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The Death of King Percy June 15, 2009

Posted by Laura in Farm.
6 comments

When we moved to our little glimpse of heaven 4 1/2 years ago, we were delighted to see it came stocked with a horse, a few ducks, and a small flock of chickens.  Among those chickens was the undisputed king of the henhouse, a Jersey Giant cross we named Percy.  Here is a picture of him taken a few years ago.

regalpercy8-22-06

Percy has weathered a lot- he’s protected the womenfolk, he’s intimidated the young upstarts into submission, and he’s been a good-natured fella.  The ladies swooned when he strutted by.  He would often find a particularly good treat while foraging and call “his girls” over and offer it to them.  While they enjoyed the tidbit, he would stand watch over them and keep the peace.

A week and a half ago, an odd thing began to happen.  Percy was being pecked and chased by Guido, the smaller but annoying guinea who adopted us a few years ago.  I saw the pursuit across the yard several times and would find Percy hiding in the bushes, cowering while Guido “sucker-pecked” him.  I broke it up, but that didn’t last.  Percy began limping.

A few days later, not only was Guido the Unwanted Guinea attacking him, guinea-2006-12-18

but also little Nappie (short for Napolean).  He is a Mille Fleur bantam, just a bit larger than a dove.

napolean10-10-07

I would say they were “double-teaming” poor Percy, but the two weren’t actually on the same team.  They were just both exploiting this new weakness simultaneously.  For several days, the king spent most of his time lying down in the same spot in the yard, keeping an eye out for assassination attempts but getting up to eat very little.  At the end of the week, I put him into a chicken tractor with a few benign Buff Orpingtons to recuperate and keep him safe.

The first 2 days, it seemed like he was improving.  The third day, not so much.  The fourth day, Joe and Benjamin went down to move the tractors and feed the chickens.  Percy was mobile for the move, but breathed his last while eating some scratch grains and died peacefully.  All in all, the most a rooster could hope for!

We don’t get overly attached to most of our chickens, but Percy was the oldest resident of the farm, a regal presence in the yard, and kind of an icon.  Things don’t seem quite right without him.  He will be missed.

Pretty, Pretty Prince? June 7, 2009

Posted by Laura in Family.
5 comments

Benjamin and Rachel are really good at entertaining and watching over Lydia and Timothy when I have to leave the room or finish a chore.  Yesterday, I left Rachel in charge for about 5 minutes.  When I returned, this is what I found.

PrettyPrinceI6-7-09

PrettyPrinceII6-7-09

One of Rachel’s favorite games is Pretty, Pretty Princess.  The object of the game is to collect all of your matching pieces of jewelry so you can go to the ball.  Joe ROCKS at this game 🙂 !  Apparently, Timothy is a chip off the old block.

(We’ll be saving this picture to show at his rehearsal dinner).