Thursday, 11 April 2013

Our poor ill hen has died.

We have had the sun out a little lately and it is so nice to spend some time with our hens in the garden.  I am really enjoying watching them and getting to know their behaviours.  In the sunshine they lie on their side and splay their wing out!  Such a strange posture really, but comforting to know that they feel so relaxed with us present that they are happy to sit themselves in such a vulnerable position.
Rosie when we first got to know her.

Rosie's Health Deteriorates

The day after my previous post I was worried about whether Rosie wouldn't come down the ramp to greet me the next morning, but I was very relieved to open the hen house and see her sitting up on the perch.  She ventured out after the others and had been eating pellets throughout that morning.
I took her to the vets, as I didn't want to see her go the same way as poor Didee and to see if it was something we could help with.  The vet couldn't be sure of what was causing Rosie to be unwell but suggested a few things we could try to feed her just in case it was a digestion problem.

So we fed her some milky bread and even some fatty beef trimmings - it was a miracle to see her zoom in, snatch the beef and run off to eat it by herself.  Her appetite for wheat seeds in the evenings has increased.  I've also read that beef-flavoured cat food can help if there is something not right, so I have fed her some of this too.  It certainly gave her more solid poos, which was an improvement, as I have needed to give Rosie a few bottom-feather baths lately. (and was so surprised to find that she loves the blow dryer!)
Her comb was looking more red by the weekend, although when she tried to get up onto a stone she stumbled and fell backwards.  I think she misjudged the position of the rock shew was trying to stand upon.  So she still didn't seem to have a lot of strength.  The others did leave her alone which is kind.

Although we have had some sunshine, it has clouded over again and is bitterly cold.  Two days ago I had Rosie in the house on my lap and fed her some cooled scrambled egg, which by the end of the day she had eaten the entire thing, so I was very hopeful that she may regain her strength.  But when I put her back into the house with the others she could stay on the perch and fell off.  So I put her into the nest box for the night.  I did notice that her comb and wattle was looking a very blue, red colour - referred to as 'hearty'.  This can be a sign that her systems are under a lot of strain.

Then yesterday she stayed in the nest box, wouldn't eat anything, was still looking hearty and shaking her head quite a lot.  Sadly she died in the afternoon.  Poor little thing.
I really loved our two blue Orpingtons and really wanted to have them as friends for a very long time.  I wish they had not been the first to leave us.
Rosie hated the snow.

So... looking to the future

We were planning on getting a new hen to replace our Didee this coming weekend, so I shall phone and see if we can collect two hens instead.  I think I will call the new hens Rosie and Didee too.
So hopefully the next post will be more cheerful to read and I can introduce two new hens.


  1. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry. I was so sad to see this post :( It's hard when you lose them, especially so close together. Sometimes they just get sick and you never know what it is. They can be hardy birds, but also very fragile at times too. I'm really sorry for your loss.

  2. Oh! That is so sad! I understand, because I, too, have lost several chickens over the course of a year. Rosie is beautiful.
    But(please don't be mad for me saying this!)her passing may have been for the good. God works in mysterious ways. Many of my chickens died and I was very sad until my mother pointed out that it had solved the problem of the hen house being too full. Then I accepted it better. Maybe God didn't want you to have too much stress with feeling bad for Rosie suffering. I am so sorry that the wonderful bird died and am praying for you. :)

  3. Oh no, poor Rosie. I hope you are ok and your new hens settle in well.


  4. Oh no, I am so sorry to hear this. Losing one of you ladies is heart breaking.

    Sending hugs for you x


I love reading your messages. I usually reply via email but if you are a "no reply" commenter then I will happily reply here.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog!