Eulogy for Chucky



To our beloved Chucky.

Chucky was a handsome vibrant Barred Rock rooster hatched on Thursday, February 20, 2014. Nurtured in a bedroom closet for months, him and five ladies grew healthy and strong. We built them a new spacious coop, read lots of blogs and collected advice on how to care for them with love, and did the best we could to make our flock happy and safe at all times.

Each chicken showed their personalities at a young age, and each were named. It amazed me how easy it was too train them. When I clucked like a chicken, they would come running to see what I had for them.

Chucky was bossy and temperamental. He was named after the evil doll in the movie, for he was short and evil also. He was a natural protector for our little flock, keeping them together and warning them when danger was near. He learned to crow by mimicking our calls, after he mastered the technique, he would answer when called to let us know the location of the flock.

Chucky hated our dog Sampson barking when he played football, a guard with a water pistol had to be posted during playtime to prevent Chucky from flogging Sampson. Perhaps it hurt his ears.

Chucky also had an attitude with people. He seemed to enjoy flogging unsuspecting prey. I made the mistake of turning my back one day, and now have a scar on the back of my knee to remember him by.

When Chucky would discover food, he would call his flock so they could share the treat. He shook his head from side to side with attitude when he ate, a funny little gesture. When his hens came out of the coop looking for the flock, he would either run to them or crow in response to their calls so they wouldn't be lost. In the evenings, he gathered the flock together and guided them to the coop to roost for the night. He was humorous to watch and a great joy to have in the family.

On Saturday, July 11, 2015 after opening the coop door for the day, Chucky was noticed to be limping and barely able to move. He was looked over, no feathers seemed missing, only his left spur was damaged, folded up against his leg. Everything else on him appeared normal. We did not know what had happened to him. He allowed us to soak his leg in Epson salt and to wrap it, he had never before allowed us to touch him once he reached maturity. For the next three weeks I carried him about the yard so he could be with his hens and to keep him out of the sun. Finally he started to hop on one leg to move around more, still unable to roost, using his wing like a crutch, but noticeably improving.

Monday morning, July 27, 2015 the flock was more vocal than normal, much to my surprise and heart break, when the coop door was opened, a horrifying sight greeted me. A raccoon was laying over its murdered prey, our handsome Chucky. Using a pitch fork, the raccoon was ran out of the coop. He scaled the chicken wire covering the window, flipped over it and back through the torn screen. Is this how Chucky had been hurt weeks ago? I may never know, the torn screen was not visible from inside the coop, hard to say when it occurred. Perhaps the same raccoon returned after recovering from injuries from a prior visit to the coop. Chucky will never tell his story.

I carefully gathered Chucky in my arms and laid him to rest for the final time in the hole I dug for him in a shady opening under the trees, one of his frequent feeding areas. Chucky was clever, feisty, and resilient.

I am so sorry Chucky and hope you thought you had a great life, as we had intended. You will be greatly missed.

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