Farewell Queen Charlie

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.

Brown Hen

Charlie Chook

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.

Posted in My Chicken Diary
6 comments on “Farewell Queen Charlie
  1. Betty Fillingham says:

    They can be characters but unfortunately when they are unwell they are quite fragile and often do not recover. The other hens will attack and peck them, it is their nature, but very distressing! We always had chickens as I was brought up on a farm and my Mother used to say, “…. is looking seedy” and I still use that phrase! Sorry you lost this one and I do understand you can become attached to them.

  2. Jacqueline Robson says:

    I know how you feel I went to let my girls out this morning to find one of mine dead she was absolutely fine yesterday, she was a ex battery one I had for about 3 years still laying a few eggs.

  3. John Harrison says:

    Thanks Betty – it’s like the old phrase “where there is livestock, there’s deadstock” If we were raising commercially then we wouldn’t name them and I’d be more detached.
    Mind you, if we were commercial they’d be overdue for replacement by now.

  4. John Harrison says:

    Sorry to hear that Jacqueline. At least most of her life was good and happy.

  5. Fiona says:

    Oh bless Charlie Chook RIP ❤️ We used to keep sheep on our farm and was shown how to mend a prolapse by my knowledgable Shepard neighbour ,he produced a small coke bottle and popped it into the required hole and secured it with nappy pins no anisthetic poor sheep it made her eyes water some what but a week later the bottle was carefully removed and presto it was fixed ,,,amazing ,,but please ,please ,,,do not try this with chickens

  6. John Harrison says:

    Hi Fiona – at least sheep don’t lay a lamb every day! Local farmer performed a gynaecological (ooh, there’s flash!) procedure on one of his ewes. You can tell which one by the threads of …. baler twine … hanging out.

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