Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The circle of life on a farm.

I have been trying to help one of my chickens.  Buttercup had been having a lot of problems, and I separated her, and kept feeding and trying to work on the problems.  She was not doing well.  Never had laid an egg, was losing weight, and just getting more and more sick. 

I poured through the chicken care books and magazines I had, to no avail.  She just seemed to have "failure to thrive", as one of the books put it.  So, after working and working, I finally killed her.  (I don't use the word cull.)  I didn't want to do it, but I was more afraid of the others getting what she had.  I think if I had waited much longer, she might not have made it anyway.  She hardly squawked when I picked her up, and when I was getting ready to do her in, she just sort of laid there, not protesting, or even flapping her wings much. 

I felt rotten, I wasn't strong enough to do the job, and rather than have her suffer, I had to call Husband to do it.  (I had worked on getting myself mentally ready for about 3 days, but physically? Pfft. I am a wimp.  I admit it...)

So, that was the end of her.  I feel like a rotten person, in that I just could NOT figure out what was wrong with her.  So many times, I can parse out what is wrong, and either medicate or feed, or whatever, and they bounce back. 

No bouncing back here...

I then had to go through and clean.  Our hen house smells like a swimming pool right now. (Which, considering what it could smell like, might not be so bad...)  I have all the tools out in the sun, drying from the chlorine bath, and we shall see if there is any problems in the future. 

In other news, we do finally have a hen sitting.  Hoping for the best in that area, she seems to be ready to do the job.  One of the roosters is missing a few neck feathers, she did NOT want to be disturbed!  I also planted a whole of a planter set (72 peat pots) with seed for my garden.  I also bought about 6-8 tomato plants for the garden...

And just for me?  I bought two coleus.  Not for any reason, but that I think they are pretty plants. 

So.  Downer blog. Sorry.  Hopefully I will have a better one soon.  Think happy chick thoughts...


  1. Oh Cat, I'm sorry. That IS life with chickens/livestock..remember that all too well from growing up.
    It doesn't make you feel less rotten, though.
    Hugs to you.

  2. Sorry about your chicken.

  3. Please accept my condolences for your loss. It is never easy, and sometimes these things happen. We've taken kittens to the vet before and still not had them pull through. This time there was just nothing more you could do, and you did try everything you could.

    That rooster better realize the mama hen isn't going to take any guff from him!

    Happy chick thoughts, happy chick thoughts...

  4. Please don't feel too rotten for too long, because you did the right thing. It's a bummer though and I know how you feel. I'm thinking happy chicken thoughts for you too!

  5. We had a chicken who was suffering. I couldn't deal with it, but a friend of ours 'dispatched' her. It was hard for me but he was used to this type of thing, and it really was best for our hen. That part of farming is tough for me. I'm too much of a woos, or a softy.
    Planning and planting for a garden is wonderful. Yes, spring is coming, indeed!!

  6. Well, it is the cycle of life. I have a friend with a farm and she writes about her chickens. I am gonna refer her to your blog. PS: I am following you now, so don't go and get paranoid :o)

  7. Sorry to hear about the loss. It sounds as if you made the right decision, though a difficult one definitely.

  8. ugh. poor thing. hope events like that keep to a minimum.

  9. Sorry to hear about your chicken and don't be down too long. You did this to help end her suffering and to keep the others from suffering. Although a hard decision I think you made the right one.


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