Monday, March 7, 2011

It Was Bound To Happen...

So I write today with some sad news. In our chicken endeavors we have only lost a few of our chickens. Two were to a predator and one was a day old chick who just wasn't strong enough to push forward. The two we lost to a predator were very young chickens, so it really didn't affect us.

This Saturday we had to cull one of our chickens. Nutmeg was a Rhode Island Red Hen, probably about 2 years old. She never was a terrific layer and the reason why was she had a reproductive defect that caused her eggs to come out very deformed, watery and very easily crushed. On regular occasions our nesting boxes would be gooey with egg yolk and whites and would stick all over the other eggs. We kept her anyway because she was a healthy, affectionate companion to all her coop mates. She was also quite affectionate to us as well. Always let us pick her up and hand feed her treats. She would follow me around the yard like I was her mommy.

About 3 weeks ago I started noticing that she was not herself. She would go out with the rest of her family and eat some grass and scratch around, but then she would just puff herself up and sleep the day away. I've also notice that someone was pooping strange liquidity stuff, but couldn't figure out who it was. Well, weeks went on and I noticed a rapid decline in Nutmeg . I also noticed that there were no more messy nesting box incidents. Starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together I came to the conclusion that the weird poop was actually coming from her. Her thin eggs must have broken inside of her which in turn blocked the ability to lay. The condition is called 'Egg Bound'. We finally came to the decision that she would never recover fully with the treatments that were available. She would always lay the type of eggs that would cause her this same problem later down the road. She was very thin, light and it looked like she would probably not have made it, even if we had tried the treatments. The best option was to put her out of her misery and put her in a better and happier place.

Never did I think that having to put a chicken down would have affected me this way. I was sad, and I did shed tears. I never could handle nor wrap my head around a life just ending, animal or human. I could probably put myself into a psych ward just thinking about it for too long.

So to Nutmeg, I hope you are in a better place. We know we gave you a good life with lots of love and freedom to flap your wings. Your friends miss you too. Mr Roo has been crowing non stop and looks as though he has set a search around the property. =o(

you will be missed