… because our dearest hen Bridget is gone. I was out in the garden and noticed a sudden kerfuffle amongst the girls who were all gathered round Bridget and I thought perhaps she was ill, but by the time I reached her, she was already gone :( She was well over four years old, one of our first hens, rescued from a battery farm, so she lasted well.

I realise, looking back at old photographs, that she was never a hen ‘with character’ … there are few pictures of her unlike the others, so she was a quiet hen who caused no trouble, but as the last remaining ex-batt she simply slipped into the role of chief hen when the others passed on and she did it well. There were few disputes, and even when she was old (by hen standards) and no longer laying good eggs, she had little difficulty maintaining order and her own position.

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I’ll miss her … although I’m concerned about how easily the new pecking order will be established, since she’s been top hen for some time.