Today we lost one of the last two chickens from 2009's original flock. Elvis was my special bird. She was the runt of the litter - yet the first to "fly the coop". She was always the friendliest and would let me pick her up and pet her. She was the last to start laying eggs. In December 2010, she had to go into the chicken hospital after surviving some fairly significant pecking from the larger birds. She made it through and worked her way up the pecking order. After losing Mama Cass, Elvis was strutting her stuff as one of the elder birds - actually getting to sleep on the top roost.
Yesterday morning, I found her huddled in one of the nest boxes with alot of blood on her rump and around her vent. I hadn't seen any issues in the days prior or signs that she might have been egg bound. The other chickens had been pecking at her and she looked pretty bad. I knew in my heart that the chance of saving her was probably very slim. We moved her out of the coop thinking that maybe some time away from the girls and some quiet might give her a chance to heal. Last night she was standing up and Keith said she had been clucking. But something wasn't really right with her and she was standing too still with her back to me when I went to check on her later. When I went out this morning, she was gone.
At least I know that she died peacefully. Thank you for your eggs that provided nourishment for our family and friends. Elvis, we will miss you.