I knew this day would come.
I have dreaded it every time it has crossed my mind.
What do I do?
This blog is about exploring small scale farming.
We talk about the truth of it.
We tell it like it is.
The, wow, that is gross.
and, the sad.
This is Lola. This is one of my oldest hens. She was from our original batch of hens. Back in the day, when we only had six and it was easy. They were more manageable, and she didn't have a name. You know, before she became a diva. This is the hen that has worn me out on a daily basis. Trying to sneak the cat food. Trying to lay eggs under the horse trailer. Sneaking all the way up to the house to glean what the birds spill from the bird feeder. She never wanted to stay where I put her.
With all of her short comings, she was an exceptional layer. As a Leghorn, the national commercial breed of egg layer, she lived up to the genetics, laying an egg every day for years. Even in the worst weather, 108 degrees or 20 degrees, she still layed an egg everyday. I only own two of this breed, Lola and Inez, and they were always faithful layers. I have noticed over the last couple of months that the white eggs have slowed down. This did not upset or concern me, these girls were four years old. If they were done, then they were done. I felt like they had put in their time and if retirement was what they were after, fine by me. We don't always wear our economical hat around here. Other farms phase out older hens. Here, not so much. They can still forage and once they have paid their dues, they are free to live out their lives.
I know some of you will want to know what happened, and I will try to explain it without being too graphic. You are free to use Google if you just feel like you need more information. Late yesterday afternoon, I found Lola in the chicken coop laying down. She was pretty bad at this point. She was not moving and her comb was pale pink. This is not good in chicken lingo. I picked her up and started examining her. It didn't take long to find the problem. I can sum it up with one word - prolapse. I cleaned her up, and moved her to the big barn under the fans. I didn't have the heart to kill her, so I just made her comfortable in her last moments.
This chicken is on my business card.
This chicken has a twitter account.
This chicken wore me out every day.
I will miss this chicken.