by Jeanne
(Burlingame, CA)

I was saddened to suddenly find my 18 month old chicken had died quietly this morning.

As usual, she was the first to bounce out of the coop earlier today. Then, two hours later, I found her under the camellia bush, one of her favorite spots.

While researching what might have been the cause, I found your website with your touching remembrance to your chicken and am moved to add a few words.

Mel was a proud and bold chicken who wanted to be wherever I was, which usually meant sneaking into my kitchen whenever the door was not tightly shut.

She rushed to greet me whenever she heard my voice and chose to lay her wonderful, strong shelled brown eggs under our redwood tree. She had the run of the yard every day, protected by our cat (they all napped together), and I think had a rather happy life.

We will miss you Mel!

Comments for Mel

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May 21, 2015

by: Cath

Jeanne, thank you so much for telling us your story about Mel. It's so sad when one of our flock dies, especially one we're attached to, and when there is no obvious reason it can make it seem even worse.

I've had chickens suddenly die too, and having researched possible reasons now understand that there is such a thing as 'Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome' - I have written about it at this link, which you may already have seen :

There are various possible causes of it but, unless you're prepared to have a chicken autopsy carried out, which personally I would not want to do, it's never clear what actually did cause it.

What you can certainly say is that Mel enjoyed a good and happy life with you, albeit quite a short one. To live happily, lay eggs under a redwood tree and have free range of a yard, with a cat for company, sounds like a pretty ideal chicken-life to me.

And she chose to lie down under one of her favourite spots when her time had come. That is sad, but it's also a good way to go. Not many chickens can claim that.

Thank you again for your story, and for your kind words about my memorial too. I hope you can now remember Mel with happiness that she lived such a good life.

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