Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.
I let my chickens out this morning as usual, everything seemed normal. I don’t usually count them, they just come running out and I say, “Good morning” to the flock. However, I had an unfortunate surprise when I checked in on my flock this afternoon. Sweet Don John, one of the 4 originals…the Shakespearians (named after Much Ado About Nothing), the Untouchables, was lying face down in the hen house, under the roosting area. (Warning – the following pictures show a dead chicken.)
I took her out and laid her down on the grass so I could look her over. She had not been acting oddly, or sickly in any way. I checked her for apparent injuries, no wounds. Her eyes, nose and beak were clear…no sign of any discharge. The only thing that resonated any thought of possibility was her right chest was soft and maybe filled with fluid. Maybe that’s normal, she had been laying chest down….and isn’t that the area that gets swollen when chickens have a big meal? In any event it was soft and pliable while rigor mortis had obviously set in.
Something remarkable happened while she was lying on the grass…at least I thought it was remarkable. The three remaining Shakespearians (Benedict, Claudio, and Don Pedro) came over to check on their 4th partner in crime. They checked her out, and Benedict wouldn’t leave her side. He even did his rooster dance around her, I’m assuming to get her to stand up. It was sad, heart warming, and completely amazing! I love that big ol’ rooster, Benedict.
We buried her on a nice gentle slope, in soft dirt, amidst newly planted Douglas Fir saplings.
We’ll miss you Don John!! You were a nice hen. Thank you for all the eggs you gave us, and even though you didn’t like to be picked up, you always ran up to greet us. And now there are 15….but wait….
Chardonnay is on the nest again!! Hatchlings due around the 28th of March!! What the heck am I thinking??