Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Again with the rain and goodbye to an old friend

I don't know about you but I've had enough of TS Lee...

Decidedly unsunny flowers

Even the sunflowers can't help but sulk the drizzle. We went from 100* last week to October in just a few days. The little ducks continue to revel in their happiest days ever.

We'll be saying goodbye to an old friend today. One of our original hens, Pebbles, will be shuffling off her mortal coil. She's probably 8 or 9 years old and has been one of the best hens we've ever had - one of our original hens and the reason we love the bared rock breed so much.

She's been poorly for the last couple days and we think she is finally just winding down. She shows no sign of injury or disease - just a bad case of being old. What do you do in this case? Our position is to do nothing. Unless she is suffering we believe to let things just take their course. For a younger hen we'd see if there were any steps we could take. But she's a good old gal and is just done. If she was diseased or in obvious distress we would end things quickly with one swing of the axe. But we believe in The Way of Things.

We found her on the floor of the hen house this morning, in the corner. So I gently picked her up, wrapped her in a clean towel, and laid her on a bed of fresh straw in a coop by herself. When I checked her later a group of the older gals had gathered around her as if to hold vigil.

Pebbles was a good old gal and had a good long life for sure. I have a funny story about her somewhere that I need to dig up. She sure had her moments. She had a quiet dignity about her. Unlike the younger hens who flap all around or come shooting out of the hen house like they were fired from a cannon... Pebbles just moseyed around doing her chicken do..clucking and scratching at this or that.

She knew to run to me when I came out of the house - probably because I had snacks. Or if I was digging around somewhere in the yard she knew to come and "help" because surely their would be worms. And she knew that she could strut right up to me - even if the dogs were around because she knew I was her shepherd. My rod and my staff comforted her....and kept the those dogs off of her.

When I picked her up this morning she peeped open an eye to see me. I hope she knew it was me, her keeper, coming to lay her down on a soft bed and give her a safe place so she could go on to her just reward. Take care, Pebbles, and fare ye well to the land of nothing but sunshine, soft grass, and slow moving worms.

Happy Thursday everyone. If you have a good old gal in your flock, give her some special love today.

10 comments:

Vicki said...

Aw, OFG you made me cry. But I love your tribute to her.

Autumn said...

We had a "grandma" hen at my grandmother's until recently. At least she is surrounded by her chicken friends and you put her somewhere clean and dry.

Sue said...

Pebbles sounds like she had a very fine life! You done good...........

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

That's a sad story , but a nice way to tell it ..may she be in worm heaven when she wakes up :o)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks everyone. Dear old Pebbles was gone when I checked on her about noon. The Big Man buried her for me.
---------------
Oh geez, Java... sorry. I cried too.

She was a good ol' girl, Autumn.. maybe she's with your grandma hen now.

Thanks Sue, I liked that she saw me one last time.

I hope so too Ginny. There's nothing like a good old hen.

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

I appreciate the diginity you afforded a chicken. Good Karmas OFG.... and a tip of the glass...

JeffJustJeff said...

Kudos to you for not giving an old hen the soup pot as a retirement gift. Damn you for making me weepy. My Pebbles is named Marie and she's only 2 but sounds just like yours. I'll give her a big hug and a cup of mealworms in Pebbles' honor.

Hugs,
Jeff

Little Rooster Croft said...

Good gravy, here I am reading,tears in my eyes...in my office! LOL

Sounds like Pebbles had a good chickeny life!

Thanks for sharing with us...even if my co-workers have one more reason to think I am nuts! :-P

Samantha said...

Yes, we're sick of Lee, too!

It's good to sleep at the end of a long life...and the recognition given to her, as not "just a chicken".
:)

Marianne said...

Awwww..sniff, sniff. I cried every time I lost one from my first group. :o(

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