This is not a very happy Christmas in my house. I've just had to have my dear sweet rooster, Kentucky put down due to extensive maggot damage Monday was an extremely hot day so I didn't see much of the chickens as they spent most of the time in the shade under the house. They all seemed fine when I fed them in the early evening. Next morning there was no crow! I went out to check and Kentucky looked a little miserable but still walking around with his two hens. He wouldn't eat breakfast. I checked again a short while later and he was sitting in a heap and his comb was beginning to go blue. I picked him up to have a good look at him and was horrified at the mass of maggots I saw attached to his bottom!! I tried to wash them off and tweezer them out of him but there were just too many and there was already a big gaping wound. So it was off to the vet. After anaesthetising Kentucky and cleaning him up we could see the full extent of the damage. The buggers had eaten all the muscle tissue around the cloacae internally and externally and the flesh around it!! The vet said it would need extensive complicated surgery to try to reconnect everything and it was doubtful there was enough muscle tissue left to regenerate and heal even if he did manage to stitch it together. Also Kentucky was so weak by now with extremely low blood pressure that he might not have survived the surgery any way. So I made what seemed like the only decision and said a very very painful goodbye to my sweet Kentucky I miss him so! He was never very "roosterly" He was like a big feathered teddy bear. (an Orpington) Whenever I worked in his part of the garden he was right there with me often settling down on my foot. Or leaning up against my leg and dozing off. When I came home he would run to his gate to greet me. Now he's gone and I can't believe how quickly it happened! The vet said the maggots were two to three days old. I didn't even know such a thing was possible.