Sunday, 25 April 2010

Almost a sorry tale

Yesterday was not a good day.

Lily (our loony White Ranger)  was very, very, very unwell.  Tail down (in itself unheard of for her) and all hunched up.  She looked...well, she looked like Jasmine had,  on the day Jasmine died.

I walked up to her to see if I could offer her something, and she moved away from me. Again, very unusual.   I left her alone for a while, and tried to work out what might have happened.     Jasmine had suffered some sort of "poisoning".   The other Girls were all fine,   nothing had changed in their routine.   The only thing that had  happened is that Lily had managed to fly over the netting into the bed where the wild bird feeders are.  We are visited by those parakeets, and they hoik lots of food out of the feeder onto the ground.       My guess was that Lily had eaten some stale wild bird feed, and it was causing her problems.

I also hoped that it might be she was goign to lay a softee, or something like that,  but that didn't seem to be the case.

Our chicken vet doesn't work at the weekends, they have some sort of stand-in service who don't know anything about chickens.

Meanwhile, I tried to find out abut post mortems, and learned that PMs need to be done on fresh corpses,  otherwise the pathogens are often gone by the time the PM is done. if I wanted a PM on her, she'd have to go in the freezer until Monday. 

I tried offering Lily a couple of things, but she wasn't interested.  Then I got out a pot of natural live yoghurt and 2 spoons, and I sat in their grassy area with it, and attempted to feed them.   The other 3 went mad for it, so I used one spoon to offer them some  I used the other spoon to offer some to Lily. who did partake a small amount.

I spent a lot of time crying. I know she's only a chicken,  but she's my Lily. She's my loopy chicken,  a  White Ranger, a breed known to be flighty, but  an individual who is happy to be picked up and stroked by me.  She is the one who can get over fences, and through tiny gaps.  And who comes to the back door to tell us she's escaped and to get her reward of corn. 

I knew she was likely to be fairly short-lived,  and I did suspect that she might pop off this year,  but I didn't expect it to be this way. Or now.

During the day, she had perky periods, and then down periods.   Her last down period was just before they went to bed.  SHe settled in the nest box, and I said goodbye.

And this morning, I couldn't face going down and taking a look, so DH went instead.

And Lily is still with us, and looking brighter.   She didn't lay a softee, but she did lay something strange. A tube.  Imagine one of those long balloons (the sort that are impossible to inflate unless you have the knack) before it's filled with air.     Only half the length.   We imagine that it was an eggshell, but with no egg to go in.

Fingers crossed she'll stay OK today.    I'll make an appointment for the chicken vet tomorrow, in case the egg burst inside her.



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