We found one of our 1yr old Australorps, Big Mama, in the chicken run dead this morning. As far as we know, she has never been sick a day of her much too short life. She was fine yesterday and last night, acting normally and keeping her fellow chickens in line. I went out at 7am to open the door from the enclosed run to the open run and she was sitting on the edge of the dust bath box, but looked fine. She didn't go out with the others, but I didn't think much about it. When we took snacks out around 11:30, she wasn't with the other chickens so we thought she was probably laying an egg. Then hubby spotted her in the run, laying on her side - dead. She was in the same place where I saw her alive this morning. So today has been pretty emotional, and yes I have cried more than I thought I would. She was a big, beautiful, friendly girl and we sure will miss her. The chicken run was strangely quiet today, as though the other girls knew something was wrong. I guess they miss her too, in their own chicken way.