Yesterday Betsy found a sunny place to doze. While napping, she slipped peacefully to death. As sad as I am to lose her, I was relived that she went as she did. I did expect that she would die this winter. She’d reached the venerable age of 7 1/2 years, and in the last few months had slowed down considerably. It’s rare that a hen dies of old age without horrible ailments to complicate her end. She was a lucky one.

In her day she was a feisty hen, skittering between the big girls, and telling each of my rabbits who was the boss (her!) Betsy was my favorite school visit hen. She fit in the palm of my hand. Even the smallest child felt confident meeting her. She seemed to like to travel, and didn’t mind leaving the flock at all.

Terry 2


Betsy stopped egg laying years ago, and I retired her from school visits when she turned five. She deserved her retirement.

Here is a photo of Betsy at her prime, with that classic bantam stance.



She was the last of my four small bantam White Leghorns. Snowball, Coco, Eggers and Betsy. All were delightful birds with distinct personalities. At this point, heading into winter, I have no intention to get more bantams. My coops are quite full enough. The hens are all in compatible, no drama, flocks. It won’t be the same without her, but it’s still good.


Note: I did a necropsy which showed no obvious diseases. No tumors, no bizarre fat deposits, no internal parasites. Her crop and gizzard were full and normal. She wasn’t skinny. However, stretches of her intestinal tract had stopped working. She was old. I’m glad she passed away peacefully in the sun.


  1. That is so lucky. I didn’t even know hens could just peacefully die in their sleep. There always seems to be angst and drama. So this was nice to read. My George is about 6, and she is till going strong (not on the laying front, though). She appears to still be top hen and supervises her little flock with gentleness and grace. I hope her life ends as peacefully as Betsy’s.

  2. So sorry to hear that. She had a full life and was fun to watch on cam.

  3. What a wonderful age for a hen!! I am sorry for your loss. How lovely to know that she had such a marvelous life with you at Little Pond Farm and then to just fall peacefully to sleep. I think she must have been one of the lucky ones – whatever the circumstances, they are still missed though when they go (these creatures seem to touch your hearts so much). Her age and health (as with your other hens) is a credit to your knowledge and care. You can surely take comfort in the fact that you have given Betsy a lovely life and indeed those that have past and those that are in your present care.

  4. A peaceful end for a favorite hen. If we could all go that way, it would be amazing. RIP Betsy. She’ll be missed.

  5. Sorry to hear about Betsy’s passing. She was one of my favorites, too. I loved watching her strut around just like one of the “big girls”. I don’t think she ever saw herself as a Bantam. But, it was a lovely way to go. She’ll be missed.

  6. Hate to hear it. She was a beautiful bird.

    If I could just keep my critters to go like that but nooooooooo

  7. What a peaceful and dignified ending to a very special life. My condolences. Thank you for sharing Betsy with us all these years!

  8. Hugs Terry…I am glad she did not suffer. She was lucky to live the life she did. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  9. Yes, that lil darling bantam Betsy will be missed by her multitude of fans! So lovely in life and she was blessed to pass on in such a lovely way as well. You can`t help but be happy for a life well lived, but I am sorry for your loss of a fine-feathered companion. I especially love your line` It will not be the same without her, but it is still good.`

  10. Will miss seeing her on her favorite roost. Loved the recent picture of her resting in the sun. We should all be so lucky to pass in that gentle way. Betsy was a tiny dancer that lived large!!

  11. What a blessing to have her go so peacefully. Loved her. She and Candy are sharing stories somewhere.

  12. I’ve loved watching Betsy on cam; she seemed to have adjusted to life without Buffy and Twinkdink and has had a very good life for a hen. You’ll have lots of happy memories and no regrets about how she died.

  13. Sad news … it’s comforting to know that Betsy went peacefully in her old age. I wish that for all chickens. As you said, she was one of the lucky ones. Etheldred wasn’t. :-(
    RIP to both of them, and condolences to you, Terry.

  14. She was a beautiful and very, very fortunate hen. Sorry to hear about her death.

  15. Sorry for the loss of your feathered friend, but here’s hoping we’re all so lucky as to go like Besty.

  16. So sorry about Betsy, very shocked, she was a pretty hen, with a dynamic personality — I’m going to miss her darting around in the barn area. Glad she went peacefully, RIP Betsy.

  17. So sorry to hear that Betsy passed away. I’ve so enjoyed watching her and the others on the hen cam. I was watching her yesterday and she didn’t seem herself. I saw her fall asleep at the top of the steps to the coop. The others were looking at her puzzled. I guess they sensed something was wrong. She wouldn’t move over. She was in their way. Then one pushed her aside to get in. That startled her and she ran out into the sunshine. At least she died peacefully.

  18. I am so sorry; Betsy was my favorite! What a beautiful bird, right to the last.

    But I agree, it’s good that she went the way she did. Sleeping in the sun.

    (BTW, my first pet, in the ’40s, was a creamy-white Bantam hen. I named her Banana because she was the color of the inside of a banana. Hey, i was only 5!)

  19. Oh how good that such a lovely, peaceful little hen could just fall asleep in the sun. I’ll miss seeing her, she always made me smile.

  20. Oh my! I´m sad. Everyday I watched her quietly enjoying the inside pen.
    Rest in peace, Betsy!

  21. Oh, I’m sorry! What a lovely way to go, though. I’ll miss her on the Cam. She was such a delicate little lady. I haven’t been watching lately, because I’m not on the computer when it’s daytime over there (I’m in Australia).

  22. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Betsy. She was one awesome bird!!!

  23. Terry- sad news to hear of Betsy’s passing. But so glad she went before the winter cold. Instead she was comfortable, resting in the sunshine. Not a bad way to go.

  24. Thank you for sharing. what a huge relief when there is a peaceful ending for a loved hen.So many are not as lucky. she will be missed but we can be glad for her too. the cam won’t seem the same without her though.

  25. I will definitely miss Betsy. My mother and I were just talking about her ( when the camera was getting dark for the evening my mother couldn’t tell what that fluffy ball was, she thought it was a hamster!) I still miss Buffy and Twinkydink as well. All of the “girls” past, present, and future have the best care in the best home. You are an amazing Hen mom!

  26. I’m so sorry for the loss of your lovely, very special bird, Betsy. I will miss checking on her daily. But in the end, she found a nice warm place to take a long nap. What better way to leave this earth? Smart girl.

  27. So sorry to hear about Bestsys passing. She was one of my favorites. You gave her a wonderful place to live. As you do for all of your animals. Rest in peace Betsy.

  28. What a wonderful story! Sorry for your loss but I agree…….what a great way to pass. None of my chickens have passed that peacefully ! Do you have a graveyard?

      • Terry, when I first saw your fotos of this beautyfullilest of this beauty named “Betsy”, I was really impressed! She has been the whitest, nicest, loveliest hen I`ve ever seen! I think we
        should let her go onto her parent`s (in Heaven? )in peace!

  29. So sorry to hear of Betsy passing but a great way to go! She bought much pleasure to plenty of children and us.

  30. I am glad she went peacefully. I will miss seeing her. Even though she was tiny (or because she was tiny) she stood out!

  31. RIP Betsy. Like so many have said, it was a blessed way to go. I will miss seeing her. I’m sorry for the loss of your feisty old girl.

  32. Sorry for the loss of Betsy. We have many species of hens, but, leghorns are I think unique.
    They jabber, inquisitive tis difficult when we do improvments around the hutches or coops, they are there talking away. Ours are about one and a half. Non stop, activity.

  33. I feel your loss as I too lost one of my little Leghorns yesterday. I’m glad she went so peacefully.