Sometimes despite all that we do, despite our best intentions and best efforts, an animal will fail to thrive.
The batch of Broad-breasted Bronze and White turkeys I purchased from Sunnyside Hatchery this year was extremely frail and we lost half of them before they were even half-grown.
This little poult was quite lame from a very young age, and despite our efforts (taping her bad leg to her good one, offering her her own space so she would not have to compete for food or water, keeping her in the brooder when all the other turkeys went to live outside, giving her special supplements) she never recovered.
Until finally one day this autumn, as she lay in a sunbeam in the barn, she went peacefully back to the big incubator in the sky.
Every animal that dies before its time takes a piece of my heart with it, even when I realize it was in their best interest.
I hope she and Cricket are having a grand old time now, wherever they are, bodies whole and strong again, soaring above the clouds.