Last night, I was checking on my chickens before bed. In the "clean" pen, I noticed that Fred, my BLRW from my daughter's classroom hatch, was not on the perch with the other chickens. I found it odd and troubling.
This morning, I went to check on her, and found her in the henhouse instead of out with everyone else. She was kind of sitting low and was really puffed up. I knew this was a bad sign, so I separated her from the others.
Within six hours, she was dead. I happened to have friends over when she finally passed, and one of them dug the hole for me, which was nice. All of the recent rain made the digging go very quickly.
I am feeling sad about the whole thing, and also extremely frustrated. I honestly believe the three deaths are unrelated. Fred was never exposed to either of the other two chickens.
As I was really getting warmed up for my pity party, I remembered Fred's life, and some things kind of possibly clicked into place. Fred was the last of the chicks to hatch in my daughter's class, and she was really, really overdue. She's also been a lot smaller than her hatchmates. I'm now wondering if maybe she had something wrong with her from the beginning, and it just finally caught up with her?
I told my seven year old, and she took the news fairly well. She was sad, of course, but she accepted the news.
I was going to post a picture of her with this "obituary", but I can't find a recent one. My husband will be shocked- he is appalled at the sheer number of photos I have of my chickens.