A Moment of Silence, Please
by Mark A. Fields
After having lived 18 glorious years, the oldest living Dominique died at approximately 10:30 am on October 20th, 1997. I was working in a pen of pullets when he went into convulsions and died.
“Grandpa” was hatched in the poultry yards of Elva Hemphill (now deceased) and reigned as Breeder Supreme for eight years before relocating to Mark Fields’ poultry yards.
In Mark’s poultry yards his fame spread far and wide, with his accomplishments including such feats as being on the cover of the Missouri State Fair flyer and siring innumerable winners.
At the 1992 Dominique National in Columbus, Ohio his children made a clean sweep of all Dominique classes, even with such vigorous competition as Voter, Stichler, Brachmann and Phelps.
In 1994, our farming operations was relocated from Harrisburg to Clark. At the time there were a dozen roosters in the Dominique flock, but one by one they disappeared to owls, dogs and foxes. Finally, only two were left, one very poor specimen and Grandpa, who had the common sense not to wander far from the chicken house. Using Grandpa and a handful of old hens the Hemphill strain of large fowl was saved.
He was last fertile in 1995, after which time his health began to decline. The last two years he spent his time in the alley of the poultry barn and in the pen with maturing pullets. He posed no threat to their virtues as he no longer possessed the desire for such physical exertion (Though I believe I did from time to time detect a smile on his beak, while sitting amongst those budding beauties)
He will be sorely missed by one and all at the Fields poultry yards.