Long ago in early 2010 we acquired Happy, our disabled hen, from a lovely farmer who owned a battery hen farm. She cost us just £1, a tiny amount for a girl so full of personality.
Happy was approximately 2 years old when she came to us, supposedly at the close of her battery, commercial life. The farm has long since been renovated and modernised and we Archers were privileged to visit the amazing state of the art barn that the farmer has since invested in, housing 13,000 very happy egg laying girls. His chickens are now free to move within their barn, (a structure from Thunderbirds methinks) and to roam a vast paddock during daylight hours.
For the past 4 years Happy has been a loved member of the Archer Clan. Many of our guests have marvelled at her resilience, hobbling along behind the others or pecking a young bird in order to teach some manners. She was tough and funny. If you were gardening she was your shadow, determined to find the biggest and best worm or grub in whatever hole you had decided to dig!
Happy passed away last night. She was elderly but I'm sure the heat hastened her departure.
Close to the end we sat her in the extension to the coop, (the bungalow,) shaded from the sun, with a dish of cool water for company. With the door wide open she watched and listened to the sounds and seemed peaceful.
As I locked up the animals late last night she looked very tired, her eyes closing and as I latched her door I whispered to her to go to heaven.
I don't think she'll be disabled in heaven. I'm sure that's how it works.
If you want to read about Happy's arrival at The Larches click here and here.