Premium Feather Member
May 14, 2020
South Carolina
My Coop
As a newbie, and a general control freak, I am coming to understand that it may be that to a certain extent these things with chickens are beyond our control, and even more so than with some other animals, because chickens are a prey animal and they are so good at hiding their ailments, until they are right at death's door. But I also see that many things are not controllable, even when we know what is going on ahead of time. A lot of these ailments are due to systemic failures that are not curable. We cannot fix it, and more importantly, no one can fix it.

Sometimes, the most anyone can do, and the most anyone - including yourself - can and should expect from you, is to give them love and comfort when it is clear there is no more to be done. You performed that care very well.

I may understand your feeling of shock and devastation, having cared for someone's health myself and not been able to change the course of disease (in both humans and pets). It is very hard to accept this devastation, and there's a part of our brains that wants and needs to find a reason for why we feel so bad, and it is easy to get into a coulda-shoulda world of blame. Don't go there. It took me awhile to understand that that can be part of the nature of grief. It takes time, and living through it, to deal with it. You need to grieve for her and yourself, for your loss of your companion. Try to remember to be kind to yourself in this process. :hugs
This post is spot on!
Well said! :thumbsup


Jul 31, 2018
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My friends, I do need you all to know, that I feel emotionally bankrupt. Yesterday’s shock made me rethink my priorities. As you all know, I love my animals more than my own life itself. Losing Canna took me way further away from caring, than I have felt since my active dutiful career in law enforcement.
what I’m trying to say is this: I really have lost the feeling, that I am a good chicken keeper, and having only four left, leads me to believe that I am losing the faith (so to speak) your friend, Alexander
One day I'll post the book of the dead from here. It's horrific. Not just chickens although they make grim reading but all the creatures that have been bought, traded, given and subsequently died here.
You've done okay Alex. At least you care about them. That isn't the case with many, even here on BYC.


Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
Santa Cruz Mountains, California

I had a scare last week about identifying the Buckeyes individually. I noticed one pullet closing only one eye, and examined her and saw nothing out of the ordinary, so thought it might be dust or something that will clear up, and decided to keep an eye on her.

The next thought was, who is it? I can usually tell Butters from Hazel, but often not, when they are all just lying together or perching together. Like Butters has a lighter colored fluffy butt, and is a kind of lead hen, and likes certain places to forage. It might be Popcorn that hangs with her, as they used to hang when they were identifiable chicks...Hazel is a bit darker, but really it is when she vocalizes I know her, she sounds like a viola, and when she eats like a sewing machine, that I can tell it's her. So might it be Peanut who is her partner in crime, but that's only based on Popcorn's past association with Butters.

Who was it with her eye? Not either Butters or Hazel I think. But Peanut or Popcorn? Which? Is it Peanut who prefers staying in the run, and generally is shyer/lowest in the pecking order about getting in the bunch to eat some treats? It might be she who always is first to make "time to go to roost now" sounds and go towards the coop? But by then the light is getting low and I really can't tell them apart by looking.

So for the next two days I looked carefully at everybody's eyes.

Made me feel worried about needing to track an individual's health history, and care for them if they are acting "off" and being able to watch them from more distance and know who is who, without seeing the behaviours I know them by.

I read about leg bands, got some snap on ones, but I'm not sure I can put them on one-handed, so will need DH's help. I am worried about not getting a zip tie's sharp cut end filed enough to make it safe. I read the round spiral leg bands ends can start poking the leg. The flat curled ones have sharp corners. So thus the snap-on ones?

Is there a better way? Am I over-thinking this? With more time will I know these four better?

I am undecided and anxious about this.
Gosh, I’m just not sure, as I have a multi-breed flock and the repeat breeds are very distinguishable from each other. Legbands seem like a reasonable idea.

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