Monday, 19 November 2018

At the third stroke...

My lovely mother in law died on Thursday.

And it continued...

DH got back from visiing his poorly mum on Wednesda, and went to do the Allotment chooks.  One of the Dorkings was unable to stand.

He checked her leg to see if it was a foot or leg problem, and decided it was her upper leg.  He was unable to examine her more thoroughly, so he phoned me and we decided it was best for her to come home.

She looked terrible. Her tail was down.  I gave her some butridrops and she drank thirstily,.  I gave her water by syringe.  We then examined her. It turned out that her leg ring had slipped up her thigh, got wedged, and cut in to her leg.  It was a bit of a mess.

We got the leg ring off, and sprayed liberally with special disinfectant.  She looked brighter immediately, but still couldn't stand.  We set up a dog crate for her to stay in.

She improved quickly, and I kept her sprayed and well fed.   On Friday, I let her out into the garden, thinking she might want to eat some grass. She sat under the Rosemary. I brought her in before I let the big girls out.     On Saturday, I let her out again. I let the big girls out too, and kept an eye out in case there was trouble.  There was a little, but it was OK.

We took her back to the allotment on Sunday.  

She was greeted with a peck on the head from one of the Harem. 

We'll see how she goes from here.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018


It's been a draining couple of weeks, I don't have the emotional reserve to blog about the detail at the mo.

Yesterday I went to do the Allotment chooks.  The 3 little girls are growing, and will soon be old enough for us to open the connecting door permanently.  In the meantime, we're  letting them mingle for the time we are down there.

As usual, the older girls and Bertie were clustered around the gate when I  arrived. They can hear me coming, and get into position to run out of the allotment on to the grass verge as soo as the gate is unlocked.

I said good morning to each of them as they poured through the opening,   and I realised that I only had 5 harem girls not 6.  I went into the allotment,  opened up for the Littlees,  and checked that the missing girl wasn't shut in with them.  She wasn't in the outside coop. 

I opened the shed coop, and there she was, dead on the floor, with her head between one of the nest boxes and the battery box.  I went and got a couple of sacks to wrap her in.

Stop reading now if you are squeamish.

I said goodbye to her and stroked her. She was still in rigor mortis,  and I find it a little difficult to pick them up when they are like this.   I picked her up carefully,  and looked at her comb to see if it was purple (which would indicate heart attack).   There was no comb, just a bloody mess where the comb used to be.  I braced myself, and made myself check her face.   That confirmed it.

I wrapped her up carefully, and took her to the car.  Then I went back to the shed.

Thankfully there was only blood where her head had been lying.   The lack of spatter ruled out the remote possibility that she had been pecked to death by the other chooks,   and it also ruled out that she had been grabbed by a rat/weasel/similar predator and killed.    It was most likely that she died, and then her comb etc had been eaten post mortem.

The Harem Girls (actually nominally called Catherine, AnneBoleyn, Jane, AnneCleves, and Katherine, but we don't use their indvidual names) are sisters to Poppy and Gloria and Henry (our previous cockerel).  All are Welsh Blacks, from CastleFarm eggs, and are six and a half years old. 


Dressing down

I managed to finish Small Person's dress!

I bought several variations of tutu/underskirt for it, but I couldn't get the effect I wanted.  Only one of the underskirts gave the right shape,  and that was far too long.   I'll make th enext dress a longer length to use it.

The top needs a press (and is a little too big, but I left it that way as she is having growth spurts at the moment)