Monday, October 1, 2012

Not Phyllis

Phyllis Penelope Broodston
A fine example of an Old English Bantam hen.
She stole my heart a few years ago at the Poultry Auction.
I won a bidding war and paid $30 for her and her six babies.
She's been one of my favorites since that day.
Comical as all heck - a brooding machine - persistent - bossy - an excellent mother - and entertaining.
Stupid chickens.
They just worm their way into your hearts if you let them - each one unique.
Phyllis with her little pin head was pretty old when I got her - she was pale looking already - a sure sign of age on a hen - and a woman for that matter.
She was no spring chicken.
She's had a few bouts of troubles - scaly mites on her legs - she lost a few toes to them.
For the past week - she's been a bit elusive. 
I figured she'd been off broody again - she is more than not.
Glenco found her in the garage just sitting on the floor a few days ago, with a swollen eye.
We brought her right in, and she seemed a bit unkempt, so we (I) gave her a bubble bath and a blow dry.
Her appetite was great - I made her oatmeal and scrambled eggs every day.
I had plans of taking her on our trip to the Appalachian Trail - I'm serious.
I was even going to make her a little backpack to keep her treats in.
Perhaps a little hiking hat - I could tell she was looking forward to the road trip.
I had resolved that she would just be a house chicken from here on in.  I had visions of watching Modern Family together while we shared bowls of popcorn. 
Photo: Poor little Phyllis....keeping her close to my heartbeat for comfort.  Her eye looks a little better but still so swollen.  She's going to the farmers market with me today.  :-)
With her appetite as strong as it was - I really didn't think I had a thing to worry about with this gal.
I even took her to the Farmer's Market yesterday - where she enjoyed Honeycrisp apples - and fresh air and sunshine.
Photo: Phyllis enjoying a Honeycrisp apple
This morning - right after my workout - Phyllis passed away.
Or at least I thought so.
I held her as she took, what I thought, was her last breath.
I laid her back in her cage - and called Glenco.
He was so shocked - as shocked as I was.
I went back in the kitchen and found Phyllis standing somewhat with her head completely bent behind her - like she was doing a back bend.
I picked her up again and held her - she was in misery - I could tell.
I knew I had to do something.
I had to Kevorkian her - assist her with her journey to the big Coop in the sky.
You know - since I've had chickens - I've done many things I never knew I was capable of doing.
You find the strength you need - when you need it.
Phyllis really is gone now.
The yard won't be the same.
Stinkin' bird.
Phyllis taught me a lot in her life and in her death - seems silly doesn't it?
I'm always looking for life lessons in the little things.
Phyllis never gave up on her dreams of hatching birds out.
She would sit on unfertilized eggs for weeks on end.
Just when I finally got her a suitor - she up and dies.
She never got to see the Appalachian Trail.
I'm not sure my friends would appreciate me bringing her now.  : -)
Let's all learn from Phyllis to never give up - make your dreams come true - life is so danged short - get out there and live it!
Today we will cook Paula Deen's Beef Stew for dinner - in Phyllis' honor -
we shall eat no chicken today.


  1. Chicken or not-it hurts to lose a pet. Phyllis gave you many years of joy. Remember the good days.

  2. I'm so happy you met this beautiful Phyllis and gave her such a caring home. Life is short. They do work their way into our hearts. Hugs!

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. We lost our entire flock to a predator a few months back and it's taken me weeks to get beyond it. They are so darn loveable!

  4. So Sorry!! Phyllis was a lucky girl to have you for her "keeper"- thanks for the wonderful photos and for sharing-hurts me every time I lose a hen as well.

    Have fun hiking!

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. Those little darling worm their way right into your heart xxxxx

  6. So sorry for your loss. She had a good home with you. Jean P.S. Honeycrisp apples are the best!

  7. I'm so sorry you lost Phyliss but I'm glad you were with her at the end.Losing a pet is never easy.

  8. aww, that breaks my hearts. so sorry to hear that. big big hugs. well thoughts are sent to you. (:

  9. Sending you many chicken sympathys.
    You write so wonderfully well about cannot feel a bit of the saddness you have shared with us all.
    Take care!

  10. Fly away, Phyllis, to the big coop where there are endless bugs and treats...and eggs to hatch. And say Hi to my girls who are there with you.

  11. Oh man! Was so looking forward to hearing her story of hiking the Appalachian Trail.... dammit, Phyllis. *shakes fist in air*

  12. I remember when you got her, and listening to the tales of her broody disappearances. Sweet Phyllis.

    You're a good person, Jayme, my dear.

  13. Sorry Jayme. Lots of lessons learned here or at least reminded we are not in charge. Hugs.

  14. Phyllis was a lucky hen. You are a very kind person.

  15. Oh, so sorry to hear about Phyllis. God speed to the big coop in the sky. Sounds like she had a good chicken life with you though Jayme.


  16. Never have I been so close to crying over a chicken. I'm sorry.

  17. So sorry about Phylllis. It's funny sometimes where our hearts find love.

  18. Good bye, dear Phyllis... and Jayme, that had to be one of the hardest things you've had to do.

  19. Awwwwwwww You gave Phyllis a good home and provided her a good live. You are a caretaker of the creatures, bless you!!

  20. I (honestly) don't know whether to laugh or to cry.


  21. Poor Phyllis. She lead a blessed life and ended it with honeycrisp. I honestly have to say that she was probably the envy of many pets, chicken and non chicken alike.
    Sorry for your loss.

  22. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry...You sure gave Phyllis a good life, which is a comfort when a pet passes. :-)

  23. Oh, dear. I don't think any of us were ready to lose Phyllis. I was looking forward to years and years of Phyllis stories. Bless your heart for doing something so difficult but out of love.

    Sending hugs.

  24. The problem with chickens is that by the time you realize they are sick,it is usually too late to do much to save them. But at least you were able to spoil her and cuddle her during her last days. I have a little black hen who is my equivalent of your Pyllis. I have no idea how old she is, but she survived a dog attack a couple of years ago, and is a fantastic mum. She is my favourite hen, and I will be heartbroken when her time comes.

    Kathy from Tasmania

  25. Oh, Jayme.
    You did the right thing for Phyllis.
    I'm so sorry she didn't get to hike the AT with you.
    Darn chickens. They wrap themselves around our hearts, then they up and die.

  26. Jayme,
    They capture our hearts, these foolish birds, don't they? They certainly have captured the heart of my 8 year old son, he LOVES his chickens. I'm sorry to hear of Phyllis' crossing over. She will be with you in spirit on the AT. Godspeed, Phyllis. ~Vonnie

  27. From one who lives and learns from a flock of chickens, I so empathize with your pain.

    It was only in having chickens that I learned what wonderful, funny, and delightful creatures they really are.

    Big hugs from our flock to yours.


  28. I'm so sad for you Jaymee. . . stinks to lose someone you love, but how lucky Phyllis was to have a coop keeper like you . . . I'm guessing Phyllis is talking with Jinxie right about now, tellin all the other creatures up there what a good mama they had ((((Jaymee))))

  29. I have lost my beloved dogs and even a guinea pig, but never a chicken. But a pet is a pet and they touch our hearts. I enjoyed your story that was entertaining though sad. You write really well!

  30. Haven't checked in on your blog for a few weeks. Reading this just made me tearful. Jayme you are such a spirit. You take me from hilarious video moments to this. I am so sorry for your loss. The timing is interesting, that I would read this. I was walking around my new outbuilding (that dear husband finally built this summer)and thinking how fun it would be to have a hen or two. Your post has brought me to reality that these adorable hens are just like our pets (I have 3 furies already) and how hard it must have been to loose her. Let the Appalachian Trail sooth your soul and renew your spirit. Your such a sweet gal. Take Care.

  31. Hi Jayme,
    I lost the last of my chickens to old age this year - they really do each have unique personalities (who knew?) and I miss mine, too.
    Thanks for taking such sweet care with Phyllis.

  32. I am giving my hens, especially the older ones, an extra hug tonight. Thanks for the great post.

  33. So sorry to hear about Phyllis...but so glad you both had each other for so long. You are the ultimate chicken momma! Kelly

  34. Awww. What a beautiful story. I had a pet that I love so much too. It really brings back my memories. Thanks for sharing your wonderful blog. God bless you.

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  35. Jayme, you're writings do somethin' to my heart when I stop by this little spot here....I never knew that a chicken could (or would) make me sigh a little sadness -- but your Phyllis did. Your writing is the bomb Jayme!


  36. Awwww, so sorry to hear about your loss Jayme.

    Cindy Bee

  37. Jayme,
    Just a hug from one animal lover to another. RIP Phyllis, she was better than a good egg, she was a golden egg.
    Your Friend,

  38. So sorry to hear of Phyllis' passing and pleased you are of like mind to assist in troublesome deaths. My husband thinks we are inhumane to not offer that for humans as well. You are right, everyday there are little life lessons. Even if we never step outside the house, they find their way to our doorstep. Hope Phyllis is enjoying that big chicken yard in the sky, hopefully with a little clutch of chicks under her wings!

  39. I remember that beautiful Phyllis! I am so sorry, Jayme. I've lost 3 hens this year.. for no clear reason. Dang Birds!! Love all my chickens and geese.. and I Love this post.. says it all. Missed ya! -Tammy

  40. I love the name that is my first name "Phyllis"..When I was a small child we had chickens and had them all named.. My favorite chicken died when I was 8 and her name was Betty Boop.. Such memories I had with that chicken.. Thanks for taking good care of Phyllis and she will always be a good memory.
    ta ta for now from Iowa:)

  41. I'm so sorry to learn of the loss of Phyllis. She was adorable. Like the commenter above, I'm pleased that you were of a mind to help end her suffering. Maybe made easier after the meatbirds(?). I adore my animals but feel strongly that they should not experience prolonged suffering or fear. Lord help me when it's my own Henny Penny's time. I admire you more n more each time I visit here Jayme!!!

  42. So sorry, I know how tough it is to lose a pal. Hopefully her babies will become your new pals.

  43. Has it been just 3 weeks? Seems so much longer....hurry back...we miss you....

  44. I'm having serious Coop Keeper blog withdrawals! Hope you're doing ok Jayme. Miss you!!

  45. Been going through coopkeeper withdrawal symptoms...missing your posts! Hope you are just busy enjoying life Jayme!

  46. Hope you're doing well Jayme! Miss you!

  47. Jayme? You ok? Talk to us.


  48. Hey there Miss Jayme! The month has crawled by without you, I'm hoping you have a wealth of stories to begin sharing again :)

  49. Jayme - hope life's blessings are closely trailing you & yours. Letting you know that you are being thought over at this little lovely writing spot.


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