Tuesday, December 20, 2011
On Thursday, December 15, our beloved Bantam Cochin Chicken, Dumpling, passed away due to the natural processes of old age. Dumpling was approaching 17 years.
Most chickens have an average lifespan of 6-10 years—occasionally living into their teens if they are well fed and well cared for. Dumpling certainly had those advantages as an official greeter and goodwill ambassador for the World Bird Sanctuary.
Dumpling was one of our most beloved residents. For many years she was a fixture in our Visitor Information Center (VIC). Most of the time she freely roamed the VIC, greeting and entertaining guests as they entered. In particular, she was extremely patient with our small visitors—allowing them to stroke her soft feathers, and in many cases experience their first contact with a live bird.
Dumpling became so popular that she had her own following among our guests—many of whom made the VIC their first stop at the World Bird Sanctuary specifically to see her.
In recent months it had become increasingly obvious that old age was catching up with Dumpling. She was not able to move as quickly as in the past and her eyesight was failing her. This put her at risk for accidental collisions with guests while roaming through the VIC. Therefore, in May of 2011 she was retired to safer quarters in our “behind the scenes” area.