RIP Midnight Chicken

Midnight and the Girls Ranging

Lucas and Midnight/Scary

Midnight Enjoys the Leftover Kale

Yesterday we said good-bye to a favorite hen. Midnight passed away in the afternoon. She was a great hen with a lovely disposition and gentleness, and she laid gorgeous, huge brown eggs steadily for us for a year and a half. She was two or more years old when we rescued her. She seemed to have a steadying influence on the other hens. She was large and fluffy and her black feathers were soft and iridescent in the sunlight. She was Ian’s favorite of all of the girls.

Last fall, we noticed her belly was distended and so we researched online to find out what might be up with her. We found evidence to suggest that she was perhaps egg-bound, and although we did the things that were recommended to remedy it—ridiculous things like giving her a bath in warm water—nothing changed for the better. Yet, she didn’t die like the Internet said she surely would do within a few days. In fact, she lived another three months, ate heartily, grew her bottom feathers back in,  and …. then lost them again. Our theory is that she overwintered OK because she wasn’t laying, but now that spring has ramped up the hens’ egg-laying, she was egg-bound and it did her in.

Or we could be totally wrong about all of that. We’re just guessing.

Anyway, although I thought there might be great grief when I told my children about losing Midnight, they surprised me by taking it in stride. Lucas wanted to see her dead body, and then seemed to accept that she was gone. Asher was mildly interested but not upset. I’m grateful for Emily Mouse (our deceased pet), who paved the way for our experience of losing an animal. I also think that the addition of Solstice Dog to our family has given my children an understanding of what is a “proper” pet, and so the chicken seemed less important.

And while it’s quite silly to be very sad about losing our Midnight when we are a family who eats chicken three times a week, she was, nonetheless kind of a pet.

Rest in peace, Midnight. You were a great chicken.

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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