While this has been a great year for my flock in some ways, it's also been riddled with lots and lots of tragedies--a completely abnormal amount for me. It's heartbreaking looking back on all of them, really. Some were partly my fault (though certainly not intentional), others were beyond my control. I get deeply attached to my birds and try hard to keep them healthy and happy, so losing any one is always sad, but it's particularly sad when they're young and it's just an accident or mistake that causes their death...which is what kept being my issue this year. - Lost one hen to guinea bullying. - Lost one cockerel and two pullets to I don't even know what (mysterious circumstances). - Lost four newly hatched serama chicks because the hen rejected and killed them while I was on vacation. - Lost a several week old duckling to my other birds because I thought he and his mother would be okay in a pen in the coop (the duckling went through the pen into the general coop area, even though the spacing on the bars was seemingly too small for him to get through, and was killed). - My favorite old hen got herself basically scalped by one of my roosters. I thought I'd have to put her down, but she showed a will to live. In fact, she recovered almost entirely over several weeks...and then a predator got her. (She was twelve years old so she lived a good, long life, but I still feel bad...). - I put some of my chicks together for a few hours, and my beloved little cockerel pecked two of the Icelandic chicks to death and then my mom put that cockerel in a pen he could escape from because she didn't know better, and he left and never came back. It seems like he killed the two Icelandic pullets, and now I'm left with two cockerels. - Lost a cochin chick I bought at the feed store to cocci just a few days after I bought the chick because it was apparently already in bad shape when I bought it, despite looking healthy. - Lost several chicks that I hatched at several weeks old. One chick had a leg issue and was doing all right but then died, one was runty and died just when I was starting to think it would make it, and one for some unknown reason. - Had a large number of heartbreakingly unsuccessful hatching experiences, mostly because of badly timed power outages. - Randomly found one of my coturnix dead. - Just found two of my older serama chicks dead today... Not sure what from. They may have gotten too wet and then died from the cold, but they have shelter and have been doing fine in the wet/cold for weeks, so it's strange that this would happen all of the sudden? This doesn't even include deaths from old age, less upsetting chick deaths (ie, just natural/normal chick deaths), or other animals. My point is partly that I wanted to vent about how rough this year has been on me as far as losing birds, but also partly to say that I'm hoping next year will be filled more with successes and happiness, and less with heartbreaking accidents. There have been a number of wonderful things about this year as well, don't get me wrong, but I hope next year has less sadness for my flock. Honestly, I look back on these incidents and they still hurt, even nearly a year later for some of them, but as I head into the new year, I want to try and let go of those sadnesses and continue on forward. I've done enough mourning, and allowing these things to stay with me and wound me forever doesn't help the birds that died nor does it help me. All I can do is learn and hope that things don't happen, and do my best to prevent accidents by being more careful. Has anyone else had a rough year in their flock? Feel free to share or vent. I'll be sending you all good wishes and hope that we all have a good year next year with our birds.