To live a life surround by animals means that every life touches you in some way, and every death leaves a little hole. Some holes are so big they threaten to swallow you up and close you down for good. Other holes are smaller, a sad sting that you let yourself feel, breath deep, and then move on from.
When I came home from work on Friday evening, my husband let me know that he had found one of our hens dead during morning chores. Bean. I felt some guilt over this as we had noticed she wasn’t herself the other night. Admittedly, I’ve been less connected with the chickens lately as the goats take up so much of our time and care. More guilt.
Bean’s passing marked the end of an era for us. She was the last of our original 6 “city” hens that really got us on the road to our homesteading journey. Bean was never a great layer, but she was an intelligent and regal hen. She stood above all the other hens in the pecking order and helped to keep the peace, never allowing a rooster to fully dominate her, while still allowing him to maintain his dignity.
In the grand scheme of things, where death can come so hard on a farm, I am glad she was able to pass peacefully and manage to retain her dignity to the end. Farewell Bean.