last night, after a wonderful birthday party for a coworker, we came home to find junebug, our buff orpington, dead in our backyard. she had escaped the pen (probably flew up on a hollow tree trunk we had for shade and then flew out of the fence). otto has access to the backyard via his doggy-door and it’s most likely that he got a hold of her and shook her to death.
hens are killed (editorialization: obscenely and inhumanely) every day for the meat many buy at the grocery store, but we were not prepared for this. especially since we had recent plans to slaughter her ourselves and use her meat for some pot pie. i don’t say this to be funny or morbid, but it is quite ironic.
after the shock subsided and sadness grew to realization of how animals hunt and are prey, we said our goodbyes and buried her in our fire-pit area at 2:30 in the morning. our biggest regret is that we couldn’t honor her death with what she was intended to be: healthy and humanely-raised meat for our cooking and ingesting.
junebug was at the top of the pecking order with our hens (the three others are ladybird, jackie o and eleanor). she certainly kept us on our toes with her constant bellowing that orpingtons are known for and we will miss the way she danced and hopped around the chicken yard chasing moths and keeping the other ladies in line. we love you, juney.
the following photo, used for our 2010 valentines, paints a thousand words.