9 years ago I started out with 17 hens......a combo of easter-eggers, buff orpingtons and black australorps. Now I'm down to 4. I lost one last night. I think her poor old body just wore out, even though she was still trying to lay eggs. I've lost 2 to a coon attack (inside what I thought was an impenetrable run), a couple to probably breaking their necks jumping off the roost, one to a congenital defect, one to a pendulous crop, and several to things I couldn't figure out. And with the death of each one, I cry like a baby. I have absolutely loved having chickens. But its so hard when I lose them. They are pets, after all. I worry about the day when there will only be one left. What will I do? They will be so lonely. I'm 62 and I'm not sure I have the energy for getting more for another 10 years. Plus...........I just can't stand to be so sad when they die. I torture myself and imagine their coop when they are all gone and it overwhelms me with sadness. People think they are "just" chickens..........but they have enriched my life so much over the past 9 years. Each and every one of them has been so special to me. I guess if it bothers me too much.........I'll get more. I just can't imagine their coop empty. Thanks for listening.