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Rest In Peace Sussie, 2009-2011

This week, we lost our speckled sussex hen, Sussie. Suss had not been active, or laying eggs, for a few weeks. We tried several recommended treatments but she continued to lose weight and strength. On Thursday, Alex found her dead in the coop.

In life, Sussie was the most skittish and shy of our hens. She had a funky gait and I wonder if she battled a weak heart or other congenital defect. Lil loved Sussie and frequently engaged her in silly acts, like riding a bicycle.

child and hen on a bike

With the two noisy Orpingtons sent to a farm (not a euphemism; they are happily squawking on a friend's spacious piece of land now), Australorp Austra is a single backyard chicken. She is healthy and producing one egg a day but clearly saddened to be without a flock. Her black-feathered self spends much of her day close to our back door, greeting us with endearing coos when we step outside.

Only time will tell the future for our city chicken coop. We eventually want more hens and are possibly ready for the experience of raising them from chicks. The roost and run can use a redesign, so perhaps we'll focus our efforts there first.

In the meantime, we mourn Sussie and are thankful for the time we were able to spend with her. Rest in peace, sweet speckled bird.