I found her October 31st 2010 amongst a seething mass of broiler chicks destined for slaughter, 34 deg celc heat, no water, no food. I pleaded with the guy who owned them to take all 50, but he would not agree. We managed to get them food and water. I grabbed one amongst the many – she had a big tear in her side. He allowed me to take her to treat. I called her Muk Muk (named by Danni Curry from A…us). I nursed her to health, and she grew to 6kgs. She was genetically modified to go from 0 to slaughter in 6 weeks. At 6 months Muk got heart problems, as broilers are prone to – in desperation my vet and I tried putting her onto dog heart meds. It worked and Muk was like a new gal. This morning I found her at 5am dead in the garden under a bush. I am not sure what happened, and will never know, but I suspect she had a heart attack and died. She was my baby – she loved sitting on my lap while I massaged her large, often sore body. Muk Muk wanted cuddles all the time, and would pull at my clothes till I loved her. My staff adored her, and her big body, and big personality has left a massive hole in our lives. She leaves her chicken friends Lesego, Cindy and Daisy. I sat with the three of them and Muks body later in the morning. They stared at her, pecked her gently, sat on her – they engaged with her, and they knew. My heart today is shattered. Its days like today, that I do not want to do this work anymore and deal with this imperfect world and all its cruelty – however a wise friend reminded me this morning, that this is what has happened before, and closing my heart to stop further pain will not benefit anyone, including future chickens. So today I sit with the pain of losing my dear Muks, and imagine a world without her cuddles and soft head in my hair. I do acknowledge that Muks passing has made a space for another chicken in need – but not today – it is too sore. RIP beautiful, beautiful Muk Muk – my life was richer with you in it.