Last Wednesday I found that she had an impacted crop. I started to treat her with olive oil and maggots, switching to liquid paraffin and warm water when I read that too much olive oil is hard for them to process.
The crop massaging worked well, and she was able to eat. I treated her three times on Thursday, as her crop was hardening up again during the day. Friday, I took her to the vets, although by the time the only-available-appointment time arrived, her crop was much better, smaller and softer.
The Vet gave me a liquid qhich contained antibiotic, probiotic and something else, as it was possible that my impacted crop mught develop into sour crop. Treatment continued over the weekend, with us seeing some improvement in Scarlett herself, but still a fairly full crop each morning.
Yesterday she was wandering around the garden with the others, quite happily. This morning though, when I opened up the Cube at 7am to let them all out, she was dead.
I have been going through everything wondering if I did something wrong. Maybe I got water in her lungs? Why didn't I spot the problem sooner? etc etc. I don't think I did get fluid in her lungs, I guess it's just part of my grief that it making me question everything.
I'm consoling myself by being grateful for small mercies. She had a happy day yesterday, she was scratching about in the pen with her friends before bedtime, she went to bed without any trouble, she died in her sleep rather than suffering over a few days. I took her to a chicken specialist vet, so I don't have to question whether the treatment was right. She was very much loved, and I believe she had a happy life.
I am grief stricken. I don't really have a favourite hen, as all my girls have something unique and lovely going for them; but treating a hen three times a day creates a strong bond. She was also the first chicken that I bathed and blow dried.
Goodnight little girl