Hello folks. I’ve been absent for a week, I know, but it’s been hell of a week.
Well, two weeks really. Dave, the last of our original hens has been sick. She looked a bit under the weather so we brought her in and to keep an eye on her. She was being very picky about her food – interested, but not eating. I’ve been syringe feeding ever since. This continued for about a week and we thought she might have worms despite using verm-x (isn’t a trawl around the forums enlightening? Turns out verm-x = evil and useless) We ordered the proper medicinal wormer from the net – one we had been avoiding because we didn’t want to pump our beleaguered ex-bats full of chemicals. The next morning her crop was full and it looked like she wouldn’t be able to take the meds. A phone chat with our wonderful poultry vet confirmed worms, and I rushed round to pick up some drops to put on her skin. He was worried about her crop though and thought she might have an impaction further down that he wouldn’t be able to clear.
I'm beginning to think the vet was right, and she may have blockage beyond her crop. I’ve been treating for sour crop and I thought it had emptied yesterday morning but when I got back from work she was unable to stand and her crop was full as ever this morning. She has gone from looking peaky for two weeks to looking near death overnight. I didn't expect her to be alive when I got home from work today, and had a good cry and said goodbye this morning but she's still here, hanging on. She's extremely weak, her eyes are closed and she's just lying there rather than sitting. If I try and stand her up she falls forward and I have to catch her. I’m sure she's skinnier than she was two weeks ago but I can't bring myself to weigh her to find out.
When we first got hens, a lady I met said they bring you nothing but heartache. I'm looking at Rita and Lucy trying to shelter from the rain and I have to say I don't wholeheartedly agree. I love watching them pecking about, and I'm proud they have all been rescued from evil battery cages - but when they die the heartache shows itself.
At least Davey got to see the sun.
I’m sitting watching Brief Encounter (I just watched the original Sweet November, it’s that sort of night) with Dave on my lap, sleeping. I know to most people she’s only a hen, and I feel a bit foolish being so melodramatic, but to me she’s no different to a dog or any one of my cats, and I know it’s only a matter of time.
So for now I’m signing off, to get a coffee and pull myself together, and decide whether I’m going to spend my bank holiday weekend sewing through my mountain of lovely fabric or building more workshop furniture.
That’s it Beccy, focus on the Nice things.