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That's how long I had my beloved Dumpling before I lost her this morning.


She was an ex-batt who came to me looking somewhat shocking but blossomed into a real beauty. All it took was a little TLC and to be out of her cage.


She outlived all her ex-batt family by over a year but time eventually caught up with her and she went to bed last night and she went to sleep and didn't wake up.


She was such a special hen.






Sorry about the size of the images - software problems means I can't resize. If it doesn't work and you want to see her just PM me.





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RIP Molly - my 5/6 year old re-home hen. A beautiful gentle girl who was my son's favourite as he loved hand feeding her corn (she had a slightly blunted beak so didn't hurt him if she accidentally pecked him). She had just started a moult but seemed perfectly normal when I let them out into the outer run this morning - I think she was first through the door! When we got back from town this afternoon I found her dead - it looked as though she had just literally keeled over where she had been standing at the time. Sadly missed……. At least I know she had a good 18 months with us and our other girls. (Ironically enough I was expecting I might lose either dear old Ginger (now over 7 1/2!!!) or Bluebell, as she has lost weight and got scaly leg mite - the vet was a bit concerned by her weight loss….., so losing Molly was a bit of a shock... :( )

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PP Our darling crazy girl Liquorice passed away today. She will be greatly missed. It won't be the same looking out the window and not seeing her marching back and forth because there is a starling 3 gardens away. She was a little nutcase but we loved her all the more for it. Fly high our sweet crazy girl.
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Liberty - (black with ginger collar) ex commercial hen, black rock, respiratory infection. PTS

Lucky - (ginger) ex batt, ginger hen, unknown problem. PTS

Bjork - (black with white collar) daisy-belle, Marak's or similar. PTS

Lacy - (grey) Maran/RIR, died of worm complications.

Meep - (pheasant coloured) Columbine, unknown problem, PTS

Lady - (ginger) Warren, egg peritonitis, PTS





Moaning Myrtle - (chocolate) Peking bantam. Died of various combined ailments.

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Petrel, our dear Black Sussex died last Sunday from egg peritonitis and sour crop.


She was a particularly vocal chicken who particularly disliked the hearing the garage door opening/closing and always let us know when she should be given a treat. Petrel was 2nd in command and generally a calming influence on the rest of the flock, she loved sunbathing and was always the first to bed. For two years she was our best (and at times only) layer but she decided to give up egg laying in March. Since then she had enjoyed her retirement and making sure that our new intake of silkies and Buff Orpingtons were kept under control.


Sleep well, the garden is a quieter and emptier place since you left us.

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Lost my lovely Chocolate Wyandotte, Mary today.


She'd seemed fine yesterday but was a retired lady and hadn't laid in over a year.

I found her in the nestbox this morning on her last legs. I sat with her in the garden whilst she slipped away.

There were fireworks going off the other side of the valley last night. I hope she wasn't spooked by them... she was a very gentle, timid chicken.


RIP Mary :(

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R.I.P. Bertha my grumpy Light Sussex, she was over 9 years old and one of the first hens we had. The end of an era, she laid quite a few eggs last summer too. She was a big girls blouse who was frightened of her own shadow, would shout for hours after laying or if something upset her in a not very tuneful way. She was very unpleasant to her original coop mate and any subsequent newcomers, but she will be missed.

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Goodbye to my sweet Faverolles girl Sibel.


I had only had you since October, but you were such a lovely quiet gentle bird. You lost a lot of weight very quickly and there was nothing that could be done so I made the hard but best decision for you at the vets this morning.


I will miss your comical squarky chatter - I kissed you goodbye and hope you are already running with the other chickens up in the sky somewhere - its so sad, I will miss you and so will your friend Margory... :(

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Today we bid farewell to Feathers, who was just coming up to 3 and a half. She started life loud and nervy, always following Lottie, who we got at the same time. :(


As she got older she got calmer and was a total sweetheart. Always the first through the kitchen door to hoover up crumbs and the last to bed.


We lost Lottie to peritonitis last summer, and Feathers took charge of the coop and newbies Cecily and Gracie. She was never off colour until the start of February when she turned into Darth Vader overnight. The vet diagnosed myco as she thought the vaccine she would have had as a chick must have worn off. She was treated and recovered, and was absolutely fine until Saturday when she lost all her energy and colour.


At the vets today they thought she had been hiding an illness for a while as she had lost a lot of weight. She was so tired and weak that they said it was kinder to let her go and she was pts.


I will miss her so much. She and Lottie were such stars.

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Dear Porta our darling blacktail,


PTS on Tuesday 14th aged 3 1/2. An aggressive peritonitis meant that we had to do the kindest thing. Sorry.


You were the bottom chook for most of your life and this meant that you had an independent nature, doing your own thing and following us around like a shadow. You were a very intelligent chicken and could follow gestures that other chickens were baffled by. Never a great layer, you almost gave up laying eggs after your first moult.


You will always be remembered, sleep well.

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Goodbye to Gracie, our Bluebelle, who died on Thursday. She was only about 18 months. She had never had an off-colour day until I found her in the coop on Tuesday afternoon looking sorry for herself. I was going away with work for a few days and my parents were here to look after hens, cats and kids, so I took her to the vet who kept her in to give her anti-biotics and keep feeding her. Vet was pretty optimistic that it was an infection and they could catch it in time. Vet was still pretty happy at lunchtime on Thursday, but then phoned me an hour later to say she had just died after some kind of spasm.


She was a great chicken - eccentric and very chatty. She used to chuckle when she got her favourite foods.


We got Cecily at the same time as Gracie, and she is now on her own as we have also lost Lottie and Feathers in the last year. Cecily spends a lot of time going broody and so that combined with the fact that we just don't think we can get any more chickens at the moment means we are going to rehome her. A friend has recommended a small farm where there is a small flock of chickens and cockerels who free range in a protected area and are very well looked after. This might also give Cecily the chance to have some babies of her own, which she has always wanted.


So, here ends our chicken-keeping adventures, at least for a while. It's been lovely.

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Dear Perdix our sweet Partridge Star


Died on the operating table on Wednesday whilst having an enormous abscess removed.


You were a flighty and nervous girl that never appreciated being picked up. You were 2nd in command for a number of years and though you gave up laying in May we will remember your china white eggs always. We referred to you as our "sitting chicken" since you never missed the opportunity to take a rest and you never missed the chance for a quick sunbathe.


Poor dear, we tried our best to help you, rest in peace.

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RIP Minnie the Minx.


Dead this morning completely unexpectedly.


She was fine when I put them away last night, but was collapsed and stiff in the nest box when we let the girls out.


Will miss my beautiful, flighty little silkie/bantam cross. :'(

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Powder and Puff, our silkies, both cruelly taken by the Fox last Wednesday.


Though you were small you bossed the two Buff Orpingtons but we're always happy to snuggle up with them on a cold night. Powder, you always had a dirty head and Puff, your raspy moan will always be remembered.


We miss you dearly as do the three remaining, traumatized chooks.


We believed that you were safe, the savage fox proved us incorrect. Chicken keeping will not be the same :(


Sleep well little ones and please forgive us. RIP

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Well, having said above in this thread last year that we would rehome Cecily after her friend Gracie died, we didn't. Cecily seemed to be absolutely fine as a lone chicken and happily pottered around the garden, chatting to us gently, and made friends with one of our new kittens.


She was pts at the vet's today with peritonitis. It was diagnosed at the start of May, and the vet then said there was nothing to be done as she had an infection. However, my husband said he'd rather take her home for the weekend, so vet then gave her a shot of anti-biotics... and she was pretty much fine 24 hours later. Although she's been a bit slower than usual over the last eight weeks, she's generally been great until the end of last week she was clearly starting to suffer a lot. Vet said the fact that she lasted so long and so well was a miracle, but her abdomen was solid with infected fluid today and she was so weak it was kinder to let her go.


She was a funny thing: she spent a lot of her first 18 months going broody at the drop of a hat, and could be a terror when she was. But she was always a little star, and has been very affectionate over the past year or so. I will miss her hugely - running round the corner of the garden when we called her to give her a treat, or sunbathing next to the bench. She had a huge appetite, and loved nothing more than bits of pancake and blueberries on a Sunday morning.

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