Each time I develop a special relationship with one of my chickens, it dies. I am heartbroken. Again. My Q-Tip, the first chick ever hatched here, at home, had a sudden seizure about 15 minutes ago, and died in my arms. I have not yet told my husband; he loves her so much. I can't stand to tell him! Q-Tip was hatched about 8 months ago. She was the most beautiful, lavender colored, Polish hen I have ever seen. She was a pet, and came in and out of the house at will. She was at worst tolerated by dogs, cat, turkeys, cows, sheep and goats alike. Most humans simply adored her. She would alight, without warning, on shoulders, heads, laps.... And now she is gone. No, I cannot afford to have a necropsy done. I do not have the heart to perform one myself.
My Looloo, as I have said here before, was killed by a hawk recently.
Mama chicken succumbed to Marek's after a valiant fight that went on for months. Her mate, Rasta, followed her in the same way about a month later. They, also, were precious pets more than livestock.
We have 30+ healthy, robust, hungry, demanding chickens. Not one of them has dropped dead, or been killed, unless it was a favorite. I really can't stand it. I grieve them so intensely. I still cannot stand to go to the part of the garden where my husband buried Looloo. Although in each case, I did all I could, or was unable to do anything at all, I am overcome with guilt. I feel that I, as their caretaker and keeper, should have kept them safe. I did not, and it is just awful to bear that.
I only tell you folks these things because no one else I know would understand, even a little bit. To grieve a chicken would baffle most people, and I could not stand to be teased about this. Not yet.
I notice, in reading posts about similar tragedies, that when a chicken dies unexpectedly, it is OFTEN the very favorite. I wonder why that is? I begin to feel that the surest way for me to end a chicken's life, is to get too fond of it. I love Q-Tip. The idea of putting her into the cold ground has me weak with misery.
Thanks for listening.