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A sad morning at the Chateau Tabitha Urban Homestead yesterday. We lost a chicken.

We left town Tuesday around noon, and got back late Wednesday night, so I wasn’t able to check on the girls. Friday morning I went out to see if everyone was okay, and poor Greta was lying in the corner of the coop, not moving.

I know she didn’t freeze to death because I was able to tuck her wings in and pick up her limp body. Her eyes were closed but her beak was open and had frost on it. She’d been having respiratory problems the last few days, wheezing and breathing heavily through her mouth. Plus, she was almost five years old. I think she went to sleep yesterday and never woke up.

I only had a major minor freak out when I found her. I came back inside, walked around the house a couple times, not sure what to do, and then I made myself go get a box and put her poor little body into it. I’ve never held a dead animal before. I didn’t cry. I feel upset, but not sad or responsible. She was old. She had a great life as far as chicken lives go. It had to happen. Death is part of life. She gave us eggs, and I took care of her the best way I knew how. She was a crusty old bird, but I’ll miss her.

I’m not sure what to do with her body. It’s too late to use the meat, and the ground is frozen solid right now so we can’t bury her. This may sound morbid, but we’ll probably use her to practice butchering, as we’ve never done it before, and you can’t hurt an already dead chicken. More than likely, we’ll have to butcher Liesl in the spring (Liesl is the same age as Greta).

Goodbye, Greta.  And thank you.