I've never had a good answer for them, until this week. Hedwig died at the age of 8.
I could see she was slowing down. I let her do as much freeranging as possible and tried to give her assess to as much sun as possible and bowls full of scratch grains. But I'd see her standing under a lawn chair staring out into space while the younger chicks hogged down her grains. Or I'd see her standing near a fence, taking in a breeze.
She couldn't make it to her usual roosting spot, so at night, I'd help her up. And that's where I found her. I imagine she went peacefully. At least, that's what I hope to believe.
Hedwig was my flock leader for 7 years, and the reason I kept my flock. She ruled it with a quiet authority, maintaining order in a nonviolet way. I was tremendously sad to find her. Not terribly surprised, because I knew. But, so very sad. I'm going to miss my girl.
It will be interesting to watch the flock sort it out this week. I believe Betty White has thrown her hat in the ring. She's roosting in Hedwig's old spot. But she isn't as calmly decisive as Hedwig, and I am not sure what the impact on the rest will be.
Anyways. In my experience, chickens can live as long as 8 is the answer to how long they live. I wish they could live longer.
|Rest in peace, my girl.|