Our favorite chicken, the one my daughter named Lemon, a Golden Comet, died of unknown causes today. She was the only hen in our small flock that permitted us to hold her at any time (and judging from the stories I've read on this site, the favorite of the flock is always the first casualty). I was never able to determine her condition and eventual cause of death. It started as what I thought was an impacted crop. Even after her crop emptied itself she continued losing weight, seldom ate, until I tried (in vain) administering soft foods round the clock myself. I wormed her many days before too. No matter the intervention, she kept deteriorating. This morning she was in the final stages of death, suffering, limp, and possibly in pain, and I had the unenviable task of hastening her demise, which I hope never to repeat on any of our birds again. My six year old is heartbroken, of course, saying, "She was the only one who let me pet her."