Speckledhen I am sorry to hear of the passing of your beloved birds, although I have not been on here a while and thus had a few pages of posts to catch up on, I can tell you that reading of them left me with tears running down my cheeks.
Its never easy to loose them, especially when they are so loved and special, and even more so if its well before their time.
I realise the last post on this thread from me was from early 2015, about my beloved Brucester and Millie, well since then I have lost many more than I had expected.
Of the 3 daughters of Brucester that I kept I have one left, one had a stroke followed by internal organ failure, and the other my crossed beak girl Chickadee who became a house chicken after getting a massive facial abscess that grew down her neck (I managed to fix it) she was the sweetest girl, and despite her issues with a severe cross beak she fought on. I was never going to keep her because I know cross beak can be genetic, and I really didn't need any more special needs birds, however she was just so sweet, friendly and loving I couldn't part with her. when she was outside with the rest of the flock she did well, until the abscess, but even before she became a house chicken she would come inside through any open door or window and if there wasn't one she would tap on the door and then scream to let you know what she wanted. due to the abscess I had to get her special food, a very high protein and carb cat food, it was $48 per bag at 3kg. she loved her soaked cat food. unfortunately and strangely she broke her back, she fell off one of the cages onto the floor. Although we hoped for a recovery and even the vets thought it was possible with pain meds etc, but her body shut down a few days after at 18 months of age. She was comforted in her last days by myself and her room mate Roomy.
After Chickadee passed Roomy got a new cage mate, You see chickadee would only allow Roomy to share her cage inside or get anywhere near her outside, any one else and chick would beat them up and scream until they were removed. I tried to introduce Cruella earlier on but Chick beat the crap out of her. Roomy was attacked by a hedgehog and lost all the skin on her neck, she also had a chronic lung issue . Her and Cruella got on well, both were silkies and both had their issues. Unfortunately Roomy passed away last month, she was 13 months old. In the end her lungs gave up, and now amount of antibiotics could help.
Cruella is doing well, she is completely blind in one eye and majoritively blind in the other, how she lost her eyesight I am unsure, but it became obvious a few weeks after she went outside that there was something up. Even more obvious when she ran straight into the wall multiple times. However once she became a house chicken she thrived, even with her blindness. She has 2 room mates currently, Sadie who has lung issues (white silkie) and keeps getting vent gleet and the equalivant /canker in her wind pipe. And Darla (black silkie) who is one of my 2 oldest hens, blind in one eye with a beak deformity due to a sinus/eye infection as a youngster, and mentally retarded.
Darla is one of 2 of my original hens, she is 5 years old going on 6, and special needs. she is also perpetually broody/raising babies. She has also battled lung issues and pneumonia (because she sticks her entire head in the water container to drink and ends up inhaling it). Given the various issues I never expected her to live this long. Over here silkies just don't have a very long lifespan for whatever reason, so my retirement age ended up at 4/5 years. Cherry is the other, at 5 going on 6 she still lives with the rest of them and holds her own, she is still laying 3-5 eggs per week, I suspect she will outlive most of the others.
This was my Chickadee, after she passed I scraped the money together to have her cremated. I wish I had been able to do the same for Evie (my first house chicken, a sweet wee white silkie who had epilepsy or a seizure disorder) and for Roomy.
This is Cruella, she effectively runs the household. She will scream at you until you do what she wants or let her out (especially if you are late with food). On cold or wet days I diaper her and let her roam the floor, occasionally she still looks for Roomy who used to wander around with her.