Dilemma about when to say goodbye -- straw poll

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Noble Rooster, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Noble Rooster

    Noble Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 3+-year-old hen who seems to have some version of an internal laying disorder. She has shown signs of it for a few months now: no laying, the belly swelling comes and goes (as I have seen it do with other hens I had who ended up dying from it), always just a wee bit of poo residue on the butt fluff, the weird poos, etc.. Overall she has had more good days than bad and other than appearing to be uncomfortable from time to time was still interested in being her chickie self and foraging, following my son around, sunbathing and dustbathing, etc. Over the past month I have seen her appetite decrease and her interest in favorite foods decline, though some days she's quite hungry and others not so much, and her comb is starting to flop a little bit. She very rarely forages now but seems to prefer standing in the sun and taking little chickie cat naps. Her eyes are bright and feathers are in great shape and she loves being snuggled, but I just get the sense that she's becoming less interested in her surroundings. She was a pseudo-house chicken for a while during Sandy and the aftermath but even being in slightly warmer digs with more activity around her didn't seem to make a huge difference in her behavior. She does not seem to be in pain, just very tired. [​IMG]

    I'm very torn about when I will need to say goodbye to her. I would love it if she were able to choose her own time and place when she's ready, but I also wonder how happy she is mostly snoozing or standing around and not eating a whole lot, especially as it's getting colder and spending a lot of time outside seems to be less fun for her. I've seen how stoic chickens are and that they tend to show pain once it's gotten really really bad, and I wouldn't want her to have to reach that point. But at the same time, her bright moments make me think she's not ready yet. What would you guys do/have you done in these types of situations? I'm not interested in seeking extensive veterinary intervention to prolong life since ultimately internal laying problems aren't reversible, and in my experience the stress of going through treatments like that to me seems to be worse on birds than the disease itself. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Worm her and check her for lice/mites.
     
  3. Chickenfan4life

    Chickenfan4life Overrun With Chickens

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    It is very hard to make those kinds of decisions, but keep in mind that she may be in pain, and it is up to you to make the right decision and do the right thing. [​IMG] Lot of hugs. I am so sorry.
     
  4. Noble Rooster

    Noble Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both very much for your thoughts. I had her put down today -- she told me it was time. Doing the right thing still bloody well hurts though.
     

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