We lost Queen Charlie Chicken tonight. She had prolapsed badly and didn’t respond to treatment. To be honest, it was really a forlorn hope. After a week of treating her, she was no better.
The treatment, gently pushing the prolapse into place, was distressing her and just not working. So we decided the best thing to do was to leave her with the other hens in the run but keep a close eye on her. We felt continuing to cause her distress by treating her with practically no chance of cure was cruel.
I was worried in case she laid an egg and had blood on the prolapse which could cause the other hens to attack. Hens aren’t people – no matter how lovely some are. They are more creatures of instinct and blood brings out the velociraptor in them.
The last couple of weeks she’s had a happy life with her flock and has appeared to be in no distress. It’s always difficult to tell with animals. I judged she was happy on the basis she was actively running around, alert and eating well. Just last week she got a worm and managed to outrun the rest of the flock to devour it. Sometimes I think hens think that the best food is that being eaten by another hen.
Anyway, yesterday she was looking a bit hunched and obviously hanging back a bit from the others. She perked up when I put some corn out and went to roost as normal.
Today the weather was terrible in the morning, a real gale blowing with driving horizontal rain. The ladies were still in the coop at 10 am, it was that bad. When I went up they decided to brave the elements and were most disgruntled I didn’t have a treat for them. Queen Charlie came out of the coop last – normally she’s the first – and looked a little unsure coming down the ladder but otherwise fine.
I went back out at 3 pm to give them some corn and check Charlie who was standing under the coop with her head buried under her wing. She didn’t come over for the corn and just looked thoroughly miserable.
Back up again at dusk, around 6.30 pm and they’d all gone up to bed. We waited until 8.30 pm when they were fast asleep and my son-in-law came up to do the deed. Chickens do sleep deeply and she hardly woke up before the end.
I know it was the right thing to do. Putting it off would only prolong her misery for no benefit. It’s always tough when the time comes with a pet. I’ll miss her antics, like the time I bent down to pick something up off the floor and she jumped onto my back. Or when she decided something on my shoe was edible and followed me around, pecking at them.