Papa Seed found her dead in the chicken coop this afternoon. We have no idea what happened, she seemed the healthiest of the three and was the biggest and the Queen of the bunch. It is so sad, she was a fine lady and we will miss her.
Papa Seed named her after Yva Las Vegass who used to perform on the streets of Seattle, much to our delight, but who now lives in New York. I sent her a message on Facebook earlier in the year to let her know that we are fans, and that we named one of our chickens in her honor. She was very sweet with her response.
When we brought the baby chicks home, our neighbor, who used to have chickens in the coop when she and her partner who used to own this home raised them (a lot of connect the dots in that little phrase), said that having chickens means having to deal with death. About six months later our two favorites and the first to start laying were killed - Josefina and Lyra. We suspect it was a fox, but we will never know. Nicky was put on the bottom of the pecking order and was getting her feathers pulled and bloody spots on her skin. We spent a long period with her in "transitional housing" (a very large cage which took over the entire "movie room") and it took another two months of failed efforts at reintroducing them before we finally had peace in the chicken run.
I knew nothing about chickens when we first got them which may be why I can watch them for hours in complete fascination. I love the girls. They are not the kind of birds you can cuddle with, our hens are fierce and have no problem jumping up to peck, but they also will follow you around the yard if they think you are going to expose some good insects in your digging around. Now it is just Nicky - Mancub named her after an ex-girlfriend - and Esmeralda. From five to two in a year and a half. We buried Yva in the backyard. I suppose there were other options, but that is what we did. She had laid one last egg for us that was with her. I'll miss seeing her hop out of the coop in the morning, and singing good night to her when I shut them in after dark.