A White Peachick and an Old Grey Sheep

both have died on either end of the life spectrum when life is vulnerable.

Here is our little white peachick from August 25,

August 29,

and September 8.

Two days ago, I had moved the hay loft chicks out of the weasel-proof pen.  And then I moved this pea hen and chick in there.  I had been worrying about this chick because the hen kept getting agitated in the rabbit hutch and stepping on the chick.  I had worried several times that its leg had been broken.  Once I had moved them to the weasel proof pen though, I was no longer concerned.  There was plenty of space, and it was secure against predators.  I was worrying about the hay loft chicks being loose in the barn and predators. So at nightfall I went to the barn to check on them.  Some were roosting and others weren’t, but it seemed like they were figuring it out.  I failed to check on this peachick though as I assumed it was fine.

Then at work yesterday morning, Tom texted me that the chick had been caught in the feeder and wasn’t looking good.  It had apparently been there awhile and was gasping for air.  He tried to syringe feed it some sugar water, but it died.  So I am devastated.  I had really want to watch this white peachick grow up and see what it would become.  And now I appreciate that if only I had checked on it that evening, I might have realized what was happening and saved it.  And it suffered a long time, struggling to get out to the feeder.  We have raised many chicks in this pen with this feeder and never had a problem.  But that is what confidence gives you on a farm, tragedy.  So I am upset.

Then today when I got home from work, I found our 15 year old black katmoget Shetland ewe Jewel dead.  Here are photos of her from over the years.

Just born in April 2007 to our sheep Jocko and Jenny.

In May 2007, showing her black katmoget color and markings. Our friends John Park and Tina Thomsen-Park had then purchased her for their flock.

Her gorgeous 2008 fleece for John and Tina.

In 2010 we traded my Pixie Dust (who they then named Vanessa) for Jewel so she came back to our farm and continued to produce lovely wool.

Lock from March 2012

March 2013 shearing

Waiting to be sheared March 2015

Yarn made from her fleece in 2017

Being sheared in March 2018

Experiencing bloat September 2019

Being sheared March 2020

After I sheared her May 2021. She had become blind and somewhat thin by this point. The spoiling had already begun.

Over the last couple of days she was moving slower and eating less.  And now she is gone.

So I have lost two of my beloved creatures over the last 2 days, and I am upset.  I had high hopes for the little peachick becoming a gorgeous white peahen or spectacular white peacock.  And those dreams are dash.  Plus the chick suffered due to my incompetence.  I had always had a fear that this chick would not make it just because it as so vulnerable and unique. So you would have thought I would have looked out for it better.  And I always question how well I handle the animals at the end of their lives, if I should have intervened with death a little sooner.  That is farming, but it can be so sad.  RIP little peachick and Jewel.  I am sorry.

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4 Responses to A White Peachick and an Old Grey Sheep

  1. Jeanne says:

    Donna, I’m so very sorry about your loss! I have an idea how you feel. I know you are heartbroken. Please write if you want a shoulder to cry on. I check my email daily.

  2. Denise says:

    what a hard day. so sorry for the loss of both Jewel and your tiny peachick.

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