Sad news – Ella

April 8, 2015 § Leave a comment



We lost Ella this morning. She died peacefully in her sleep, of old age. (Over eight years old, and very arthritic and tottery.)

She’d had a hard time through the previous winter – she no longer dust-bathed very well, so feather lice were a regular problem for her. We regularly used an old shaving brush and what always seemed like a pound of Diatomaceous Earth to dust her – turing her a very interesting grey colour, and doing something to deal with the lice. But it was an ongoing battle, and her moults were taking longer and longer, and she was spending more and more time just sitting in a sunny spot, not doing very much. (Until you appeared with food, in which case she became considerably more energetic.) And just the day before she died, we’d had a conversation about not making the poor old girl go through another winter. But Ella, as always, did things her way.

We were in bed still that morning when we heard a burst of what sounded like flapping. There was no accompanying squawking or cackling, so we didn’t worry about it. But when I went down to let everyone out of their houses, I found Ella dead in the Dower House. She was still warm, so we’re pretty sure what we heard were the muscle contractions that so often accompany a chook’s death.

We’ve buried Ella under a black mulberry tree in the paddock, just down from Holly. She had a good life, and a good death. I’m glad she died this way – at home, of old age, and without any illness or drama beforehand. Just popped her clogs on a sunny autumn morning. What better end could we ask for?

Dear Ella.


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