Monday, December 2, 2013

Passages: Miss Peep

Miss Peep died overnight.  She had been ailing for a few weeks.  Something attacked her -- other chickens?  Predator?  I found the coop full of black and white feathers, and Miss Peep roosting away from all the others.  After a few days it became necessary to put her in an isolation pen to make sure that Rooster didn't mount her.  I think she may have had internal injuries.  Yesterday I picked her up to nuzzle her and it was clear that something gave her pain.  Then overnight she died.

Miss Peep was the first chick ever to hatch at Busy Solitude Farm.  In fact, her arrival inspired me to begin this blog.  You will remember that first post, in September of 2007.  I was fascinated by the hen and chick relationship, so close, so instinctual.  And as I did not yet know whether she was a girl or a boy, I called her Chick Chuck!

Then the worst possible thing happened.  On October 30, just a few weeks after her chick hatched, Mama Hen was murdered.  Miss Peep was left on her own to find her way.  The first days were difficult.  The rest of the flock decided she was an outsider, and tried to oust her.  I sometimes felt I was the only being she truly trusted.

Gradually her self confidence built.  The others came to accept her.  In time, Miss Peep was at the top of the pecking order, respected by all.  But she never challenged me.  She was the tamest hen I ever had, leaning in when I scratched her ears, allowing me to stroke her feathers and nuzzle her with no hesitation.

She lived six years at Busy Solitude Farm.  I think she was happy.  We'll miss her.


2 comments:

Ramona JapaneseRedneck said...

Sorry to hear you lost her.

I made it a point not to get too attached to mine. I hated losing them and am now down to 2 hens.

I won't be getting any more until I retire.

Rose H (UK) said...

So sorry to read that you have lost your dear, sweet hen Johanna. She's had a long and lovely life with you.
Sending a {hug}
Rose H
xx