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My sweeth Hyacinth

by Chuck
(Alabama, USA)

Just found my baby girl curled up in the hen house, she had been dead only a short time.

She was playing and begging for treats just this morning. She was always a pushy clown, ready to interact when I brought the goodies.

I will miss Hyacinth, as she was always first to greet me, and there always to walk me to the gate.

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Ode to Miss Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Miss Loretta Lynn was my big, beautiful Australorp.

She had the most gorgeous brown eyes, a sweet temperament, and a lovely throaty cluck which she welcomed us with whenever she heard the back door open.

She left us far too soon, far too young and we miss her everyday.

Thanks Loretta for the delicious eggs, for making our yard a more beautiful and entertaining place and for being one of my favorite Girls!

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My girl

by Jacky
(United Kingdom)

I don't understand why you left us. You were only about 32 weeks old.

One of 6 lovely girls, although one didn't lay very often and this may have been you.

Rest in peace little one. Although we didn't name you we still cared deeply.
xxx

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My Sweet Pearl

by Whitney
(Coos Bay, Oregon, USA)

My husband found you this morning in the coop, you were warm, surrounded by your friends, but passed on.

We are not sure why you passed away and we're not sure we will ever exactly know why.

My 8 year daughter said that we should talk about funny memories of you so that perhaps we wouldn't be sad. I remember when you were very young how much you loved hiding under my hair then peeking around my shoulder to look right into my shiny glasses.

We all laughed at how silly that was and recounting those memories did make it easier.

Thank you Pearl for the happiness you gave us.

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Mrs Mookie, an extraordinary Chookie


(New Zealand)

Mrs Mookie passed away suddenly yesterday. Not from an injury, or illness or shock as much as we can ascertain. She was in fine health the last time we saw her, which was when she went to bed on Thursday night.

She was the brightest of the four Rhode Island Red's that we purchased almost five years ago from an egg producing company. Humourous, very chatty with an opinion on everything, she was always the last to go to bed and the first to get up.

She would follow us around the yard and took a deep interest in what we were doing. Mrs Mookie would always attempt to enter our home at every opportunity. Not much seemed to phase her at all.

She will be missed.

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Nutmeg

by Holly
(US)

I got Nutmeg towards the beginning of January, when she and her sister Ginger were a month old.

I remember how scruffy they were when we brought them home, and how they were always adventuring around the house. We built them a nice coop and a good sized run, although most of the time, they were given run of the yard while we sat outside with them.

I learned a lot from just taking the time to sit and watch them play.

Nutmeg was a special chicken. While Ginger was off searching for treats, Nutmeg chose to spend her time on my lap some afternoons, snuggling into my warm shirt. She'd chirp at me and peck at my hair, then after a quick nap, she'd join Ginger in the grass. I was Nutmeg's mother hen.

Nutmeg died from a broken egg today. I never even knew that could happen. She didn't even reach her first birthday.

I didn't realize how attached to these animals I'd gotten until I lost one of them.

Now that Ginger is alone, I know I'll be out there every afternoon with her, but I'll never forget Nutmeg.

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Goldie Hen

by Meghan
(Newark, OH)

Goldie was smart and personable from the first day we brought her home as a 1 day old chick.

She has always been the first to do something new or figure something out. She gave a happy " whoop, whoop" when we would go outside to the coop.

She was happily whooping this morning when I left. When I came home I discovered that she had passed unexpectedly. It looked like she just sat down and died.

She was only a year and a half old. We will miss her...

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My Lucy

by Paula
(Edgewood, New Mexico. United States)

My sweet girl died in my arms today. She was 11 months old. Don't know why. She was so happy and running around yesterday. Eating mealworms and cackleberry treats.

She loved spinach and her greens. Along with sitting in the sun and having a dirt bath she loved to come inside the back door and say hello.

I will miss her so much.

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Sweet Sally is gone...

by Allison
(Delphos, OH)

Today I experienced Sudden Chicken Syndrome first hand with my Buff Orrpington hen "Sally".

She was a year old and showed no signs of sickness. I found her in the yard and saw my "special" hen Sweetie wobble up to her only friend of the group.

It broke my heart to see. I will miss her so!

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Ms Maggie

by Heather D
(Ohio)

right after we found her, first time on my lap.

right after we found her, first time on my lap.

right after we found her, first time on my lap. Maggie with her best friend, Pepper.

Maggie is gone. It's hard to believe. I am heartbroken. She was so special.

She was my baby and my little silkie hen's best friend. They did everything together. Maggie came into our lives when Pepper needed her most. There had been a predator attack that took out the rest of my silkie flock. Maggie just so happened to come to us one day, out of the blue. My husband was mowing grass at my Great Aunt's place when he looked up to see her. No other chickens around, no idea where she came from. He immediately called me and from that moment on, she was ours.

She had a home with me. She took to Pepper immediately. They were the best of friends, doing all things together. She would come into the house if the door was left open. She knew she had us all wrapped around her beautiful wing.

She had a wonderful life. She loved cuddles and kisses. Her favorite treat was watermelon. She's going to be greatly missed. She was precious.

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Lost one my girls this morning

by JonF
(Northfield NH USA)

She was one of 30 hens that I have. She was less than a year old.

I found her dead this morning when I walked into the coup. No signs of stress or predator aftermath.

Trying not to have this personal, but I'm feeling a bit down.

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Skye

by Margaret
(Braemar)

She was a loveable chicken. Very independent and had a mind of her own. She ruled the roost. She was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

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The chicken that died in my care...

by Finn Vivian

I was caring for the neighbour's chickens, I can't remember the names.

But the white one died after fighting over the last egg-laying box (there were 3, but there was 4 chickens), and it did lose many feathers, and won!

But I saw her lay the egg, and she died in the process. None of the other chickens noticed, and just went to run amok in the field.

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Mitchie RIP

Mitchie was 1 year old and very friendly and sweet.

She passed away in her sleep suddenly in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Maybe the loud thunder gave her a heart attack?? Not knowing what caused it is the hardest part plus the fact that now her best friend is left all alone!

I will try to get a same age same type of Buff Orpington as soon as possible for as a new friend for Mayrome.

She will always be missed as she was our first chicken we ever had. And chickens will always be fun to have no matter what.

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RIP Buffy the Egg Layer

by Susan
(Hailey, Idaho USA)

Buffy was a Buff Orpington, and a healthy 12 month old, and when she died overnight, there were no signs of illness or trauma.

I was so glad to find info on sudden chicken death.

Her sisters didn't act like they knew she was dead, stepping over her to hop out of the coop.

Buffy was so friendly, a good layer and sweet overall chicken.

She leaves Lucy, Ethel, and Mrs Butterworth, her sisters.

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I didn't name them

by Kim
(Converse. Indiana)

My first chickens I named. After that, since I ended up calling them my babies, girls, sisters, I have not named my girls lately.

I always thought though if you didn't have a name, you are not as important. That's not true. I'm very protective of my girls. When I lose one, it breaks my heart.

Lost one yesterday. Was ok until I read the post. Then I couldn't stop crying. I plan to see them again.

Jesus said, I make all things new. I will be glad to see them in their forever feathers.

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The Middle Child

by The Middle Child's Family
(U.S.A.)

The Middle Child (middle) with her buddies

The Middle Child (middle) with her buddies

The Middle Child (middle) with her buddies The Middle Child on Her Coop

Against all notions of what traditional "pets" are supposed to be (dog, cat, etc.), our Silkie Bantam Hen - The Middle Child - came into our family and lives and made both happier.

She became a member of our family from the moment we picked her and our other two Silkies up more than an 8-hour drive from our home.

She died very unexpectedly and our family misses her terribly. It is amazing how such a little chicken could have such a big impact on so many people.

Thank you, The Middle Child, for making us laugh and bringing so much joy to our family. We love you.

Rest in Peace.

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Lost our first chicken

by Nick
(Willis)

We lost our first chicken today. We had a flock of six. As this is our first flock, they are special to us.

She showed no signs of being sick or distressed in any way. This morning we let them out to forage and scratch and they all had a grand old time scratching, eating bugs and basking in the sun.

We went out early this evening and when we came back I went down to top off their food and water.

She was on the ground rather than the roosting bar and her head was on the ground as though it was a pillow. She looked peaceful but I could tell it wasn't right, she wasn't breathing.

I buried her in a good spot. She's laid lots of eggs for us and provided tons of entertainment with her little chicken antics.

She'll be missed.

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Chirpy, you were one of a kind!

by Della Davis
(coal hill, Ar)

Chirpy, the one of a kind chicken!!

Chirpy, the one of a kind chicken!!

We got Chirpy when she was a just a small chick from my daughter's school project.

She brought so much joy into oure lives. She had a personally of her own. We could hold and pet her and she would follow us around.

Sadly we found her dead in her pen one morning which was a total shock. She has a happy healthy chicken with no signs of anything begin wrong with her.

She was only in our lives for a short time but wow, what a impact she brought to our lives.

I know she was just a chicken but to us she was part of the family.

Chirpy you were truly a one of a kind chicken. You are gone now but not forgotten. You will always be in our memory.

Rest in peace, our beloved Chirpy the chicken!!

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I lost Cosette today

by Tory
(Arizona)

I wouldn't be a day without Colette giving me attitude.

I wouldn't be a day without Colette giving me attitude.

This isn't the first time I lost a hen but this one really hurt and surprised me.

Colette was always a little stinker but had so much personality. She was never afraid to jump for a treat or get on my lap. She was a soft red-head bantam cochin.

I went out today because I hadn't seen her all day. I figured she was just being broody but to my chagrin...she had passed away in the run. I have no idea what happened because she laid an egg just yesterday and was scratching away as happy as can be. I cried.

Thanks for letting me talk about her a bit. For me, she wasn't just a chicken.

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My protective bantam houdan hen

Her name was Tin Tin. She was a bantam Houdan.

She protected her group of girls. When I tried adding a new full size chicken to my group, Tin tTin charged her and crowed like a rooster flapping her wings. She had accepted other hens but this one she didn't like.

Never saw a hen do that before!

Needless to say the bigger chicken didn't work out. And if any hen got broody and aggressive to me, Tin Tin would block then and protect me.

She was fine and healthy then all the sudden gone. She was my guard chicken.

You will be missed Tin Tin.

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Sleepy

by Robin H.
(ROanoke Va)

Ms. Sleepy was raised in my home in a brooding box with her 3 coop mates.

She was a Rhode Island Red with the sweetest personality. My husband built a beautiful coop for the 4 girls. One day in August. I went to pet her and she crouched down, this was the first sign of laying she gave me.

Also the reason for her name, she would hop up on my lap and I would rub her belly until her head dangled off my lap into a deep sleep, and would stay like that as long as I would let her.

This is now 1 year and 3 months later. I went to their coop with their breakfast of warm oatmeal and apples. When I called Girls! No one came to the door.

I looked in and there was Sleepy - dead. No warning signs, just dead. Needless to say my heart is broken.

The other girls were gathered around her silent, as if in reverent mourning.

I will surely miss her. I still have another RIR, 2 leghorns, a barred rock, and a red star, but they aren't Sleepy.

R.I.P sweet girl.

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Henrietta - a memorial for our chicken.

by Mario Santana
(Branford, Fl)

Henrietta walked into our lives almost 5 years ago, she just walked up, ignored our large dogs, and made herself at home.

It was early May and every night she would roost in a tree and come down every morning to meet the crew. She survived an extremely cold winter and so we decided that if she was going to be a part of the family, we should build her a house and we did. Actually I built her a condo!

She free ranged every day, chasing squirrels and crows and walking with myself and the dogs.

We do live in a rural area and I have always dreaded the wild animals around, but we decided that she would rather live her life free and not be in the safety of a coop.

So we gambled and allowed her to be herself, and today those fears became a reality, either a coyote or fox ended her life.

We will forever miss her and remember her running around with her head held high, even tho we did not raise her from a chick she always allowed us to pick her up and pet her.

We thank God for the 5 years.

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by: Cath

Lovely tribute, Mario, thank you for sharing your story of your lovely hen.

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Buffy the People Slayer

by Diane H
(St Petersburg, Fl)

Ready to pose

Ready to pose

Ready to pose Always looking for more meal worms Sharing my pool chair

My favorite girl, Buffy died in my arms this morning. I'm new to this Chicken Mommy thing but I fell for her big time. She was barely 6 months old and hadn't even started to lay yet.

She would run up to her fence when she heard my husband or myself open the back door. She knew she was gonna get a treat or at least some attention. After dinner was our quiet chicken time to let them out of the coop and and roam for an hour supervised. She was the leader and always got her treats first. She knew sitting in our laps would guarantee that.

This morning she looked wobbly and leaned on the fence. She sat for long periods of time and didn't get up when she saw me coming. I knew something was wrong so I brought her inside and sat her in my lap on a towel. She looked like she was going to sleep, she was so peaceful.

Then her neck started to twist, she squawked and flapped her wing and that was it. It was the most horrible thing to watch. There was nothing I could do. I was sobbing like a baby. She learned so many things in just 2 months. I wished she could've lived for a few years.

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by: Cath

Thank you for sharing your story, Diane.

Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome is exactly as you describe it. A hen is perfectly healthy one minute; the next, with a flap of the wings, she has died. It's very distressing.

The way to look at it is that she had a good life while she was with you. She was loved and cared for, and gave you great joy.

I feel your loss.

Cath.

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Our pretty Pickles

by Ammi S
(Boise, Idaho USA )

Pickles in the middle

Pickles in the middle

I am fairly new to chicken keeping and Pickles was one of the original 3 I purchased off of Craiglist four years ago.

She had not been laying very much since winter and if she did manage to lay an egg it was always soft shelled. I made sure she there was plenty of food around and extra oyster shell available. I thought this would help her.

About a month ago I noticed that she was starting to get thin so I made sure to feed her item with protein to try and put some weight on her. I also gave her the "spa treatment" and some antibiotics. This seemed to help for a couple weeks.

Yesterday I went to let her out of the run and she was in pretty bad shape. It appeared that she had been flailing around trying to get up but could not. I actually thought she was dead.

When I went to pick her up to bury her she opened her eyes. I knew that she was passing soon so I wrapped her in a towel and put her in a basket in the shed so she could be warm and not bothered. This morning she was gone.

She was never a tame chicken but she was my best layer and everyone always thought she was the most beautiful hen.

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Rosie, my loving chicken

by Meghanne
(Brandon, SD)

Rosie was a beautiful brown chicken. I got her for my 12th birthday and I fell In love with her right away.

Every morning she would wake me up by being super loud. And she would come and sit in my lap while I ate breakfast on the porch. I spoiled her like crazy.

But one weekend I had to go to a softball tournament. Before I left I made sure she had water and food because I knew it was going to be hot, and I told her goodbye.

So it got up to 110 degrees that day. When I came home that night I went to check on Rosie right away. I got to her barn and she wasn't moving at all. So I tried to wake her up. But then I noticed that she had tipped over her water bucket and I realized she didn't have water all day.

I checked to see if she had a pulse and she didn't. It slowly dawned on me that she died of heat stroke. I started crying and I was crying the whole time I was digging her grave.

I told her goodbye one last time and hugged her. I couldn't bury her because I was crying to much so my dad had to do it. Later I did some research about heat stroke in chickens and it made me feel even worse to know she died slowly and horribly.

I will always miss Rosie. She was a part of my family, but I know that she is no longer suffering and I hope that her death wasn't my fault but j guess I will never know.

RIP Rosie

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by: Cath

Hi Meghanne,

Thank you for sharing your story about your lovely chicken, Rosie. Heat stroke in chickens is much more common than you might think. They are not good at dealing with extremes of heat.

Sometimes sad things happen to good chickens. We just have to accept that we did our best for them, and move on.

I know Rosie will have known how much she was loved while she was with you.
xoxo

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Poor Eggy

by Molly
(England)

We got Eggwina (Eggy) around 5 or 6 years ago along with two other chickens (Clover and Tikka, sadly Tikka was killed by a fox a year after we got them) when she was fairly young and hadn't started laying yet!

She has been an absolutely lovely chicken and when she went broody a few years ago, we got her a couple of fertilized eggs. Only one hatched but she was an excellent mother to the baby (Spike) and we were rewarded with many amusing moments of Eggy teaching Spike the ways of life, how to dust bathe, scratch around in the dirt and how to enter the house undetected when the door was open.

Sadly Spike was euthanized last summer when it was discovered something was wrong with her laying process. So we were back down to two chickens.

Then Eggy went broody again, so rather than go through the stress of eggs and the possibility of males again, we got her two day old chicks (Matilda and T'other) and once again she was a fantastic mother and now the babies are healthy, fully grown and slightly scary chickens.

Eggy has always been at the top of the pecking order, and has always been much more kind to Clover than the other two have. She has always been so sweet and brave. We have just been on holiday and left the chickens in the care of a neighbor as we have done numerous times throughout the years of owning chickens so we didn't think about them at all.

Sadly on the second to last day we got a call from the neighbor saying Eggy had died. When we got back I looked online to try and discover the reason for her death. She wasn't particularly old, was still laying eggs and seemed healthy enough. Looking at your page "Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome" I have come to believe that she suffered a heart attack as the neighbor found her dead on her back.

I feel so sad for Eggy, she was a delightful chicken and it was a joy to see her roaming around the garden. I wonder what will happen to Clover now Eggy has gone and she doesn't have a friend, and who will lie on top of the rest of the chickens at night like Eggy used to do.

Rest in peace Eggy..

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by: Cath

That’s a lovely tribute to Eggy, Molly. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Yes, Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome is very distressing because it happens to chickens who seem perfectly healthy and alert one moment. Then within minutes, they’re gone.

It’s not much consolation to know there’s nothing you could have done, but it’s true. She had a happy life while she was with you.

I hope Clover is ok. There’s no doubt that chickens also feel the loss of one of the flock.

Sending hugs.

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Chicken Memorial for Beautiful Willow

by Anonymous
(England)

Willow and her flock

Willow and her flock

Willow and her flock Looking Glorious Interested in the Camera

When I was about six my parents decided we'd deny urban protocol and we'd buy ourselves chickens (just to try it out). So we brought home two lovely hens, a Rhode Island Red and a Bovans Nera.

My sister took the little red hen and I took the massive black hen. My hen was named Willow after our beautiful weeping willow tree in the back garden although when we expanded our flock (only two more...ten chickens later)she turned out to be a little evil in her constant bullying and determination to be top hen.

By our friends she was nicknamed 'Evil Willow' because she hated intruders and liked to chase shoelaces. However when Rosie (the red hen) died several years later, we were worried if she'd be ok. We had three runs and Willow and Rosie had been in one by themselves. We bought some young hens home to see if might ease her from her grief and she became the adoptive mother and protector of Daisy and Sorrel (our chickens are all named after plants).

By the age of four Willow was mellowing and became the peacemaker in the flock but still guarding them with an iron wing! Once when a storm came over when they were free ranging, she gathered them up and forced them inside, standing at the door of the coop refusing to let them out!

However when she reached five Willow hit a rough spot, and as winter came it was obvious we'd be saying goodbye soon. Luckily she went peacefully, surrounded by her friends in our new extra large coop. She was just curled up on the log in the run, the others all milling around her and the spring sun shining.

We buried her under the willow, after which we named her, and every spring we're reminded of her presence when the tree comes into full bloom. Now it's more than ten years since we brought her home but we'll never forget how beautiful she was and I will always remember as on of the great pets of my childhood.

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Gorgeous Willow!
by: Cath

What a beautiful chicken Willow was! I'd not heard of a Bovans Nera before but looking it up, it seems it's a hybrid of a Rhode Island Red and a Plymouth Barred Rock. She was certainly a stunning hen!

I love this story of how chickens can bring such happiness to childhood. It's also important for children I think to learn about the realities of life and death - it's hard, but necessary. I especially loved that you buried her under the willow tree she was named after.

Thank you so much for sharing Willow's memorial with us. She obviously had a wonderful life with you and I'm so glad she left you with very happy memories of your childhood too.


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Eggwina

by Angela
(Northern California)

I had never had chickens before but had been around them since my Nana had them on the farm when I grew up. I knew one day I would have chickens of my own.

Enter my four lovely chickens, Eggwina, Doris (after my nana), Henifer Lopez and Carmella. Eggwina was the top of the pecking order, a beautiful speckled black and white chicken with a scarlet comb and wattle. My neighbor remarked that if she ever was reincarnated, she wanted to come back as one of my chickens! She told me they lived in Shangri-La.

Eggwina was the first to always snatch treats out of my hand, running into the corner of the coop to try to get it all to herself. She loved lettuce, fresh corn, apples and melon.

When my son went to check on them yesterday afternoon, at first he thought Eggwina was sunbathing in her dust patch. Then he realized she wasn't moving. She had suddenly died. There were no signs of distress on her plump little body.

He and his friend buried her in the garden and made a little memorial to her with her name on it. I can't believe I am down to only three chickens now since for the last year, four little feathery bodies have come to greet me whenever I pass by their coop. It will make me sad to collect only 3 eggs instead of 4 and I am wondering who will now become the leader of the flock.

I had set up several plastic chairs in their coop and when they were little, we would sit out there for hours watching them play and grow. They would sit on our laps, or in the case of Eggwina, sometimes pretend they were a parrot, perching on your shoulder and occasionally trying to peck perceived bugs off your face! She was a character and my first experience at hen keeping. Hopefully the others will remain well.

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Our other baby

by Michelle
(Santa Cruz, CA)

Our 3 year old named her Baby. She was a small black sex link. She was curious with a "hammy" personality.

When we came near the chicken area she'd waddle over at a very high speed to say hi.

It's much worse than I imagined it would be to lose her especially to a predator. She was just over 2 years old.

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