Our beautiful Barred Rock, Kimora, passed away on March 6, 2017. She was five years old, more than middle-aged by chicken standards, but you couldn’t tell by looking at, interacting with, or hearing her. She was loud and proud, especially after a good egg-laying session, and was as spry as the day we brought her home.
She was always the first to start laying in the spring and the last to go on hiatus in the fall. She gave us perfectly smooth, large brown eggs almost every day, and even into her fifth year, she still averaged three or four eggs a week. Such an overachiever she was!
Kimora was my alpha hen, and she didn’t let her sisters forget it. If mealworms, grasshoppers, or fig beetles were involved, she was always the first in line for treats, or the first to spring into action and catch them out of the air. If one of the other chickens got a hold of them first, she’d run over and snatch the bugs out of their beaks, and swallow them whole before the others could retaliate. Nothing could stand in the way of Kimora and a juicy treat!
If we were sifting the compost, clearing out weeds, raking up old mulch, or digging over a garden bed, she was right there alongside, furiously scratching and pecking through the soil. And if she hit the worm jackpot, a happy succession of bok bok boooooks! would ring through the neighborhood to let everyone else know.
But despite her feisty personality and diva-like ways, Kimora was far from selfish. I always felt that she was very protective over her sisters, and led the flock with caution, courage, and pride. I felt that she was the reason Iman survived on that tragic night, as we haven’t seen that raccoon (or any raccoon) in the yard since. And for that, she will always hold an extra special place in our hearts for a strength and bravery that fills us with so much joy and yet so much sadness at the same time.
Kimora was a very social bird and as soon as she heard the sound of the gate opening, she’d run right up to whoever was there to visit. And I really do mean run — she was the fastest chicken in the flock, and could get quite a bit of air time as well!
One of my fondest memories of Kimora was hanging out in the backyard on the hammocks with a couple of friends. The chickens were milling about, doing what it is that chickens do, when all of a sudden Kimora flew up into my friend’s lap and looked at him matter-of-factly, as if to say, I’m here for my butt scratch! (She always loved a good scratch on her tail feathers.)
Our dear Kimora, we miss you so much. We hope you’re flying high and free in the heavens with Gisele, enjoying a bottomless buffet of fig beetles, and continuing to watch over Iman and her new flockmates. Thank you for bringing instant smiles to our faces without even trying, and for teaching us so much in the short time you were here with us.