Monday, January 23, 2017

Goodbye, Penny






This weekend, we said goodbye to one of our hens, Penny the Rhode Island Red. The LB went outside to feed the hens as usual and found that Penny was dead inside the "apartment" section of the coop. We realized that we hadn't actually seen her in the run part since the day before, when both hens went back into the apartment to flee a very sudden sleet-and-snow shower. Betty came out when the weather cleared, but we didn't see Penny again. Probably, she died later that day. We don't know what happened, but she had been less energetic lately. She didn't seem sick, exactly, just slower, which has been the case for both hens as their third birthday approaches. It's hard to watch them age. We all love animals and have always treated the hens as productive family pets.

I feel badly for the LB. I know the hens are very important to him. We're talking about Penny a lot and he's sad but I know he'll be okay. I've written before about the changes I've seen in the LB since we've had the hens; he took on almost all of the responsibility for their care and always made time to play with them. He has also been very careful and watchful of them when they free-range in the yard; hawks, coyotes and cats are potential threats. I think caring for the hens has made him more empathetic, in addition to the maturity and responsibility he gained. As I went through photos looking for good ones of Penny, I noticed that he's in most of them, holding Penny in his arms. Penny was much more skittish than Betty, less willing to be handled. She was difficult to photograph, always running away and hiding under bushes. She was smaller and faster than Betty, who can usually be found roosting calmly somewhere. Penny was wiry and noisy, but probably smarter than her amiable lump of a sister. She'd fly, indignantly squawking, out of everyone's arms but the LB's.

We're thinking about getting some new chicks in a few weeks, when the feed stores have them available. I'd like to get three; Betty will round out the foursome for as long as we can hang on to her. Three new girls will be a good number for us. I'm going to try to get a sex-linked breed this time, to avoid what happened with our first threesome, which became the twosome of Betty and Penny when big, scary Ginger turned out not to be a girl after all. I'm looking forward to new babies. Soon, my kitchen will be filled with the sound of peeping chicks again! I really loved having them in the house with me, even if they did kick over their water dish approximately eight times a day, and even if they did poop on the floor. I have a mop, it will be okay because...new babies!

Goodbye, Penny. We loved you very much and we will always remember our first little red hen.

30 comments:

  1. How sad to lose a friend and our animals are our friends. Hope he's able to talk about it.

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  2. oh! so sorry!!!! I remember when our first rabbit died (Midnight the first) and there is a sense of loss with this. comfort to you all!!! I hope the new hens will be perfect for your family!

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  3. Aww - I'm sorry. Those pets become so important to us, and leave a hole when they pass. Hope LB does ok. The new chicks will bring joy!

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  4. So sorry about Penny. It's nice that you are going to get some more chicks though. That will keep LB busy and finds fun in the new babies.

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  5. Oh, no...I'm so sorry to hear about Penny. I know even though your son isn't showing much emotion over Penny's death, that he's truly hurting inside. I can be that way myself a lot of times. Be extra gentle with your boy and perhaps you can start a conversation with him in the car or something. I find kids tend to open up on a car ride. Hugs to all.

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  6. I'm so sorry. I understand completely how you are all feeling. Hugs. xo

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  7. Sorry to hear of your loss. We actually lost our "Hershey", the Cuckoo Maran that laid chocolate brown eggs. A similar thing, we just found her little feathered body in the chicken house one day. I hope they both passed away without much pain. We usually get pullets, half grown hens that will lay not long after we get them. But maybe we will follow your lead and let the boys raise some chicks. We only have 2 hens left. We also lost our big huge koi in this last long freeze. Sigh. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  8. Aw, Goodbye Penny, the Little Red Hen. What a sweetie she was, with her special friend LB. So sorry and know how the loss of a loved pet affects the whole family. A good plan, after a few weeks, to introduce some new chicks.

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  9. It's so hard to lose our animals isn't it? I'll be praying for LB as he deals with this loss. I do remember you telling us how good he was with the chickens. And what a great idea to get some more. I would love to have chickens but it's just not practical here in the city.
    Blessings, Betsy

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  10. It's never easy to lose a beloved pet, no matter how long we've had them. They certainly teach us a lot about life. Bless Penny's feathery little soul. Having new chicks will be so much fun. Take care!

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  11. Oh I'm so sorry. I always love the way you write about your chickens, showing us their personality and quirks. I think getting some chicks is an excellent idea. Hope the LB is ok, I'm sure he will be. Xx

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  12. So sorry o hear about your loss, hope LB is coping OK. Always sad to lose a family pet.

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  13. awww sorry for your loss, it's always sad losing a family member,
    3 is still young for a chook though, think my oldest girl is coming into her 7th year now, she seems to be a lone survivor, others have come & gone around her, lost her daughter end of last year too. she still lays the occasional egg too! well keep us up to date with what you get, will be nice to see babies growing up, i like how your son has them for regular pets.
    thanx for sharing

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  14. So sorry you've lost Penny, it's always hard losing a pet. I'm glad she didn't seem to suffer. It will be lovely to see new chicks, I shall look forward to it. CJ xx

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  15. Hey Jennifer,
    I'm so sad to read of Penny's passing, but it sounds as if she passed peacefully. Children learn so much from having pets, I think. And this is all part of it too. I remember the devastation when Cookie the hamster died; Olly was beside himself. But he understood too. I look forward to your new brood.
    Leanne xx

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  16. Poor Penny, always sad when a pet or animal dies. Babies are something to look forward to though xx

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  17. Aww, I'm sorry to hear about Penny. I remember how sad I felt when I went to let out our 'girls' one morning only to find that Ginger had died. I'm sure the LB will understand that these things happen and will remember Penny with fondness.

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  18. Sorry to hear your sad news, it is so upsetting to lose a pet.

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  19. Ah that is sad. We were lucky and avoided the whole finding a dead hen thing by letting our first two hens aged 2 and a half roam free at a friends farm with his range of wild hens, ducks and geese. The children think of them as retired and they visited them for a while but now I don't even know if they are alive or not anymore but their focus has moved to our new ones. It could be said we were 'chickens' really. Jo x

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  20. So sorry about Penny and so sad for LB as it's hard to loose a pet. It sounds like Penny had a happy life and peaceful end. Good luck with your new babies although I'm sure you will never forget Penny.

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  21. It is sad to loose a friend, even a hen friend. I am really sorry Jennifer. x

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  22. Poor Penny. I hope LB is okay. New chicks sounds like a good idea! I can't wait to see them.

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  23. They become part of the family don't they. So sorry to hear about Penny.

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  24. I'm sorry your little red hen is not with you anymore, Jennifer. You have all taken such great care of your chickens I feel like I am learning from you how to do it right every time you share. Caring for your sadness even as you look forward to new chicks. xxxx

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  25. I'm so sorry to hear about Penny. I always enjoy seeing your yard photos with your hens roaming or being gently held by the LB, you can see that he really cares.

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  26. Aw how sad, I love hearing all about your hens but it's inevitable I suppose they won't live for ever. That's why I could never have a pet of any kind I would get too attached. She had a happy life was loved and well looked after a hen couldn't ask for more really. :) xx

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  27. I am sorry to hear about Penny. You'll have new chicks soon and I'm sure they'll be great hen friends for you and your family just like Penny was.

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  28. My sincere condolences on the passing of Penny.
    No harder life lesson can be endured then the loss of a loved animal companion. I hope and pray LB can look back upon the good memories of Penny and all she shared while she was here.

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  29. Oh dear. Poor Penny the hen. It is disconcerting tomshare the name of a deceased pet, but it is not the forst time this has happened. Who knew all those years agon when my parents named me that so many poodles, hens, and even a porcupine I was rold about, would share my name. Seriously thoughh, I am very sorry to hear of poor Penny's passing. LB made her life happy and safe, what a wonderful thing to do. X

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