Oh it's a poorly household today! I have my son home from school with a tummy bug, Hubby is off colour and I've not been very well all week. Now on top of that one of my old hens, Leia, is unwell too. I think she has a bad case of old age and is very droopy and down.
I can remember so clearly when we first got the hens. The original 3 were Leia, Clara and Freya and I was beside myself with excitement. I scoured all forums and websites researching and learning about chicken keeping. They arrived a few weeks after my birthday and I can't describe the love I felt for these birds, despite them being immature and frankly quite ugly. They grew into beautiful birds and despite being bred for meat, they provided us with wonderful eggs, even laying long into Winter, with just the occassional break for moulting.
Sadly, Clara was lost to the fox the following Spring and so we decided to get 2 more.
Darling and Luna lived in the rabbit run for a day or so and when we put them all in together, there was hardly a feather ruffled. Freya was the undisputed boss and all others respected her. When Luna was too upset to go to bed with the others on her first night, it was Freya who gathered her and took her in.
Here, they are all waiting to be let out for their morning's rampage. From left to right they are Luna, Darling, Freya and Leia. They are so easy to tell apart, well, for me at least :) Unfortunately we lost Darling 18months after getting her, to that darned fox again. She was old and was having breathing problems, so he only sped up what was coming, but it was hard to deal with. Luna, was injured during the fox attack, but against everything I've read she fought back and survived, despite having horrible wounds to her chest. She lived for another year.
This was how I'll always remember Luna, sunbathing in her favourite spot. Losing her hit me harder than the others, I guess because she was such a pickle in her lifetime, but a sweet and gentle soul in passing. She lay wrapped in a towel, in a warm part of the kitchen and quietly went to sleep.
Oh dear! I didn't mean this to be a sad post, not at all, so I'll finish with a couple of happy pictures :)