Today, marks the end of Fauna’s time in our flock. She was 6 years, 24 days old. I know this because I was there when she and the other 2 fairies hatched. We bought eggs from renowned Jersey Giant breeder, Tim Johnson and they did not disappoint. The trio was the 3 fairies from Sleep Beauty. They had 5 brothers as well, who we were fortunate enough to find a home for on a farm in Greenfield, with 60 hens who needed their protection. Fauna was different from the beginning. After everyone hatched, we banded them. So we know the chick who ended up being Fauna was the one with the twitches. She would shake her head often. We did some research and it seemed that she was dehydrated. So, my husband would sit there and feed her water with an eye dropper ~6 times a day. After 5 days, the twitching stopped and Fauna was behaving like the rest of her siblings. Fauna lived a long and prosperous life. She lived in 3 towns. Fought off foxes and birds of prey and won. Because really, a 10.2 lb Jersey is not one to mess with. (We figured out what we were doing wrong and haven’t lost a bird to a predator in 4 years) She also raised some adopted fertile eggs the first time she went broody. This got her the name of ‘death star’, since she would puff up into a very large black ball anytime anyone came near her chicks. Fauna was fine until I found her this morning. Her comb and waddle colors were great yesterday. She was her normal, boisterous self. She was eating scratch out of my hand 2 days ago. While I do not know the cause of her death, my vet did warn me that I should be prepared once they start getting to 6 years. My point to this information is this: people’s definition of ‘the strongest’ cannot be determined at chick stage. I’ve seen many mentions over the years of people putting chicks in the process of hatching into a bucket of water if they haven’t hatched in ~4 hours. Chicks like Fauna are eliminated in a number of ways when really they only need a little bit of help. Aside from being one of the personality queens and teaching the younger pullets how it rolls, Fauna was a most wonderful part of our flock and she will be greatly missed. Please think twice before deciding that a chick is not strong enough. He or she is more likely to surprise you. Long live my 3 fairies, in life and in memory.