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Since the heatwave at the end of July, Scary never recovered from the hottest day. Despite still looking attentive and reacting when seeing me, her appetite never returned and her comb remained flopped over. I checked her over several times, even wondered about sour crop or whether she was brooding. Sadly she passed away yesterday. So not only has the last of the original Spice Girls gone, she was also the last chicken.
It's exactly 6 years ago when I started to build the chicken run - first, the delivery of the flat pack chicken coop before the August bank holiday weekend which I temporarily put together then gloss painted inside and waterproofed the outside. I always take 3 weeks annual leave from the August bank holiday so I got on with putting the run together and by the 3rd week, the first girls arrived: Scary the Bluebelle, Posh the little Black Star and the unchallenged top hen because she pecked Scary just the once on day one to get out of her way of the food. Posh was the only one who would even jump up onto the pallet shelf and run up to me for me to pick her up. Then there was Baby the chilled out Amber Star and the athletic Ginger the Gold Star Ranger, both who came under vicious attack from Scary in the hen pecking order. I modified the chicken run and built a balcony which looked on to the patio - first it was a refuge for the two, then when Posh and Scary finally were able to fly up on to the pallet shelf (which I later built a series of perches so they could all get up there) was their fave place to eye ball the back door and where they loudly let me know they were waiting for their treats.
I learned a lot about keeping chickens from the Spice Girls - their individual personalities, their feeding and treat begging strategies, the dawn chorus (especially in summer!), hen laying behaviours and different coloured and shaped eggs, bum feather pecking, as well as keeping egg tallies and learning about different foods and nutrition. I also benefited from egg sales as well as the poop and soiled bedding for both the allotment and garden. A year later I built the second chicken run and coop from scratch using recycled materials and got the 3 White Stars: Pearl, Lesley and Liz. Sadly they have such short life spans and the loss of each one was difficult until finally only Scary remained. She's done well living on her own but after the disaster attempt to introduce the last White Star in the same run, it was for the best. And let's not forget the constant problem of rats in the run and all the challenges to deal with them. I don't ever regret keeping chickens but having rats so close to the house has been the biggest problem of all.
So I have decided to give chicken keeping a rest for now - first I need to concentrate on the garden including the fish pond and all my "green/climate change" ideas, then I will give the main chicken run a complete makeover with substantial rat proofing before contemplating on getting any more chickens in the future. Maybe bantams next time? Who knows ....
I'm so sorry to hear the news about Scary. It is indeed the end of an era - the last or the Spice Girls and the original henpal contributors. Scary has outseen so many of our other girls, she has had such a good, long innings. I bet you will miss her, and I do hope you carry on with your chicken keeping adventures at some stage in the future. When I had little Lottie visiting, she was wonderful so I can definitely see the appeal of banties especially when they are as pretty and sparkly as she is.
Alpha chick to: Dorian Grey, Pokey, Smudge and Coco
Chief servant to Marley the cat
Remembering Weeps, Rexie, Sage, Cassie, Toffee, Captain Gabby, Commander Nugget, Ronnie, Juno, Special Poetry and Reading Casper, Tigger, Tophenanall Rembrandt, Chestnut, Tiddly, Willow and Mango
Also my lost furries Charlie and Jasper
LL so sorry this is so late such sad news to hear about Scary, indeed apart from Wiggy one of the two remainng henpals.
The Pink Ladies..Audrey,Ingrid-Bergman,Georgia,Madeleline,Norma-Jean,Dora & Janice
Vorky ,Blueped,Ginger,Ninger &Linky
Sunny Clucker was ere July 12-21 2012
Sunny Clucker was ere July 6 2016 to Sept 9th 2017
Sunny Clucker is here , rehomed Aug 18th 2018/
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