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The Death of King Percy June 15, 2009

Posted by Laura in Farm.

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.


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.


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.



1. Beck - June 15, 2009

Oh, how I hate to hear that. I remember coming up to see you’ll right after you’ll moved to the farm. Very early the next morning, Benjamin came in and crawled into the bed with me. About daybreak, Percy crowed and Benjamin asked what it was. I told him it was just the rooster crowing and asked Benjamin if he knew what the rooster was saying. He said “Cock a doodle do.” and I said “No, that’s just rooster talk for ‘Get up, sleepy head'”. Benjamin got such a laugh out of that.

I will really miss him. I know you’ll will too.

2. Marci - June 15, 2009

We had a rooster that was with us a long time. He had some special things he did. We really missed him when he died as well.

3. Dreamer - June 17, 2009

Percy is a beautiful bird. I guess he just got old and was unable to fend Guido off. I’ll bet Guido would try such antics from time to time and as long as Percy was fit and healthy, that’d be the end of it. But as Percy got older, Guido finally got his licks in. It’s nice that he went peacefully and you kept Guido away. I wish I had a Percy. Instead, I have a useless cat, Smoky. Useless, but we love him anyway!

4. Grams - June 24, 2009

I’m sorry to hear about Percy’s demise.
He surely had a good and loving home, though!

5. Kevin - July 4, 2009

I don’t think of birds as having much of a “cool” factor, but Percy had about as much as is possible for birdkind. R.I.P. Percy. Who’s going to be the new cock of the walk?

6. Sheryl - July 12, 2009

Aw. I’m sorry about Percy. I can see why he was an icon. He was the last of the farm critters that were there when you got there.

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