All good things must come to an end and so, just like the witch she was named after, Esmeralda has not seen the end of 2015.
Esme was one of our first hens, so we have had her for more than five and a half years. For a long time she was our best layer and provided us with many hundreds of eggs. Like her namesake, she had blue eyes – a feature that helped me decide on her name – and was top hen for most of her years with us.
Sadly Mr Snail found her dead in the hen house a few mornings ago – there had been no illness and she had been happily pecking around eating corn and oats the day before, so it seems just to have been old-age.
Although it’s sad to lose any animal, it’s also good to know that they had a happy life and, in this case, were responsible to converting our huge slug surplus into something we could eat. And now, her final contribution is added fertility to the garden, as she’s been laid to rest in the new raised bed.
Thank you, Esme, and goodbye!