Last Summer, we welcomed Jeannie to the family. She belonged to a large flock of chickens and didn’t fit in well in the pecking order. We adopted her and went all out and bought her a nice chicken coop from Saltbox Designs, a studio in Ballard. She was a loner, always afraid of everything. In our yard, she was content to wander around by herself. Over the course of the Summer, her feathers slowly grew back.
As Fall came and Winter drew near, we were concerned of having her out there by herself all Winter. We bought a New Hampshire Red, Lola, to join the flock. As beginner flock owners, we didn’t know that the new bird bullied Jeannie all night long in the coop. This was the first night they spent together after a few days separated. Jeannie lost most of the feathers in her back and neck. She was terrified. It seems that she was destined to be a lonely chicken.
We built her the coop below from scrap wood and kept her isolated from Lola. We later introduced Amelia to the family.
Jeannie had her moment. She lived contently in the small coop. Her roosting bar was smaller and the coop was cozy.
The neighborhood kids walked by every morning on their way to school and named her Blueberry. She was everyone’s favorite.
A few weeks ago, Jeannie suddenly passed. A few days earlier, she appeared a little weak. After feeding her and making sure she had enough to drink, she regained her energy again. Two days later, we came out in the morning and did not hear her unique voice.
Our first chicken had passed.
Like when our cat Pepe passed, Jeannie was had a special place in our hearts. Our time with her was fairly limited but she was part of the family. Her voice will be missed. Her willingness to be held and hugged will be missed.
Jeannie, we’ll miss you. You’re now in a better place. No one will bully you anymore.
PS: My wife made the headstone where she was buried in the yard. Someone came by and left the blue wind wheel. I’m sure it’s the kids that come by each morning and named her Blueberry.