Henrietta, my Big Bird Buddy

by Stephanie

Sunning with the Hubby

Sunning with the Hubby

Henrietta was a rescue. I got her at about 2 months old, she had the biggest yellow feet, so big that her back toe looked like a human thumb. She was 15lbs and the biggest chicken I've ever seen. She had huge breasts and thighs. They told me she was a Cornish broiler hen. She was really sweet and loved being around me, looking at me, and running to me.

I loved how we bonded, she was my first backyard chicken. She showed me just how much love you can share with a chicken. Her run was so funny, and everybody who met her loved her. She had a ton of personality and was very friendly and interactive. She liked my dog and was a caretaker for the ducks & chicks we rescued a few months later.

She would talk to you and imitate the sounds you made. If you said "bed time", she would make a sound that was just like that "brak, brim". She had a name for me and would make the sound whenever she saw me. At first people thought I was kidding until they saw it and heard it.

She was killed by an opossum. I blame myself because I didn't close up the house fast enough that night and she was too big to run from it. By the time we heard them scream she was gone. I hope it was fast and that she didn't suffer. I miss her and keep looking for her in the yard. She free ranged during the day with the rest of the girls and went into a secure house at night. I know it was the opossums natural tendency but I wish it hadn't happened. I learned to never delay in closing them up at night.

She was having trouble with a blocked crop and was so big that the vet told me to prepare that she may not live very long. I was hoping she would prove us all wrong. I'm scared for the other girls and have been following them around the yard and putting them away when I'm not outside. They are looking for her too, I hope they are ok going forward without her.

Henrietta, my sweet girl, you gave me so many laughs and love. I miss you a ton and hope to see you someday on the other side. I love you.

Comments for Henrietta, my Big Bird Buddy

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by: Erin

What a nice tribute to your sweet hen. She sounds really smart and funny, and I know you miss her.

Although she was not with you very long, you gave her a much better life than she would have had otherwise. Take comfort in knowing you made the last months of her life happy and wonderful.

A lovely tribute to a lovely hen.
by: Cath

Oh Stephanie, I do feel for you. I have had hens killed by predators too and I know how much it hurts and how easy it is to blame yourself.

But at the end of the day, opossums are by all accounts very accomplished predators. They lie in wait and they move very, very quickly. I have a friend whose chicken was taken from her by an opossum when she was actually out in the yard. They have some nerve.

I'm not surprised you follow your other girls round. You want to protect them. I know that feeling too. You're a good chicken mother.

Henrietta sounds like a wonderful hen. Clever, affectionate, and a real character. Think of the life she had with you as opposed to the life she would have had if you had not rescued her. What an amazing difference.

What a wonderful tribute you've written. Henrietta was lucky to have found you. You will miss her, and I hope you give yourself time to grieve for her. And then, remember all the happy times.

Thinking of you, with love.


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