Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Grim Reaper

Listening to: Constellations (Jack Johnson)
Reading: Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
Weather: Rain, wind turning to the north
Watching: Spain v Northern Ireland

Bad news from the hen house; Godber is dead. I'm baffled by this one, there seems to be no reason.

Regular readers may remember that Godber was the regular escaper from the fenced-off run and she escaped once too often, being mugged by Spike and being lucky to get away alive.

Her wing was damaged and she was pretty sorry for herself for a time, but that was a few weeks ago and she seemed to have recovered. Sure, she needed a little encouragement and sometimes help to get outside, but she was eating and drinking normally and there was no obvious reason why she shouldn't carry on for a while.

She was fine this morning when I put the layer pellets and a few cabbage leaves in the shed, but when I went to check them half-an-hour ago, she was deader than the Kennedys.

I'm disappointed because I feel that, once again, I've let down an animal in my care. I can't stand hens, they give me the creeps, but that doesn't mean I don't take their welfare very seriously. (said he, sounding desperately pious).

I take some comfort from the words of a friend who runs a six-acre smallholding in Devon. She has sheep and hens and says of both: "They die, it's what they're good at."


Anonymous said...


When i was a kid I thought the Grim Reaper was the Gray Raper. I still get confused. Maybe the Gray Raper came, instead?

Z said...

It's hard not to take it personally, but your friend is right. Poor Godber, I'm sorry. xx

ziggi said...


if you have livestock then unfortunately you get deadstock

The Birdwatcher said...

Played rugby with a vet who reckoned that sheep and hens had one sole objective in life and that was to die.

elizabethm said...

Well I'd be devastated if any of my hens died - would definitely feel it was a failure of husbandry on my part.
Having said that, the friend who hatched my hens for me and who has had them for years is much more matter of fact.
I thought it was sheep who had the particular death wish?

fiwa said...

I'm sorry about Godber, but yeah, it's gonna happen. I don't think it's from anything you or the dog did, or it would have happened sooner.

My sister used to run a chicken farm where they raised fryers for a corporation. 10 houses, one thousand chickens per house. I hated, hated going on the daily walk-through with her. There were always casualties.

Daphne said...

It's not just hens and sheep - lots of creatures, especially small ones, seem to dedicate their lives to dying when you least expect it. Hamsters. Small frogs. But cats don't, do they?

Cherrypie said...

Shame about the dead hen.

On the upside, homemade chicken soup :)

PS. I've read that too.