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Princess (c. January 2012 – August 20, 2012)

August 24, 2012

When I introduced you to our seven new chickens in late May, I posted that Princess Layer

(named by Gordon) “is the most elegant looking of the rookies, and she knows it . . . she has

a strong sense of entitlement.  We’ll see how this plays out.”


When I updated you on last Monday’s post, I said that she “has emerged as the star of the

group.  Bright, pretty and personable, she is always the first to greet us in the garden.”


She didn’t greet me that morning, actually.  She was in a nesting box when I put the girls up

that evening, and still there in the morning.  Hopefully, she died peacefully.


Princess was eggbound, a condition we didn’t know about until her death.  She was unable

to pass her eggs.  A few days before, Jude found a small, misshaped egg, but we don’t know

if it was from her.


Egg binding is fairly common, although one of our neighbours who has raised chickens for

a long time said she’d never seen it in her flock.  The egg can be massaged out or broken,

with care taken to remove all the shell parts.  If not addressed, binding can cause infection

or internal tissue damage.  Or death.


We’ll be alert for this from now on.  For now, however, we’ve lost our star.  Here she is in

her full glory.  What a beauty.



  1. Chris permalink
    August 24, 2012 10:52 am

    Too bad about Princess Layer! We kept laying birds for a number of years and had a flock of 75 layers and 40 meat birds, but never once had an eggbound hen. I wonder what causes it?

    • August 25, 2012 10:36 am

      Overeating is one cause. That’s hard to monitor with our semi-free range birds.

  2. Gordon permalink
    August 24, 2012 1:04 pm

    May the Force be with you, Princess.

    • August 25, 2012 10:40 am

      She’s still with us, Gordie, under the paving stone at the front door of the new greenhouse (story soon).

  3. wkmtca permalink
    August 25, 2012 7:30 pm

    if the force had been with her it would have shoved that egg out.. who would have thought there were so many ways for chickens to die?

    • August 26, 2012 9:35 am

      That’s the price they pay for tasting just like chicken.

  4. August 25, 2012 8:55 pm

    Oh poor Princess. I am sorry to hear, she was a beauty. It saddens the heart to lose a pet of anykind. I had a cow named Brownie and did not realize at the young age that I was that Brownie was that Roast on Sundays, those hamburgers on the grill or the meat in that massive stew mom had on the stove. When I did find out, I hurt!
    RIP Princess.

    • August 26, 2012 9:47 am

      Thanks for your kind words, Beth. Yesterday Jude and I talked to the woman who sponsored the cheese-making workshop we went to in March. She said she was thinking about a workshop for urban women that would require them to slaughter a chicken. I wouldn’t qualify anyway, but I couldn’t do it. I have to own my hypocrisy on that.

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