Clara turned 10 last month, and from all accounts I've heard, 10 is old for a chicken. No sign of illness or anything. She acted perfectly normal the day before. We buried her under the pine tree, where she always liked to lay in the summer. Her other favorite spot was on the back step, but we really couldn't bury her under the cement.
I looked through some pictures yesterday, and thought you might enjoy a few. Unfortunately, I didn't find the one from when she caught the mouse.
Clara and Goldie (long deceased). Clara would walk right inside the back door if it were open. It was a running joke for a long time that Clara should have been a dog. She was a great watch-chicken, and chased a couple of people out of the back yard once.
OK, so Clara isn't in this picture, but it's still a good one. How many Rhode Island Reds fit on a garbage can? Four!
Perching on garbage cans or climbing the fence to get out (thank you, Goldie, for teaching that trick) was not Clara's thing. She was a good chicken, preferring her back yard (in the fence) to roaming around. She would let me know when hawks or other predators would come around, and she woke me up a few times during the night, too when oppossoms and raccoons would visit. Yup, she will be missed, but what a grand life she had!