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Ginger went to sleep on the evening of 27 December for the last time.

 

A very small hen, we were fortunate that she lived as long as she did, having been struck down with sour crop nearly 12 months earlier, but bravely pulled through.

 

As a youngster, Ginger was our most productive chicken, putting all her energy into egg production, and little into her own growth. Despite her small size, she was a feisty chicken, and in particular enjoyed pecking poor Jim in the head if he showed signs of getting too close to the food bowl.

 

Due to her size, Ginger did frequently lose feathers to Betty, and as a result had a bald patch at the top of her back for much of her life - which was a shame, as she was such a pretty chicken in every other respect.

 

What she lacked in size, she made up for in cunning. By far the cleverest chicken, she would often be the first to find a new way of accessing food; where Betty would fling herself headlong at the situation, often with hilarious consequences, Ginger would take a moment to consider the problem, tip her head to one side, and come up with a solution.

 

Her intelligence also extended to her desire not to be held, and combined with her nimble movements and agility it meant that picking her up was always a very challenging and exhausting exercise. Once eventually scooped up, she was never relaxed and seemed perpetually terrified despite whatever soothing entreaties we made to her.

 

She dearly loved sunbathing, and on a bright day would bask in the light and almost doze off in the warmth. Unfortunately, she struggled greatly with the concept of uneven surfaces, and so would often lay down, wing spread to soak up the warmth, only to rise moments later as she felt herself beginning to topple. This would carry on for some time, and meant that her sunbathing sessions were greatly punctuated by the constant search for a level surface.

 

Her favourite companion was Dusty, and the two would pair up and enjoy "quiet time" together. Ginger would chatter away, while Dusty emitted the occasional growl, and together the two friends would nervously explore together, watching from afar as Betty and Jim blundered around the place looking for mischief.

 

In early 2012, Ginger suddenly suffered a bout of sour crop, and seemed for all the world as though she would be heading to the nest box in the sky. Remarkably, she pulled through, and though she stopped laying and took life at a slower pace after the episode, she nonetheless spent many more happy months with us.

 

However, there was no doubt that the loss of Dusty in late summer 2012 changed the dynamic of the group. Ginger seemed to snipe at Jim more frequently and more viciously, as though taking out the loss of her friend on him.

 

In autumn 2012, Ginger underwent a full, glorious moult. Her orange feathers were gradually replaced with darker, more autumnal browns, and she even seemed to gain a bit of size. With Betty showing less interest in terrorising her, she looked magnificent - the chicken she was intended to be. However, it proved to be something of a swan-song as she frequently seemed tired, and her new, fluffy knickers were often messy to the extent that she required a weekly warm bath. Nonetheless, this ritual was something she seemed to enjoy, and in particular being dried with the warm hair dryer afterwards she was as docile and content as she had ever been.

 

In her final days she seemed easily exhausted, but retained her appetite and alertness until the last. One evening she went to bed, and didn't wake up the next day, passing peacefully.

 

The timing of her passing felt natural and that she was feeling a little tired and was ready to go. She is now with her old pal Dusty, and the two of them are no doubt wandering together, chatting in their own way and chuckling at the bold stupidity of their erstwhile companions.

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Our beautiful cockerel Sir Minky went to sleep for the last time in the garden on boxing day....He was a very special boy,loved his girls and took care of them in every way possible.....He had been slowing down for a few weeks before he died, his comb was going blue by the time evening came and he was behaving strangely towards his favourite hen Princessa......On his last morning, he came down from his tree and walked very slowly towards us,he didn't come to eat or bring the girls to the food.....As he walked away from us he looked very sad...We thought it best to leave him be..We went out and when we came back we went to look for him, he was dead near the compost bins, there was a drinker near there so we think maybe he was heading for that. :( We loved that boy so very much and miss all the noises he used to make..We miss him coming to the kitchen with his laying hens to look for treats for them. :( The garden will never be the same again. :( He is buried at the head of the plot we bury all our chickens in.....It can now be marked with the Bronze we had made of him a few years ago. :cry: He will guard our hens for as long as there is a garden here....The garden will always be his garden.

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I never look in this thread. I don't know what made me notice your name. I had a horrible feeling it would be Sir Minky :(

He was obviously very well loved, and very well lived, its so tough when they go. You'll miss him heaps, but just remember he brightened up our lives as well, there's not many that can say that. RIP Sir Minky.

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They're all gone..!!

A Siberian Husky came into the garden, and in a matter of seconds devastated two of them before my wife's eyes, and the other two are just gone... just feathers left.

 

*dog lovers look away now*

If this dog come back into my garden... I WILL shoot it, and before it gets brave enough to tackle a kid..!

People have no business keeping these dogs s pets... they are notorious and as close as you can get to having a wolf in the family.

 

That's it..! No more after this.

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Goodbye dear Pipo, our little amber who passed away on Saturday.

 

You only arrived in December but never recovered from the stroke which meant you couldn't use your left leg. We tried to nurse you back to health but the damage was too great.

 

Sweet dreams little one,

RIP.

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My brave little ex batt Agnes went to sleep last night, in a cat basket in front of the fire. Agnes was lame when she came to us last year, and towards the end of the year I had to separate her from the main flock as they were picking on her and she couldn't get away.

Unfortunately they got at her twice through the net this week, and she did not survive the second set of injuries.

RIP brave little girl.

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Sadie went to sleep under the bushes by the clubhouse this afternoon. She was one of Egg Lou's babies (aka Mercedes) and almost 5 years old. Last year the few eggs she laid were all softies. She came up the garden slower than everyone else this morning but tail up. RIP little munchkin.

DD's comment - sad but now we can get some more!

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We had Leia, the last of our hens put to sleep today and I have just buried her in the garden. An ex-battery hen, she came to stay at the end of July 2010 and apart from one infection that winter and her egg problems this last week, was so little trouble. Leia was bright and inquisitive and liked nothing more than her high perches, her dustbaths (Saturday morning, about 11am) and her freedom of the garden.

She was tolerant of the robin and sparrows who flew in to her WIR daily to share her mealworms and totally intolerant of any starlings who did the same. Whilst waiting for our appointment today, she dozed off whilst I stroked the back of her head through the cat carrier door; she did not like to be handled as such, but I'm glad I was able to do that. I know we did the right thing for her but it is hard, and we are both going to miss her so much.

Mrs P

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RiP all my stolen girls and Baby-boy my beautiful Pekin "man of the coop".....I :pray: the Red coat was swift......it is so quiet out there this morning, the surviving 12 hens and 2 quails are almost silent....the shock of finding 15 lifeless bodies in & around the chooks areas, and realising still more were missing, will stay with us for a very long time...heaven only knows how the chooks heads are this morning .....

 

A small ray of sunshine this morning in the form of my Amber Star Mo, shouting her head off in no4's garden as no3 tried (in vain!) to catch her (I feel certain a Benny Hill moment played out :wink: ).....no others came out of the shrubbery as I called them in time honoured fashion "bokbokbokbok".... They are all locked safely in their WIR for the foreseeable future :(

 

Also gone but not forgotten, slipped away on Friday morning, my lovely Drusilla.....quite a bad weekend all in all :cry:

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Scarlett, the Rhode Island Red bantam

Alice, the cuckoo Maran bantam

Ebony the German Langshan bantam

 

All fourteen weeks old. :(

We'd been anticipating your arrival since late last year and were so excited to pick you up. Two weeks was hardly enough time to make friends, but your memory will live on. Wish I could go back and make things different. :( You touched our hearts in that short time and I'll treasure the photographs of your few weeks with us. Rest in peace, babies.

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Sweet chooky dreams my little Parsley Pickle. Last of my first ex-batts died on 27th April - 2 weeks after her 3rd anniversary of freedom from the cage. I will miss your excited little noises when you found a juicy treat. Gone but not forgotten.

 

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Lost our last battery hen Bubbles last night, she was PTS by the vet, suffering from septic peritonitis. :( She had been with us for 2 wonderfull years, and was the sweetist chook you could wish to meet. She was such a character, and the biggest pig ever. The vet also told me that she had, had a broken breast bone sometime. So the poor little might must have really suffered before we got her. When we rescued her she was the worst condition, and yet lived the longest. She has left a massive hole, since secretly she was my favourite :shh: RIP sweetheart.

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Lost my Columbine (Cheech) to a fox last week. She didn't quite make it to a full year with us but was a real character :(

 

On the bright side, OH came with me today to pick up three new Legbar hybrids in her memory. Not sure how I managed to talk him into it. Now to see what colour eggs we get!

 

RIP Cheech - miss you loads x

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Dotty, I miss your little song, your pretty little face with its golden eyes peeping out of your large Poland head dress and the silky feel of your feathers. I'll always think of you waiting by the patio gate to be put to bed in the evening when the others had all gone in, or looking out at me from the shed window that time you got in there, laid an egg in an empty flower pot and got shut in. You were a very special hen indeed!

Loved you loads :D

 

Dizzy, I miss you too, you pretty little Poland baby. I never shall know exactly what happened to you when you vanished that Saturday, but I'll always hope you did not suffer. :pray:

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RIP Amelia Pond, aka Mimi. My chirpy, little clicker chicken. We had great training plans. I'll miss her following me round the garden to help de-insect the soil as I dig and her little ventures into the kitchen. She was bold but sweet.

 

She was put to sleep this morning by the vet, with a suspected tumour.

 

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On Tuesday, I had to say goodbye to my beautiful, brave, beloved Roxy.

 

In her 4 & 3/4 years, she went through most illnesses and mishaps in the 'chicken book' as my lovely vet will testify but always bounced back and led a full, happy and charmed life, there was nothing she wanted for.

 

A few weeks before our holiday she became ill and after our wonderful vet worked his magic, she was making a good recovery but sadly when we returned on Monday, she'd gone downhill again a few days before and was poorly again.

 

When the vet felt a tumour in her abdomen, it broke my heart but I knew the kindest thing would be to let her go. I cuddled her on my lap (she always loved a cuddle), told her I loved her and not to be afraid as she'd be seeing her old friends again soon and kissed her goodbye. She went very peacefully and is back home in the garden, buried alongside her friend Lola.

 

She was such a special little bundle of feathers who stole my heart and I miss her terribly.

 

Sweet dreams my little girl.

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Lost my beautiful gentle Bluebelle, Edith, last night.

I knew she was getting old and hadn't laid any eggs for 6 months but she was healthy right up until yesterday. She didn't want to get up, and when she did she refused her favourite strawberries and cucumber, she went to bed early and I wasn't really surprised to find her gone this morning.

 

She sometimes didn't seem the brightest of chickens but could always tell the difference between me approaching her for a cuddle and when I was going to give her the dreaded health check, she put up with my Black Rocks pulling her feathers (until I installed them in their own house) and never retaliated. She always crouched for me even when she had stopped laying, if I had to have a favourite it would have been Edith, she was such a wonderful character. I shall miss her loads.

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Lost Madam Dipperlot this morning. PP She was laid as if sleeping. :cry: Had been not herself for few days, but put it down to the weather. First chicken I've lost so feeling pretty blue. She had a fab life and guess at over 5 years old, she'd had a pretty good innings!

 

Rest in peace Maddie xxxxx

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We lost our dear little Poppy last week to peritonitis. She was gently put to sleep at the vets when he confirmed we could do no more for her and said she'd obviously been loved and cared for but this would be the kindest thing for her now.

 

She was such a sweet thing and would chatter away in her quiet way, being the bottom of the pecking order she couldn't usually get a word in edgeways.

 

I will miss her beautifully soft feathers and watching her enjoy the sunshine which she loved, but now she's back running around with her old friends Roxy and Lola, I miss them all.

 

Goodnight Pops, sweet dreams.

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:cry: Our poor Rosie escaped on Friday whilst a neighbour looked after her for a few days. A pile of white feathers found this morning in a nearby garden... Thanks for all the eggs, Rosie. RIP.

(Bluebelle)

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I've just had my lovely Bluebell Betty put to sleep, she was suffering from peritonitis. She was always a very nervous girlie but beautiful to look at. She was 3 1/2 and such a good layer, I thought she would go on for a long time. :(

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My little Dolly died on Friday. :cry: It had been raining and we found her under the shelter with all the other chickens at corn tea time. They were all fine and dandy and seemed not to realise that she had died in their midst. She was my very first chicken and was about 4 years old. I don't think that is old for a Silkie and I had hoped she would be around much, much longer but we could not see any signs of ill health on her little body at all - her feathers were as usual beautiful and she was very clean. It looks like she just had a heart attack. I'll miss her loads as she was just so sweet and gentle. OH has buried her under a bamboo in memory of when she went missing one night and was found sitting under the bamboo on a clutch of 11 eggs.

Here she is

th_DearDollylookingfluffy_19-05-11.jpg

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Just back from the vets where, very sadly, I had to have my Light Sussex euthanased. Mary was originally my 'Top Chook', but was very prone to broodiness and went into a steep decline after she stopped laying. She had lost a lot of weight and would no longer eat - not even mealworms would tempt her any longer. The other two were also taking their chance to have a go at her, so it was time to let the poor girl go. Sweet dreams old girl.

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