Saturday, September 25, 2010

Goodbye Friendly

I've only named 4 of my chickens.  The first one I named was Friendly.  You can guess how she got her name.  She used to hang close to us and talk.  It seemed like she wanted us to hold or pet her but she usually pulled away when I reached for her.  If I did catch her she would sit in my lap and let me pet her for as long as I wanted. 

Yesterday I knew something was wrong with her.  She was very lethargic.  I held her for at least 30 minutes, knowing she was very sick.  She seemed to like the affection but maybe she was just too tired to put up a fight.  Her comb turned a dull purple color and she held her back end in the air while she was lying down.  I didn't know what to do for her.  I feel like I didn't do enough research on the internet until it was too late.

This morning I held her one last time and gave her some yogurt which she only ate because I put her beak in it.  An hour later I found her dead.  I couldn't stand that I didn't know what killed her so I did an autopsy on her.  It sounds like a gruesome thing to do to a pet but I think it's important for me to know what to do if there's a next time and what to look for.  I feel pretty sure it was one of two things, an impacted crop or an egg had broken inside her.  Her crop was still very full of grass and wheat berries.  It seems like it should have digested in a day if she hadn't been eating in a while.  Also, it smelled really bad.  Her lower insides were covered in a yolk colored substance but there was no egg shell to be seen.  I'd never seen yellow like this in another chicken or turkey so that's why I wonder if an egg hadn't broken inside.  She had been opening and closing her vent a lot too so that's another reason I suspected she was eggbound.   One thing I think I need to do is offer oyster shell again and change their food back to the layer food I'd been giving them before.  I had switched food when I got the turkeys and fed a generic poultry food to all the fowl.

It all happened so fast and I hope that never happens to one of my goats.   Last night the young woman who called me for assistance after the birth of her goats came by to get more advice on what she thought was a dying young goat.  Actually, 2 sick goats.  I sent her home with a few supplies and instructions and I'm waiting to hear today how they're doing today.   I didn't go with her back to her house and I'm kind of glad not to have become emotionally involved with another sick animal.  I told her I'd come by today if they hadn't improved.  I hope they're better.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about Friendly - it's always so hard to lose a pet and companion.