Way back in October of 2010, Ani, our feather-footed Bantam, passed away.This post should have been written months ago, but I think we were subconsciously avoiding it. At the time of her death, we were going through our own human health issues, and the sadness in seeing her pass was overwhelming on top of our looming feelings of mortality and all of that. Of course, as always, our sentimental feelings about our chickens are our own, and we realize they might sound quirky...or loony...to some of our readers. Sorry about that! We've grown surprisingly attached to our birds.
If you've followed the chicken posts of our blog, you know that our chickens were hit with Marek's disease, which is seemingly rare in small operations such as our own. Ani began acting lethargic, and she had a slight limp. These signs were unlike what our other chickens had exhibited, so we remained hopeful that she was just coming down with something else. We took her to the vet, who felt unsure if she was dying from Marek's or just sick. We kept her inside in a pet carrier and administered some meds, but she died (peacefully?) on a Sunday afternoon. She's buried in our backyard, far from where our other chickens visit.
A side note (for all of you new chicken-keepers) is that through research, I've learned that if a hen is to get Marek's, a very vulnerable time is when she is about to lay her first egg. I believe Ani was egg-ready.
Ani stole my heart as my favorite chicken. She had such a bouncy gait, and when I picture her, it's usually images of her running and flying to keep up with me or Andy, venturing around our yard. She was crazily affectionate. The second one of us entered her run, she'd desperately try to seek out one of our limbs or shoulders onto which she could land. When our run with Marek's began, I silently hoped and prayed that Ani and Zappa would be spared above all others. I think that because we got those two first, we spent the most time bonding with them, and so, they became more affectionate than the others, and hence, we saw them more as pets than our other chickens.
Here are my favorite images from her very short little life.