Popcorn died unexpectedly this morning. She was huddled on the top step to the nesting box breathing noisily. I stroked her and talked to her. She was puffed up and her comb was dark red.
I went inside to google the symptoms. There were the usual references to internal parasites and blockages. One site said that sometimes chooks just do die suddenly. That proved to be the case, as she simply fell off the step.
Yesterday, she was on the back of the chair looking in the window. Later I could hear her ‘popping’ up and down to reach the lettuces in the vertical planter. She dust bathed, enjoyed her treats and hung out with her other three mates all day.
She is the last of the three rescued chooks who came to live here (temporarily, at first) in January 2020. She is now with Betty (No 1) and Dora in the chicken graveyard under the lilac (which is flowering beautifully). The second little flock of three, which came from my niece in Dunedin, remains. Is it my imagination, or do they seem subdued, this morning? Popcorn used to boss them about a bit, so they may have to re-think the pecking order.
We are subdued too. Popcorn was the ‘star turn’, entertaining us with her antics. She was the first to investigate anything new and the first to run to see if I had anything for her when I was picking salad leaves in the garden – as she did yesterday.
It will be very strange without her. Rest in peace, Popcorn.