Peepers, an extraordinary Red Star Pullet
by Marcia Hamilton
(Mount Dora, Florida USA)
I bought Peepers from a lady who raises them. She was a 1.2 ounce Red Star that eventually grew into a four pounder. Peepers started laying at 16 weeks and laid an egg up until the day she died, only missing 8 days or so.
She started riding with me on my mobility scooter at two weeks of age and continued right up until before she died. I would drive her to a field, tell her okay, and she would jump off my left thigh and happily graze. When about half an hour was up, I'd call her, she'd come walking over, I'd pick her up and off we'd go.
I trained her to not go out of our small yard onto the road, I live in a mobile home community, to come when called, to stop, turn around and come back if she started to go to our neighbor's yard.
Peepers was so kind, always letting children and adults pet her, lying quietly on my left thigh. When we had to cross the busy road, she laid unflinchingly on my leg or arm, not being scared and flying away when even a semi went by. She never, ever flew off my leg, nothing bothered her and I like to think it was because she felt very safe and secure with me.
She was great friends with my two dogs and my big dog took it upon her self to guard Peepers when we were out in the yard, keeping the cats away. I've been around and trained animals at ten years of age and I just love them.
Peepers slept in a medium sized dog crate with straw, and a hard, cardboard cat litter box filled with straw was her nest, in our kitchen. She was a voracious egg layer, 97 to be exact and they were delicious, large brown eggs.
When I was eating lunch on my lounge chair, she, with her chicken diaper on, would jump up on the arm rest seeing if she could 'snag' a bite, but I always gave her a little something. Then she would go on the couch and lie down until she had a nice rest. Or she would climb up to my chest, lie down and put her head next to my neck or lie her head and neck across my shoulder.
Peepers would follow me into the bathroom and when I took a shower in our walk in shower, she would lie on the floor until I came out and I could go on and on, like when I'd cook something at the stove, she would be right there waiting until something "accidentally" fell to the floor!
Then on June 15, she was in the kitchen and I heard her flapping like crazy. I ran in and she was having what looked like a convulsion. I picked her up, wrapped her in a towel and she died with me holding her, about a minute later.
I still haven't stopped crying about her and miss her terribly. She is buried, in her nesting box, all wrapped up, in our yard with a nice stepping stone over her so nothing can get her.
I will get another chick but not right now. Every home should have a youngster like her in their home at least once because hens give laughter, good eggs and brighten one's day.
She was extraordinary and I'll never forget her.