Saturday, August 24, 2013

Birds have feelings too

This week we lost a chicken. Hermione had been living a happy, free range life in our orchard for over four years and died in a peaceful way. While we will miss her and her eggs, her passing is not something I was planning on writing about until a strange thing occurred in the barn.

This year we have had no shortage of either chicken or duck eggs and it has been months since we had an eggless day, until this week. The day after Hermione died no one laid an egg. Whether in shock, mourning or as a mark of respect I have no idea, but it reminded me of a sad event many years ago.

We begun keeping birds by accident when a male Muscovy duck arrived in our orchard and decided to stay. We named him Yum Yum and bought him some white lady ducks for company and began enjoying their eggs. Over the years ducks came and went, but Yum Yum and one of these white ladies, Dirty Beak, remained together. When Dirty Beak died of old age Yum Yum just gave up on life and within a week had died too. He obviously missed her and it was heartbreaking to watch. We realised then that ducks are a family and have feelings, and it seems that chickens do too.

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Hermione

15 comments:

  1. What a remarkable story and how wonderful that they have the kind of life where they can express their sentiment! I hope they get back to laying soon.

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    1. Thanks, and yes after a day off the egg production is back on track!

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  2. Loved this! They sure do have feelings. We are "owned" by two parrots and they are extremely intelligent and pick up on our feelings, too.

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  3. What a sweet story in the a week full of news about people doing awful things to each other.

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    1. Thanks Paulita, the real world can be a dark and nasty place!

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  4. yes, i noticed this too when raising hens and ducks in my French village. and about the same topic with other animals, I'll never forget the loud teary moaning of cows when their little ones were taken away form them. they would moan for days and nights. it seriously was a tear jerker

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    1. Emma, I have never heard that before. How sad!

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    2. Oh Emma, that must have been heartbreaking!

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  5. Very touching and a lovely story to share. It is so easy to become attached to these creatures who do nothing but give to us, day in and day out.

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    1. Thanks Patricia, although it has it's ups and downs, life with animals is the best!

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  6. What did you do with the body? Is there a regulation which states you have to declare livestock death? I wouldn't be surprised... :)

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    1. We have quite a pet cemetery in our orchard now Sarah, but yes, if you have a sheep or goat die there are procedures to follow!

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  7. What a beautiful post. Hermione was such an attractive gal.

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