Buzzy was my favorite Barred Rock hen. She got her name from the buzzing noise she made as a teenager — voice changes and all that. I randomly had said to her one day, “Why, you’re buzzing!” And it stuck. She would be “Buzzy” forever.
One day she and her buddies were roosting in a tree, and I went over to visit them. All their feet were at eye level, so I checked them. When I got to Buzzy I noticed the scales on her feet looked odd. For a long time I thought perhaps she had leg mites, but she didn’t. I loved her feet. They matched her entire personality: special.
When I got Buzzy, I got 4 other Barred Rocks too. They all were killed by a hawk. Buzzy was the only BR I had left. Then one evening, my family and I went to a graduation party. One of my friends there asked me how many chickens I had. Confidently I replied, “I’ve got 8.” When the party was over I went home. And there were only 7 hens in the coop. The one missing was Buzzy.
I was heartbroken. She was my sweetest girl. How could I lose her? I tried being optimistic… Maybe she got stuck somewhere and didn’t get loose before dark and found a safe place to spend the night… Morning would bring the answer.
I got up next morning, and through the open window I heard….. Chicken noises! At first I thought maybe someone had decided to let my girls out, but I looked and the coop door was still closed. So I ran out and there was Buzzy, walking towards me! I was so incredibly happy!
Through the years Buzzy became even sweeter. She was always the first one to come when I called them for treats, and I had trained her to jump up on my lap. She laid an egg every day for 3 years straight, and in her 4th and 5th years it was every other day. Her eggs were distinct: Big. And when I say big, I mean so big they rarely fit in the egg cartons! Hers usually had to go in a bowl instead.
She loved to visit us in the barn while we were milking the cow. We’d let the girls clean out the little bits of grain Daisy left. Once the cat didn’t come for his breakfast, so Buzzy came in and I gave it to her. It was a styrofoam bowl, so she kind of ruined it. But she had a grand time, and would come back every morning after that for more.
She would help me weed the flower beds. I’d be pulling out those invaders, and then Buzzy would be there, finding her own little tasties in the loosened dirt.
July 23. The day half of my heart was torn away. Buzzy had something wrong with her — I really don’t know what — but I will not write it because it will bring back nightmares. Let us suffice it to say that there were maggots eating away her skin. That’s bad enough.
There was no way I could do anything to fix her up. So my grandpa had to come and put her down. She was so brave. I wasn’t there (I was in my room sobbing), but my mom said that she tied Buzzy’s wings and legs so she wouldn’t bruise herself and there would be no flapping.
Buzzy is now buried under the cherry tree behind the old barn, in the shade where the girls would take dust baths. One of these days I’m going to engrave her name on the stone.
She was my best girl. I could talk to her and feel like she understood. So many times… She was so much more than just a chicken. She was one of my best friends. And she put up with a lot. I’d kiss her right on the beak (until we got the cow); I’d hold her on my head; I’d take her sledding with me — all the way down the hill; and she put up with me taking pictures of her while she was molting. She was very embarrassed. But she was the best girl I’ve ever had.
Love how she made the same face for the two photos on the right… She made that one a lot.
I still have flashbacks every now and then… Especially in the fall when we open up the garden for the chickens to clean up, and here during tilling time. She loved to help, and she loved all the good stuff there was to find in the fall. Sometimes when I see one of my other Barred Rocks walk by I’ll think to myself, “Buzzy’s so cute, isn’t she!” And then I’ll realize it was only Violet. Funny how things get you like that…
I love you, Buzzy. And I always will. You are deeply missed and will be forever. No other chicken I have will ever take your place in my heart, or ever be just the same.