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Sad Day For Us

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Beakner, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Beakner

    Beakner In the Brooder

    May 17, 2010
    Our favorite chicken, the one my daughter named Lemon, a Golden Comet, died of unknown causes today. She was the only hen in our small flock that permitted us to hold her at any time (and judging from the stories I've read on this site, the favorite of the flock is always the first casualty).

    I was never able to determine her condition and eventual cause of death. It started as what I thought was an impacted crop. Even after her crop emptied itself she continued losing weight, seldom ate, until I tried (in vain) administering soft foods round the clock myself. I wormed her many days before too. No matter the intervention, she kept deteriorating.

    This morning she was in the final stages of death, suffering, limp, and possibly in pain, and I had the unenviable task of hastening her demise, which I hope never to repeat on any of our birds again.

    My six year old is heartbroken, of course, saying, "She was the only one who let me pet her."
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011

  2. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Songster

    May 14, 2011

    I am sorry for your loss. It is always hard to lose one of the favorite pets.

    Perhaps in a week or so your daughter can try to make friends with another using oatmeal or some other treat.

    Again [​IMG] very sorry.
  3. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    [​IMG] So sorry!
  4. Breezy_Living

    Breezy_Living In the Brooder

    May 19, 2011
    Northern California
    That's so unfortunate. Sorry about your loss. [​IMG]
  5. MyChickenApples

    MyChickenApples In the Brooder

    Dec 7, 2011
    Sorry about your loss.[​IMG]:hugs
  6. Nonny

    Nonny Songster

    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I'm so sorry you and your daughter had to go through this. We were in a similar position a few weeks ago. [​IMG]

    One good thing to come out of it though, was that when our Florin passed away, another of our girls took up her place in the pecking order and suddenly started squatting for us and letting us pick her up, whereas before it was only Florin who would allow this. You may find another of your hens will step into that role for you and your daughter in place of Lemon.
  7. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    I'm so sorry. [​IMG]

  8. Frithest

    Frithest Chirping

    Aug 22, 2011
    I'm so sorry that your favorite hen died.
    We have four hens, two of which wouldn't let us near them, despite us raising them since chicks and handling them constantly. As soon as they got big enough to run away, they started to. But I read the Olmpia Chicken Guy's blog, and followed his technique, and we trained them to be still and calm when handled again and it's great. I resented going to all the trouble of building them a coop and feeding them etc. and having them not want to be picked up. You might try this with your other birds, and hopefully have at least one of them that you can cuddle.
    When they're somewhere that they're easy to catch, catch one and stand up holding it with one and under it's belly and the other over its back and wings. Don't put your hand under her feet or it'll give her leverage to fly off. Speak in a low voice, saying "good girl" or something, praising her when she relaxes. Do not let her get away. If she struggles, hang on. Getting away is her reward for struggling, and you don't want to reward that. Once she's calm, praise her, and start to slowly lower her towards the ground. If she struggles, you stop lowering her. Being on the ground is her reward for being calm. If she struggles, you stop moving her towards the reward. Once she's calm again, you continue lowering her. Go start stop start stop as she alternates between calm and fussy, until her feet are on the ground. If she struggles there, hang on to her. Don't release her until she's calm.
    We did this with our three flightiest birds (one a roo who we no longer have) and by doing it just a couple of times a day, within a week or two the birds were much much better. Now a month later we can catch them and bring them into the house for treats. They'll probably never be lap birds, but it is amazing how calm they are in our arms now. They no longer even try to escape and will just snuggle in and let us pet them and groom them.
    I hope this gives you something to try with the hens you have left. Again, I'm sorry it was your favorite bird that you lost. I'd be heart-broken too if that happened to me.
  9. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Very sorry for your dd's loss. We found our 2 1/2 yo RSL hen dead last week.Milly bean was my 9yo ds's hen.She was a sassy head hen.It was tough,but he got through it well. I also had to cull another RSL hen last spring who was egg bound and infected for weeks. Hard thing to do. We may add a few chicks in the spring,so that perked the kids up a bit.
  10. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    sorry to hear about Lemon........

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