Once upon a time we had three chicks that grew into happy, fat chickens. One flew the coop, never to be seen again. One was killed by an unknown four-legged assailant. The last one, Henrietta, chattered and ran around the yard, living her carefree life, happy enough to peck and scratch and eat treats we brought out for her. Over the past few days, we noticed a change in her: she wasn’t running for treats, and mostly she was sitting under the palmettos or under the rack in the coop, not wandering the yard. Yesterday, she was panting and not moving much at all. Mom and I were out looking at the girls (since we added more chickens to keep her company the past two years) and a storm blew up. I gathered her up from under the palmettos since she wasn’t moving to get out of the storm and took her into the coop, then out of there to the back porch into a box lined with a towel. We knew she was on the way out, so we made her comfortable and kept an eye on her. Last night, she finally stopped breathing and this morning I buried her out on the edge of the property where I’ve buried two other chickens.
So long, Henrietta. You were definitely the favored one amongst the girls.