Tonight when I went out to put the chickens to bed, I found Maddie dead in a nest box. She had been ailing for a few days but seemed to be improving yesterday. She was a good layer and had a spunky personality. She was four years old. Chickens are a strange lot when it comes to one of their own. Right beside Maddie in the nest box there were two eggs. Someone had sat on her and laid an egg on her dead body......really? That's slightly disturbing. If four years is an average lifespan of a chicken, then I stand to lose some really awesome hens this year. Hopefully the rest will live longer. I wish you sweet peace, my Maddie girl.