Penny Ameracauna, Noble Chicken
Penny Ameracauna Shannon passed away Sunday, August 29th 2021
Born at Dare to Dream Farms, Lompoc in 2013 Penny came to Arroyo Grande in the spring of 2014 with her two sisters and took up residence on Sage St. They lived in a custom built home built just for them. She and her sisters, little Girl and Topsy were joined by friends Big Red and Salt n Pepa. They quickly made themselves at home and began doing their duties. The snacked on the wild and elusive snails, snacked on Manduca quinquemaculata, the five-spotted hawkmoth or Tomato caterpillar and turned over the soil like so many cultivator tractors. A crop of Aphids stood no chance against Penny’s razor beak.She loved the tasty leaves of the milkweed plant and would fight with her sisters over them. The Heirloom Scented Geraniums had to be protected by wire cages from this wily beast.
The chicken coop and run are quite large but it wasn’t big enough for Penny. She was the only bird who concentrated on escape. If you didn’t free her to roam in the morning she would tunnel under fence or figure out a way to fly over the walls. She liked to hide behind something and then rush the gate when it was opened. It became a great game for her.
She roamed our yard. She would follow Nancy into her studio and sit in an old wooden crate just to keep her company. She used the dog door in the garage and would sit quietly near me when I was working. She was never freaked out by the sound of table and band saws. Of all the girls she was the only one who seemed to prefer our company to her own kind.
We gave her meal worms, scratch, oyster shell and fresh lettuce and corn on the cob. She gave us, each day, a delicate sky blue egg with a pure golden yolk.
Chickens are not very long lived, perhaps seven or so years if cared for and Penny just made the limit.
The Garden seems less friendly without her and for the first time, this year the Tomato worms ravaged the plants.
She was a Christmas present from my oldest son and I have to say, the best ever.