Thursday, 20 February 2014

Can't believe it's another death in our garden

Just when you think everything is going swimmingly, another surprise is in store.
Our longest lasting hen who has been with us for three winters, Bizzy Lizzy our Scots Dumpy came down from the hen house last week with one eye closed.

Two days later she was hunched down and then the next day she couldn't walk on her right leg and was barely able to limp.

You can see her limp leg poking backwards in this photo.
We kept an eye on her over the weekend and helped her to food, water as well as in and out of the house, and took her to the vets on Monday.  They ruled out an injury and suspect it to be something neurological.

She was given two steroid injections and a 5 day course of antibiotics.  Over the five days she did show some signs of improvement.  She seemed to want to stay with the other hens, and she was able to use her leg a lot more, swinging it forward and walking more smoothly although not putting actual weight on it.  Her eye opened up, but she doesn't seem to have any control over the lower lid.  Towards the end of the 5 days on antibiotics she deteriorated and so on our final trip to the vet we had to say goodbye.
Her other lower lid no longer seemed to close and there was no evidence of her being able to open her beak by herself and when she did aim for a seed she missed it by an inch anyway.  Her comb had dropped to one side, and her head and neck were always tilted to one side.

It was sad to say goodbye and I shed some discreet tears in the vets, but it was for the best.  Her condition was advancing despite the medication.  The vet doesn't think it is the sort of thing that the others will catch, most likely an infection that got into her nervous system.  She must have been in pain and discomfort so I am glad that she no longer has any pain.
Her better eye.  Walking a bit better, although limp leg is
still towards the back and not carrying any weight.

She did have a good life here with us, despite being our bossiest, broodiest, flightiest and least tame hen.  Thanks for all your naughtiness Bizzy Lizzy, you taught us a lot about the various natures of hens.
Bizzy Lizzy, Scots Dumpy, in better days

And so, another phone call to the breeders of our two newest hens, and we're off to collect two more Australorps on Sunday!  We'll have 5 hens at one time - the most we've ever housed!


  1. What a shame, poor Bizzy Lizzy. Hope the new arrivals settle in well. A x

  2. Oh Nessa, I am so sorry! Poor sweet girl. You did everything you could for her and it's so sad, but it was the right decision to say goodbye. Don't feel bad about shedding some tears. I know she meant so much to you. RIP dear Bizzy Lizzy. I have a feeling she is in chicken heaven right now scratching around with my feathered friends I've had to say goodbye to in the past!


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