We said goodbye to Daisy this past week. She was the head of our flock – the chicken in charge. Daisy was one of our Australorps, with the longest wattles and the loudest voice. She kept everything running in order. At night, after she made sure all the other birds were in the coop, Daisy patrolled the run before turning in.
This year we decided to allow our girls to free-range (we now have an electric fence). Daisy watched over her flock and kept an eye on the sky. She warned her girls if there was a cause for concern.
She was never a bully and Daisy advocated (loudly) for her girls when she wanted to be let out of the coop or the coop run. Or, if she wanted better treats.
I once watched her break up a squabble between two of her girls when they were younger. Daisy did not tolerate drama.
The day she died, Daisy appeared to be perfectly fine. We suspected nothing. All of our girls have been very healthy. With the free-ranging they are getting even more exercise. Not even five hours after letting the girls out into the side yard, we found Daisy lying just into the brush line, her typically bright red comb and wattles were grey. Her head was down. She “was sick.” We gathered her up and rushed her inside the house. We held her in our arms, readying for an emergency trip to the vet. And then… she just died. It was so fast.* She was gone.
I still drove to a vet’s office only five minutes away… Just in case there was still a heartbeat we couldn’t find. There was not.
That evening, we buried Daisy under a tree in our back yard deep in the clay soil of our land.
As the sun set, we watched the coop. Who would put the girls to bed? Would they go in without their “coop mother?” We watched, we waited, they did. Daisy taught them well.
We miss her. ☹️
(Daisy and I wrote a blog post together last year when she was a new “coop Mom.” You can read that here if you would like.)
* We learned there is a thing called “Sudden Chicken Death Syndrome” and we think that is what happened. Daisy displayed signs of a heart attack at the very end and died quickly.