I just got back from being away a week to visit my hubby (he works away and doesn't get home too often). I took Lulu with me as she always travels with me and loves the camper. The rest of the girls stay home in the care of a neighbour.
Before I left last week, one of the hens had a real pale comb that was quite droopy. I have a number of girls that aren't laying because they are molting or broody or reasons unknown to me. Anyway, she seemed to stay away from the others and not come running for food and treats. I picked her up to check her over and she seemed okay - no cuts, swellings, or anything visible that looked to be causing her discomfort.
When I got home, the neighbour was outside and said he noticed one of the chickens seemed sick. I went back and found her alone by the waterer. I picked her up and she seemed very fat like she was blotted or something. Her feet were cold and so was her comb.
I was walking to the shop with her to set her down on something so I could get a better look at her when she opened her mouth a couple times without making a sound. Her head drooped over and she was dead - just that quick. It was almost as if she waited for one more cuddle before she died.
I've had these chickens for 2 years and 2 months and had lost two of them early on when a neighbour's dog dug under our adjoining fence and got them. They were fairly young and I was fairly new to chickens so it was sad but didn't hurt like this.
I don't know if I could have done anything for her if I had been home but I feel bad that she seemed to be suffering. She didn't have a name (I only named Lulu) but it hurts to lose her. She used to come running sometimes for a hug and a cuddle - not all of them like to be picked up and held but she did. Some days, it seemed like a cuddle was more important to her than the treats I had brought because she would squat at my feet waiting to be picked up before she eat any treats.
I dug a hole in the corner of the yard and buried her there. I am sitting here crying over a chicken - one of 28 that was just supposed to be a layer and not special. I guess they all are special. It feels like I have lost a friend. Goodbye to a chicken who will remain nameless but will not be forgotten. :(