Elizabeth and I check on the chickens together pretty regularly. Elizabeth likes scattering corn and watching them peck and scratch. She likes gathering eggs too.
The last couple times we noticed Smart One hasn’t been as active as usual and seemed to be feeling her age.
Smart One hatched in June 2005. That was the Spring we brought home our first hens, adult Chanteclers (Suki the buff, Satay the ill tempered Partridge, and Paprikash the tiny Partridge). That was also the Spring Anthony at Triple D was able to get four tiny Partridge Chantecler chicks for us (Wings Wings the rooster, Fly Girl, Little Girl, and Smart One).
Smart One earned her name by being canny and hard to catch, as well as being the first to learn to push through the flap of the dog door on their first coop.
We like our current flock of hens very much and appreciate their personalities. That first set of seven birds were very special though.
I am sad to see the last of those first birds gone. Nine and a half years old. She still laid once in a while. What a fine chicken.
Today all of the chickens were enjoying the sun and scratching around outside. This warmer winter has been very nice for the birds.
Smart One was hunched up in the hen house and looking very woeful. She wasn’t interested in eating though she would take some water. She had lost quite a bit of weight from just a few days earlier. She was wheezing and clearly unhappy.
It was time to help her die and we were very sad.