Everything bad always happens to Phoenix. I find blood in the coop and discover someone's hurt a foot, it's Phoenix. Someone gets harassed by all the other chickens -- Phoenix. I back up and accidentally step on a chicken, the dog decides it's fun to see squawking and flapping, the run door blows closed while a chicken is walking through it -- Phoenix.
But bad things will not be happening to Phoenix any more, because she died this morning. I found signs in the nest box a few weeks ago that something had gone seriously wrong in the egg-laying tract of one of the chickens (a series of shell-less eggs, along with some rather disturbing lumps), and presumably whatever tumor or system failure caused that is behind her demise. I don't think she was in pain at all; she was a chicken, and chickens put an awful lot of energy into not looking sick, but she seemed like a happy, active bird right up through last night.
I will miss my scaredy-cat Fifi-bird.
- Eulogy for a Chicken