Cast and Crew

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye, Norma Jean

Last night was very sad. We rushed home only to find that Norma Jean had passed away sometime during the day. I feared that very result, but the reality was no easier to deal with than the thoughts I'd been plagued with all day.

First, we felt guilty for not having done more. I should have called in sick to work. I should have boxed her up and taken her with me. I should have done something.

Then we felt hopeless. What went wrong? Why was she sick? What happened to that healthy girl?

And, of course, all of this brought about doubt. What are we doing trying to raise chickens? If the death of one animal is this painful, how will we manage having a farm full of animals? When it comes time to slaughter our own for meat, will we be capable?

Today is New Year's Eve. 2009 is ending, and another year beckons. I can't say that I'm in the mood for celebrating or making resolutions, but one thing is clear. Norma Jean will be greatly missed.

Norma Jean was hatched on Monday, August 3rd, 2009. She arrived a few days later, boxed with her five sisters, ready to begin a happy life as a city chicken. She grew faster than her fellow Golden Campine sister, Ingrid, being the first of all six of the girls to develop a beautiful single comb. Her tail was the tallest, her strut the most pronounced. She frequently wandered far afield, searching out new grass to eat and new dirt to scratch. Like her namesake, she was undeniably beautiful and charismatic, and she died far too young. Our urban farm will not be the same without her.


  1. My condolences on the loss of your Norma Jean!

    I found you by way of your funny comment about your plastic farm on CAF--and I see we're neighbors (I'm in Seattle)! I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    I sincerely hope you're hurting a bit less today--Norma Jean had a short life, but I'm sure it was a happy one and that you did the best you could.

  2. Thank you, Sharyl. While we miss Norma Jean daily, it gets easier with time. It's always reassuring to know that an animal had a safe, happy life, which is part of what drove us to bring chickens into our lives in the first place.

    It's great to know I have another neighbor on the Internet and in the Puget Sound Region! Perhaps we'll bump into one another at a farmer's market sometime.


Shout out to the peeps.


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