Boots. A life lived.

Posted: January 24, 2012 in Uncategorized
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When people think of beloved family pets, typically what comes to mind is the family dog, or possibly a cat, but rarely do they think of chickens. Mostly due to the fact that most people don’t get the opportunity to have them as pets, but if they had one like our beloved “Boots” that opinion would certainly have been changed.  Sadly, she has left this world and moved onto greener pastures.

We got Boots and she was already well into her senior years, past her egg-laying years for sure, although she did manage to lay one once in a while.  For those who don’t know, once mature, chickens will lay nearly daily for the first few years and then it slows down to every few days, then maybe once a week or so, to the point where they are just “used up” as I’ve heard it called. This is when we got Boots.  She was a layer, retired.  We don’t know her age since she had already had a few owners prior to us. A beautiful buff Cochin that just seemed so friendly we had to take her from “our chicken guy” when we were first looking for layers even though she was past her egg-laying prime.

boots and liza

the ever protective old mother hen

Once home, she immediately became the matriarch of our little brood of chickens, literally taking the new younger chickens under her wing for protection and warmth. Even standing up to the dogs if they got too close to the new arrivals.  She stood on the drive with the kids awaiting the school bus on the first day of school.  It would seem her brood was not limited to just chickens but also our kids.  How many chickens do you know that answer to their name? Heck we’ve had cats that wouldn’t even do that, but boots did.  Anytime you called her name, you were ensured a verbal response, and if the weather was good and she was outside she would wander slowly over to you even as her eyesight failed, she was always willing to come close and be petted.

Anyone who ever tells you that a chicken is just a dumb bird is wrong.  They have personalities, they are curious, they like to be around people and contrary to what you might think, are smart enough not to try to cross the road, regardless of what is on the other side.  As people tell us all the time when they see our chickens on the unfenced lawn near the side of the road grazing, watching the traffic but never venturing onto the busy highway out front.

Boots was a beloved pet and as strange as that may sound to all the city dwellers, our feathered friend will be missed dearly.  As James Herriot so eloquently put it… “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”

Times like these I’m often reminded of the words of the great children’s author, Dr Seuss, who put it best “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”


  1. Pam Woodall says:

    What a lovely tribute. Sounds like she will be missed.


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