Aug 112015


There is a tide and time in the lives of chickens, as there is in the lives of men and women. Many of you have watched the rise and fall of the hen population on the farm with amusement and sympathy. But things have gone south. In late spring, a Cooper’s Hawk took the third to last hen. Then the second to last fell sick and died (they were all getting old for chickens). And finally Jean broke her hip a few weeks ago (um, she’s 94), putting an end to plans for repopulation. Chickens are social animals and aren’t happy on their own. While Jean was AWOL in the hospital, I got in touch with Amber Homeniuk, poet (see her poems in the current issue) and Jean’s favourite chicken expert, who offered to rescue ours.

Here we have images and video of the last moments. Amber came prepared with a chicken carrier, also sliced grapes and chicken feed. And you can tell from the video what a gentle and reassuring animal wrangler she is.

Below the video is a collection of images Amber put together of the first moments at the other end of the exchange.

More about chickens than you ever wanted to know, right? But I’ll miss them. Surprising, sociable creatures. Nice to have around the place.



welcome, Jean's hen!

Welcome, Jean’s hen! Images by Amber Homeniuk


  8 Responses to “Out & Back: The End of Chickens”

  1. I’m so glad Amber Homeniuk was there for the rescue. Just keep that hen safe from smarty-pants raccoons!

    • Thanks, Diane! Coop’s as fortress-like as I can make it, and I periodically offer local predators a snack, cosy overnight accommodation, and a car ride to a very nice stream at Rockford. 🙂

  2. As you know, Diane, NC writers have many resources. Amber is terrific.

  3. I love this video unreasonably. I’ve watched it three times already. What a sweet, lovely soul Amber is, taking care of that nervous little chicken with such kindness. I love Amber’s voice. I hope when I have to be relocated somewhere that someone treats me half as well.

  4. Until now, all I knew of Amber and chickens was through her poems. Loved the gentle 29 seconds of hen rescue.

    • In living colour! Or spectral pallor. 😀 Thank you Barbara—surely our paths will cross in person again.

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