A Sad Day

It is a very sad day at Brookwood Shire today.  My beautiful Maeve died…and I have no idea why.

It was a usual morning, not as cold as yesterday.  I went up to the coop and the girls were all still together in the big nesting box.  They stood up and greeted me.  Everything was fine.  I gave them pellets, checked their water and opened up the run.  Then because they are VERY spoiled girls, I lifted each one down from the nesting box.  They milled around, eating and drinking while I cleaned the nesting box.  They did not rush outside, which was unusual but it was still early and not quite light.  I left them and came back inside.

While I was making my coffee, Amber started making a lot of noise.  I went up to check and she was in the little run, announcing something.  There was nothing unusual except for the fact that they were still not outside.  But just in case, I closed the big run.  Slowly the others started to come out from the coop…except for Maeve.  Perhaps she was in the nesting box.  But when I went in to check she was not there.  She was face down under the roost..in what I call their “baby box”…. where they lived as chicks.  There is not a mark on her…no blood or apparent injuries.  She hasn’t been sick.   She was fine earlier.  

I have checked the coop and see nothing that could have hurt her.  Could she have simply fallen from the roost and hit her head or something?  That seems very unlikely.  But what could have happened?

The other girls are quite subdued and a little confused.  Amber definitely alerted me that something was wrong….but she can’t say what happened.  

Maeve was a beautiful girl…and she knew it.  She was stubborn and insisted on sitting, fluffed up and taking up as much room as possible in all the best spots.  She wasn’t as friendly as Amber, or as curious as Prudence, or as sweet as Beatrix, or as independent as Briana.  She was probably 4th in the pecking order, but she didn’t care.  She KNEW she was the most beautiful hen that had ever lived.  She made me smile and I will miss her.

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About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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12 Responses to A Sad Day

  1. She was a beautiful hen and I am so sorry for your loss. How strange and unexpected.

  2. wspines says:

    Patti,
    I am so sorry about Maeve. This happened to me several weeks ago with MollyorDolly. Its happened several times in my 12 years of raising hens. There is no rhyme or reason to it. They are healthy one day and the next day they are dead. You gave her the best home, love and food. She was a happy hen, and that is all we can do knowing that we gave them the best care we could. You will miss her and always remember her. The girls need some time to adjust too. My thoughts are with you this day
    Carole

    • pattigail says:

      Thanks Carole. I remember you mentioning one of your hens died a few weeks ago…but I thought she was older. Maeve was only a year old. Still, you are right. Her life may have been short, but she was a spoiled happy girl. I will miss her, but I know she was very lucky, especially compared to the conditions some poor hens find themselves on. I still have 2 of her eggs. I will make something special with them.

  3. So sorry for your loss. It would make it easier , I am sure , if you knew what the cause of her sudden death was….blessings.

  4. Aww, Patti! I am so sorry… Poor girls. Carole said it, That she was a happy, well taken care of girl.. Hugs to you.

    • pattigail says:

      Thanks Ed. It has been a strange day. I still can’t even believe she is gone except when I see just 4 girls running up to meet me when I go out. I guess this sort of thing can happen. Hope your ladies and Jack are all fine.

  5. I’m so sorry. I can only imagine your sorrow at your loss of sweet Maeve.

    My guess is she had a heart attack or brain aneurysm or some other sudden, unpredictable death. Surely those kinds of things kill chickens as they do humans. I imagine she had a good death – happy with her flock on minute then quickly gone the next. Isn’t that how we’d all like to go? Especially after the great life you gave her.

    Spoil your other chooks and you all can help each other through this time of grieving.

    • pattigail says:

      Thanks Laura. It is hard..as you know too well. Every time I see the four of them I am looking for the fifth. There were always five girls! But I am very happy to still have my four. And yes, they are being spoiled. They have gotten most of the raspberries that are left. Who needs jam?😉. I know we will all adjust, but I do miss my Maeve.

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