Saturday, August 29, 2009

sudden chicken death: RIP Sophia :-(

Sophia and ZsuZsu walking the property

I'm so sad.

Melanie went out to tend the chickens this evening and found Sophia in a heap, expired, in the back corner of the run, just outside the door of the coop.

Not sure why she died. There was no sign of suffering. She was just lying down in the corner, eyes closed, motionless.

ZsuZsu was noticeably upset, making a lot of squawking noises as I gathered up Sophia's body to preserve it over the weekend.

I'll be taking Sophia's remains to the UC Davis Lab on Monday so they can perform a necropsy.

I'm still in shock, just going through the motions. Our daughter's taking it hard.

19 comments:

Urbancowgrrl said...

That's so sad :(
My friend who raises chickens warned me when I got mine that they "die at the drop of a hat so don't get too attached". I don't see how one couldn't get attached to animals that live with them though. It makes it sadder to hear the other chicken was so upset losing her buddy. I'll be interested to hear what the lab says.

Melanie K said...

Zsu Zsu woke up early this morning, noisier than usual.

I went down to check on her and to let her out for a few minutes.

Once back in the run, she kept going over to the corner where we found Sophia.

I think she does miss her sister. :-(

Rebecca said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your chicken. We lost one earlier in the spring and it was heart wrenching. It was then that I decided that they will be called collectively "the girls" from now on...no more naming!

Meg said...

So sorry for your loss! We lost our Chloe II suddenly and it was very sad. We think she might have been egg-bound but at the time she had just started laying and didn't think anything of it when she wasn't as regular as her buddy Cleo. Who knows with these things. They are fragile pets, but I couldn't simply decide to not be attached to them. They are too sweet to not care about.

Chainsdraging said...

What No frying Pan

Thomas Kriese said...

Thanks all for the kind thoughts.

It's sad to see ZsuZsu (the surviving chicken) all alone in the coop now.

I'm taking Sophia's remains to the UC Davis lab in the morning and will let you know what I find out.

Mo said...

I am so very sorry for your loss!

I recently decided that despite it being my dream to have chickens one day, now is not the right time for us living here in Pheonix. It has been an intensely long, hot summer, and I know how much I would worry about trying to keep a little flock cool and alive over so many hot months. Others do it here, but for me, well I couldn't bear to lose any to heat exhaustion.

So hard for you guys, and Zsu Zsu. :(

S Vandemore said...

So disappointing when this happens, and sad when it's a chicken you've become attached to.

Pranayama mama said...

So so so sad. I'm sorry.

Urban Farmer said...

I'm so very sorry! I'm so attached to my just five-month old chickens, I can't imagine losing one. Best wishes for good health in the coop!

EAPPster said...

I lost two chickens last year and it was really hard, but it hasn't stopped me from getting attached to my other hens. While chickens don't live as long as other pets, I'm happy to enjoy them while they're here with me.

I know your sadness is still fresh, but I encourage you to get some new girls soon to keep Zsu Zsu company. Chickens need friends. And perhaps some cute fuzzy baby chicks will cheer your family up a bit.

Thomas Kriese said...

Thanks, everyone, for the notes of sympathy. I really appreciate your reaching out to me, and I have to say, I'm surprised to hear so many others have lost chickens! (I guess I never really paid attention to how prevalent it was before). Look for a post on this discovery later.

We're now starting to think about another chicken... our eldest daughter is already trying out names :)

Bradly said...

Sorry to hear about Sophia. I know it's easy to get attached to them. I've had to install a mister near the eglu to keep the temp down. Let us know what the lab says.

Granny Annie said...

I feel like I have lost a friend. Many of us have known Sophia and Zsu Zsu since they joined your family and have loved keeping up with them through your blog. It is bad enough when predators take your chickens but it is worse when they drop dead for no apparent reason. I have lost two before to heat stroke and it always seems strange because others will survive and only one will suffer.

My condolences to your and your famiy. RIP Sophia.

f-that said...

Holy crap, it's a chicken not a pet. This site is hilarious.

Meg said...

f-that,

Who says a chicken can't be a pet? People have all things as pets: snakes, gerbils, bunnies. Why not a chicken? My two hens run to the door to greet me, they eat out of my hands, they'll stand on my lap. They're pets.

But regardless of how you define "pet", your remark was incredible insensitive and rude. As they say, "anonymity + internet = asshole". I just hope you're at least more decent than that in "real life". If you are, don't forget that people online have REAL feelings to.

bs said...

i just found your site this morning, unfortunately googling "chicken died suddenly." we'd had d'brickashaw for almost 3 years and we found her yesterday the same way you did, curled up in the run and looking peaceful. the only thing i can think of in our case is maybe she was eggbound, since she was moving more slowly than our other chicken and had laid a few odd looking eggs in the last year... but i agree with urbancowgirl. birds are kind of fragile :(. we are getting some more chickens this week so our last girl, jessica simpson, won't be an only bird for very long.

erica said...

We just buried a sweet bantam silkie hen that was my oldest daughter's best friend. She's so broken up about losing Peep. The worst part is that we don't have any idea why she died. She was only 3 1/2 and appeared to be fine earlier in the day. In the evening, we found her lying under my daughter's swing, dead. There were no injuries or signs of illness. I can't help but keep thinking I must have missed something or done something wrong somehow. :'( I would love to know if you found out anything in Sophia's necropsy. We couldn't afford one.

Thomas Kriese said...

Hi Erica, I'm so sorry to hear of the sudden loss of Peep. The necropsy came back with no clear indication as to why she died. She had no disease and they couldn't find any physical reason (like being egg-bound) that caused her sudden death. I'm just thankful it was quick.

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