DH had to be gone to the dealership an hour south of us yesterday (he has a loaner car, has to go back to get the CRV today, thankfully, the work mostly covered by warranty). I was left with Deacon. When I checked on him, in spite of the heat lamp, he seemed so cold, so I just gathered him up and brought him inside and he slept in front of the wood stove for hours. I got him to eat a few bites of pancake but he was refusing water so I knew it was his last day. It was just after muttsfan asked about him that we went to check and found he was at the end.
I did cut open that "wound". It was still all scabbed up, but I cut across and partly around it. It was just fibrous like a cyst/tumor. At this point, I don't think it really had anything to do with what happened to him, that it was coincidental. The day that he and Atlas were battling at the fence under their adjoining coops about a month ago and Atlas tore the back of his comb and Deacon began limping, I think it's entirely possible that he jumped as he usually does, fighting with his feet, and hit his head on one of the 2x8 floor joists. He may have re-injured himself-if you recall, Isaac almost killed him inside the coop awhile back and I found him in the corner. He couldn't walk, his head shaking side to side as he would fall over to his left. We thought he was a goner then, but eventually recovered. Since then, there was at least one episode where he appeared glazed over and unsteady after one of their little tussles at the coop door when he lived in the other building. So, I think he suffered some permanent neurological damage when Isaac attacked him way back when. He may have hit himself just right to eventually lead to his demise. I'll never know for certain.
Deacon already had issues we could see and some that weren't so obvious, like his one spur and his dwarf gene, making it impossible to breed from him after he produced two dwarf sons. Who knows what other insufficiencies stemmed from just that? But, he was one of a kind and we loved that rooster. We've always had friendly, sweet males because we bred from the right stock, but he was beyond that, a true pet rooster. He will be very missed.
Now, Atlas is my only large fowl rooster and not one of his hens is laying, INCLUDING 37 week old Lizzie, or should I say "Lazy Lizzie"? She is HUGE, fully as big as the original Stukel hens. It's about time. Tessa, Ida's daughter, is almost 21 weeks old. I hope she doesn't wait that long to lay her first. I'm relying on ancient hens to give me eggs now. Lizzie has little excuse unless she's one of the true duds who never lays. The hen I have who waited the absolute longest is my EE, June. She laid her first jumbo egg at 40 weeks. Lizzie is challenging her for the title, it seems.
The last photos I took of Deacon.
This was October 23, so only a month ago he was on his feet and being a great flock rooster to his late father's hens.
Edited by speckledhen - 11/25/15 at 5:47am