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Thursday, October 28, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! A rather sad afternoon here at the urban farm as after having made a quick trip over to Nashville, TN. today and returning home I made a mad dash to the back yard and check the egg count from the little pullets (not so LITTLE now!). I did not notice anything amiss at first and went about gathering a record number of an exact even ONE DOZEN eggs in I think it was my second Easter basket I got as a 2-year old in the spring of 1955. I use that basket to gather eggs in now. Anyway, I digress. I gathered the eggs and started looking at every bird as I always do and found "BESSIE", one of the Ameraucana pullets I named after my own Mother, with an issue. I named her BESSIE because as I have mentioned in these rantings before that when the pullet was only 4-weeks old she fell victim to a gene defect and her beak became crossed almost overnight literally, and has gotten steadily worse and worse all the time.
Again, digressing with the name thing...My Mother had an accident when she was "expecting a new baby" (yes, THIS very Garden Daddy) and in the long term suffered a life altering and life long handicap with an artificial right leg. But the pullet Bessie has gotten worse and not eating and drinking as well as she was & I knew it was not going to be long till I would indeed have to put her down. Today, I noticed blood dripping from her top, long and very curled under beak and she was acting very-very withdrawn with her head down. I have noticed all along that the other birds often pick at her crossed beak, as when she has food sticking out of her mouth or bits and pieces of food stuck on it where she is unable to adequately clean it off as the others do. I imagine that the other pullets probably were pecking at her beak, damaging the inside of her mouth and now with blood dripping out of her mouth and down her beak they were almost mauling her to get to the blood.
I knew what must be done. I will not go into details but with sad goodbyes, sad hearts and solemn words, I did the deed and she rest now in the urban farm garden site in one corner. She will go back to the earth and feed the next years' garden site and I will know she lives on in that and is not suffering now or hungry.
It has already been suggested I replace her but I think that will not happen. I have plenty with the remaining 18-pullets and will just make it fine. "Bessie" had not started laying and I predicted long ago that due to being smaller and probably somewhat deficient in egg-making sustenance, I was really keeping her as a pet and that is not wise urban farming for this or any operation and just postponing the obvious need of eliminating her from the flock. Not sounding rough but just facing the honest truth of what our domesticated gifts from the Creator are for. I love my pets, my chickens, my little Max-dog...but facts are facts and I did what I had to do. But one must deal with "livestock" as such. If it was a 20-year old pet dog I can understand feeling like my best friend just passed away. But in this case I was just showing true compassion for a suffering member of this urban farmstead and took care of the problem.
So on this less than productive (other than eggs) day, THIS Garden Daddy leaves you with our gardening and urban farming affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE (DOZEN) EGG AT A TIME!"


  1. And you didn't eat it? Your mother and Colonel Sanders are spinning in their respective graves!

  2. That is so sad. I had to face death by raccoon and found my Chessie dead in the nest where they all sleep. My blog has 8 posts of trials with raccoons, but your story was sadder. I could not have eaten her. Eating my pet rooster that viciously attacked me when I was a child was sweet revenge (also on my blog), but a poor little hen, probably too scrawny to eat and having your mother's name could not be food. I feel bad now because I threw my pet hen in a box in the garbage. Pity the garbage men.

  3. killed your...mother?

    Paging Dr. Freud...Dr. Freud...come to emergency...Dr. Freud.

  4. I'm so sorry. I know I'm still sad when I think about the death of my beautiful rooster via hawk.