Alma died today. As it often happens with chickens, they’re fine one day, lethargic the next, and gone soon after. She showed no signs of respiratory infection, no external parasites, no discomfort. She wasn’t egg bound. On Wednesday she stopped eating and drinking and passing manure. She sat. Alma didn’t respond to antibiotics or an olive oil drench. I’ll never know what caused her death.

Alma was not a personable hen. She didn’t like to be touched or hand fed. She wasn’t a favorite hen, but when you have a backyard flock, not only do you respond to the individuals you love, but you also relate to them as a group. Alma was part of the community and she will be missed.

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