Monday, February 5, 2024

The End of an Era

 Yesterday I lost my nine-year old matriarch of the chicken flock, Sweet Pea.  

No one will ever be able to take her place.

She had been feeling her age this winter, and in fact, I wasn't sure she'd survive another winter.  But of course didn't want to consider her death, she'd live forever. 
However, much as I didn't want to admit it I could see her slow decline.  Every evening for the past couple of months she was unable to hop/fly up to the sleeping area and would wait for one of us to pick her up and put her with the rest of the girls.

This is an older photo but there's my girl third from the left.

Last evening I went out to lock up and once inside the coop lifted Sweet Pea up to the shelf.  She flapped her wings as she always did when I set her down.  Then made an odd noise and collapsed.  I thought she had lost her footing so tried to set up upright but in hindsight think she was already dead.  It happened so quickly I just held her thinking she'd revive but no.  She was gone.

Long time readers will remember:
She was always my helper girl while I cleaned up donkey doo.  Always stepping onto the manure fork to help and I'd have to shoo her away.
She knew her name and would come when called.  I'd call to alert her to a new flake of straw just thrown for the girls, for she loved digging in to retrieve the good stuff. 

 I'd call when treats were thrown so she wouldn't miss out.  And in recent years she'd be on the far side of the pasture and would come (maybe after 3 or 4 tries).
She had a distinctive voice; I always knew when she was in the area and would say hi even if she wasn't in view.
Most recently she showed Sharone who was boss, getting in his face, puffing up and flapping her wings.  He bowed to her position in the flock.

She was one of the first three chickens we got in 2015.  Little did I know then how easy it would be to love her.


  1. So sorry to hear this sad news of your gorgeous girl Sweetpea. What a fantastic age she was and I know it's no consolation at this sad time, but she went with you in her own home and had a magical life that any chicken would cherish. RIP beautiful beautiful Sweetpea. I know that you will be so very sorely missed by your mum but you have given her some truly marvellous memories. Sending lots of hugs from Cheshire to you Janet. I really do feel your pain. xx

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. It is always hard to loose a friend.
    Take Care,