a fire in the coop with the previous owners. The fire took out the backyard fence, the chicken coop, and most of the chickens. All but Enid actually. She was the mother hen and the head honcho around these parts until this spring. She seemed to start to droop a bit and we tried a variety of remedies to perk her up. She would be fine for a while, then droopy for a couple of weeks. This last time was the worst, and when we picked her up, we could feel a mass under her belly. We still aren't sure if it was cancer or egg yolk peritonitis, but either way, we are glad she isn't suffering anymore. She was seriously the sweetest, gentlest chicken around.
We lost Eleanor to a bound egg inside her vent. She was fine when I left for work that day, but when I got home she was laying listless in the chicken run. She died about a half hour later. I didn't know what was wrong until after we lost her and I could finally look it up on line. So sad. She was such a sweet little lady and she was the first of our new chickens to start laying. Her eggs we large and brown, and sort of oblong in shape.
(Not all eggs look the same. Different breeds lay different looking eggs. It's cool, because we can keep an eye on who is laying and who isn't.)
So anyway, we have two chickens left, Arya and Cersi. (Yes, named by my husband, after Game of Thrones characters. They even fit the personalities too. So funny.)
We will probably get some more chickens next spring, but for now we are sticking with
just the two. It's been a tough few months for us losing Enid and Eleanor. They were really special ladies and we miss them terribly.
It's tough when you get attached to chickens. We have them merely for eggs, but it's so easy to fall in love with their personalities as well. They each so unique and often hilarious. I told Nick that I need to grow a tougher skin. With chickens, or any animal for that matter, anything can happen, but it's really hard sometimes to lose them. Chickens seem to be more susceptible to disease, predators, and all nature of things even in your backyard. It's not easy being a chicken owner, but it's totally worth it.
I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Enid.