There was a death in the family yesterday. One of the red layer hens died in the coop.
They do that. They go in the coop (not the nest box), hunch up, pull in their feet and their heads, close their eyes, and go to “sleep”- really a pre-death trance. Their combs go pale, and they depart slowly.
The whole transition seems very peaceful, and like death happens by degrees. You can look at them in the last hours, and they aren’t dead yet, but they aren’t all there either. They’re mostly dead (couldn’t resist).
Usually I find them stretched out, one leg extended, and head stuck out, like their last act is one last stretch.
Yesterday HW alerted me there was a “chicken emergency” in Bravo coop, and it was a chicken on her way out. She’s old. I got generic red layers on three occasions, when others were getting rid of them (this is a chicken rest home), so I can’t be sure what set she’s from, but she’s somewhere upwards of 6 years old. She was already sprawled, and she onlybriefly opened her eye when I pet her. We left her to finish her departure at peace in her home.
What was new, though, is that in the morning, other chickens were holding a wake. Five of them skipping breakfast to stand around her in the coop. I’ve never seen that before, but it’s possible I just missed the time of the ceremony. Cheeks flipped out once over a dead hen. Ravens are known to hold wakes or funerals – I’ve seen it. But not…chickens.
There’s Nosey, pecking at my pants. She’s growing!
It was a nice sunny day, so I figured it would be a big bath day, with the pool overflowing with Pigpen chickens, but I went out with my camera and only three Silkies were in that mood.This guy found he had the pool all to himself, and seemed kind of pleased about it, but was only thinking about having a bath:
Cheeks is well. She needed her afflicted foot addressed, and redressed.
HW likes to hold her up sitting on her tail, and that it makes her look like a little person. She is surprisingly very ok with this. Whatever you do, don’t put these pictures on the internet! From this upright position, she is very involved in the whole operation. Quiet and still, but watching it all up close.
I had to flush her wound and try to squeeze out any pus. You can see her toe is healed, but the infection settled in the palm of her foot, and there’s still swelling. Extraction went well.Show us your new foot glove!
While I’ve been gone over the holidays, my husband has been grabbing chickens.
He spends quite a bit of time holding Cheeks the house chicken, who seems determined to remain designated house chicken indefinitely, I’m no trouble. No trouble at all!, but also grabbing “wild chickens” in the greenhouse, to cuddle them against their will.
I was sneaky; I was posting chicken pictures while I was away. But I’m back home and everyone is fine, including the 10 little unseasonal chicks. They’re bigger than they were.
Also, I’ve started producing new content at my new location: https://steempeak.com/@selka. You might recognize some of the initial stories:)
So far the platform is so easy to use that it’s like finally getting a drink when you’re thirsty. I’m so ready to say goodbye to WordPress. When I make the switch, the web link happyharvest.ca will just point over there, instead of here, so that little will be affected. I’ll have to confirm that email subscribers aren’t affected either.
For a bit I’ll post on both, until it’s time to switch. I’ll be keeping you posted (harhar).
I will keep this site alive always, so that all of the stuff stays here, but I’m going to stop paying for it, so ads will come back on, etc.
OMG! I just noticed she seems to have a bit of a crossed bill! I hope that doesn’t get too far. I like Nosey.
Don’t worry, Nosey. She’s about half grown up now so will probably not have advanced crossed beak. I haven’t had any crossbills before, only hens from the store that had clipped, aka mutilated beaks. So sad.
This little rooster is cerebrally challenged. In other words, he’s kinda dumb.
The last surviving rooster of the refugees from the horrible, terrible chicken place (all the hens recovered and relearned how to chicken, although they are all super small), he gets to stay in with the hens because of his beautiful colouring and mild, meek attitude. His brains, on the other hand, leave something to be desired.
The Colonel is at large in the GH, still the ruler of the roost, and boy is he kept busy teaching the young roos some manners. One flying drop kick at a time.