Tuesday, April 6, 2010
We've Lost a Sweetheart
When we moved here in the Fall of 1998, we anxiously awaited springtime so that we could begin a chicken yard. We handed the children the Murray McMurray catalog and let them pick whatever they wanted. One of their choices was a Golden Seabright Bantum. Little did we know that Mrs. Seabright would live to be 11 years old.
She was a feisty little thing who held her own among the standard and heavy breeds. We laughed at her when we came into the nesting house to find her perched atop a huge pile of "big" eggs, setting proudly as if to let us know that was all her work. We've watched her age through the years and have wondered these last few if each winter would be her last. As she aged, she became more and more old-lady-like in her behavior. She would perch herself in the corner of the chicken house for bed an hour or two before anyone else turned in. She also began to nap more during the day.
Monday morning Al mentioned that she just wasn't looking like herself when he fed before daylight. I came out an hour later to find her huddled on the ground. She looked up at me but when I picked her up I noticed that her body temperature was low. I carried her into the stable and placed her under a heat lamp with some water and a bit of feed. I was able to dip her beak in the water and then she tilted her own head back to swallow. She was not interested in the food. She spent the rest of the day going about her business of dying. She moved herself into a corner of the stall and became less and less aware of me. At bedtime she was still alive but barely. I was not surprised to find her tiny dead body this morning. She seems to have died peacefully in the night. I miss her already.