After several months of battling every mite and disease she could catch. After several years of cruel confinement and mis treatment. After being rescued. After showing her beautiful personality. After being the smallest hen I had. Ginger passed away in her sleep last night. She was a Golden Sebright cross hen I rescued from some folks down on their luck with a group of 40 or so other bantams. When I got her, she had scaley leg mites so bad she looked like she had the legs of an elephant. Her body was covered in other lice, but sh survived and thrived. Ginger was about eight to ten years old, at her youngest. She still pumped out a whopping three eggs a week on a good day, but for the most part we didn't get eggs from her. Ginger spent a LOT of time laying in the nest boxes, soaking up life with the rest of her bantam friends. Monday, give or take, I noticed Ginger wasn't looking quite right. She hung out on the roost, and just slept. Her old lady slumbers getting longer and longer. Yesterday she got down off the roost, waddled out into the yard, and dusted herself really well. Then she walked up to me, put her head on my shoe, and laid really still. I picked her up and we brought her in, where she slept on a pile of shavings in the pen she stayed in while her mites went away. She was thin, maybe 4 or so of her usual 6 oz self. I knew we were saying goodbye. Her best friend, a little Serama named Sir, was mourning when I woke up today. He knew. We didn't have to tell him. It seems the whole yard knows. It's eerily quiet not a crow or egg song to be heard. Ginger, you will be missed. You took on such a hard life, and lived another happy year with us you may not have felt otherwise. Your funny faced offspring are in my brooder. Those crazy serama sebrite silkie babies will be your legacy. Have fun across the rainbow bridge chasing bugs and digging in horse poop! Those were your favorite activities, afterall, other than a good ole dust bath.