A shock – Speckles has gone

Speckles was our oldest girl and we knew that the day would come when we would lose her. What we didn’t expect was for it to be now.

What I would have expected was a gradual slow down. Speckles was still eating well and enjoying the treats. She was always the first to the lunch time apple every day. She was still full of life and was always chatty. She was our most vocal girl.

I could see her age in her eyes though. She still had a red comb but her eyes had become very narrow.

Last night I went out to give the girls their bedtime corn at half past five. I always give it at about an hour before the pop hole closes which at the moment is at half past six.

I rattled the corn and Speckles came running as usual. After the corn the three bigger girls always go in the chicken shed first followed by Spangle. Spangle has worked out that it’s easier to go in before Smoke who will block the pop hole for a while.

Shadow, Sugar and Salmon are always the last in. Since I have stopped leaving the shed door ajar all the girls have been in before the pop hole closes every night.

I closed our bedroom curtains as I always do before going out to the chickens. I was surprised to see the white shapes of the little girls running back and forth across the edge of the patio area and knew that they must be shut out.

I went out and as soon as I got to the gate I could see why they were out. Speckles was lying, dead, in the middle of the patio area. I think that Salmon, Shadow and Sugar hadn’t wanted to pass her.

I felt her and her breast was still slightly warm. It had been less than hour since I had left the girls. It was such a shock.

My husband took her from me and put her in the shed until morning as it was quite dark by now. Shadow first and then Sugar jumped on to my back and I got my husband to pass them to me so that I could perch them. Salmon by then had made her way to the open shed door so I picked her up and put her on the perch.

I inspected Speckles and there was no sign of anything untoward and her crop was full. I think she would have been on her way in to the chicken shed and just didn’t make it. It must have been quick.

My husband said that it was the best chicken death you could want as their was no decline and no decision needed but the quickness of it has left me reeling. I am just stunned and I didn’t have any time to get used the idea of her going.

I can’t believe that Speckles has gone just a week after Marmite. This morning my husband dug a deep hole in the chicken’s strip to bury her and I planted a big primula on top of her. My husband made a wooden cross to mark her spot. Sadly Speckles is number seven in the chicken’s strip.

Speckles a week ago

I took this photo a week ago to show how pale Marmite’s comb was. Even our elderly Speckles had a red comb. You can see her age in her eyes though.

Both my husband and myself had noticed her eyes over the last couple of days had narrowed a bit more and had a far away look to them.

I took a photo for my record and wasn’t sure if I should put it here or not. I decided that as it is blurred I would because I feel it shows how I found her and how sudden it was.

Poor Speckles
Speckle’s resting Place

I will do a tribute to Speckles over the next day or two. I have many years of photos to look back through so it will take me quite some time but I want to do her justice.

Speckles was a very special girl and will be very much missed.

This entry was posted in Chickens. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A shock – Speckles has gone

  1. David says:

    So sorry, but it is the cycle of life and, despite the shock for you, Richard is right that it is the best way to go – it’s the same as with humans. Speckles’ plumage and comb were stunning and she had a lovely nature
    I’ll look forward to your tribute. X

    • Carol says:

      I recently said that I got the two youngest seramas last year because I knew that I would lose Marmite and Speckles in the future but I didn’t expect to lose them both so close together. Speckles was about eight years old. I have just been researching bantam anconas to check their expected egg laying ability and it said they have an average life span of eight years. This means she did really well and makes me feel a little better. She was beautiful and had such a lovely nature. I feel sure we will never have another girl like Speckles. I have been sifting through photos all afternoon and will do her a tribute tomorrow. It’s been hard to trim down the number. X

  2. marion says:

    She was such a beautiful girl, I remember when we were there ,I thought how vivid she stood out, her lovely black and speckled feathers shone. She did have a wonderful life. I am sure you will miss her very much. So hard to lose two girl so soon together.
    We are thinking of you.. xxx

    • Carol says:

      I already miss her chat and her lovely feathers. She was such a special girl and it has been a shock to lose two so close together. xxx

  3. Jenny says:

    Blimey, what a shock. I’m so sorry you’ve lost her so suddenly, but your husband is right – isn’t that the way we’d all like to go?

    Interestingly that’s exactly the same position I found Pepsi in. I’d only had her a few days and she had a nasty respiratory illness – she was really snotty and I assume she either suffocated or had a heart attack.

    You’ve had a rough year or so in terms of flock losses – I hope things improve from now on xx

    • Carol says:

      It was a shock to lose her so quickly and the two of them so close together but I knew they were the two vulnerable ones. I hope we will be okay again now as the other girls all seem quite robust.
      So sorry you lost your girl so quickly. xx

  4. Sophie says:

    Aw Carol, so sorry to read this! I can only echo what your husband and other readers have said that it was the best way to go with no suffering – but a total shock for you! She was the grand old dame of your flock and will be much missed xx

    • Carol says:

      She really was the Grand Dame as you say and will be so missed. As every year passed with her I became more attached to her. She always chatted to me and jumped on me and it was so special. I just can’t get used to her not being there at the moment. She was a one off for sure xx

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *