We had our first death on the farm today. I went outside to check the sheets I had hanging on the line and, as is my usual routine, went around the corner to talk to the chickens. Much to my dismay, Buffy, our Buff Orpington hen, was lying dead by the gate.
My theory is that she tried to get at something outside the gate by sticking her head through, got her head stuck, panicked and broke her own neck. The gate is an old chain-link gate from a dog kennel that we dismantled at our old house. I hadn't bothered to put any smaller wire over it as I wasn't worried about it. Now, J17 and I covered the lower portion of the gate with chicken wire, just to be safe.
It was a sad time. We buried her over by the shrubs we planted as a wind break for the future bee hives.
We will miss Buffy. She was always friendly and gentle and such a character. And her feathers were so soft.