Mrs D-P, the black and grey hen (centre)
She seemed fine yesterday, pecking at the windfall apples, pulling out grass and lumbering after insects. She was slow in her old age, hindered by drooping front and backsides, but she was still top dog...eh, hen...around here. Mike and I calculated that she was about 9 years old, which is Methuselah in chicken terms. She hasn't laid an egg since forever, but that didn't matter.
I'm glad she was here long enough to enjoy this year's exceptional summer weather. After I take the horses out and harvest a few hedgerow fruits, I'll bury Mrs D-P next to Charles our old cockerel, down by the river. They can keep each other company. And I can visit them on shoot days.
I'll miss her but I'm not sad. Mrs Dooms-Patterson had a long, free-range life and a peaceful passing. Maybe I'll bury a few elderberries with her - she was partial to them and I would hate for her to miss out on this year's bounty.