Sunday, December 5, 2010

poor old hen...

Well, this has certainly been an up and down month with the chickens. We lost Crow in the summer to what we think was being egg-bound. Then we lost Dearie to a shrike. We thought we'd have to cull the whole bunch because nobody was laying but then we found eggs in the wall. Now one of the last two original chickens is sick. It is either Ruby or Bea - we never distinguished between the two RIRs much. We think she is egg-bound as well but we have spent a great deal of time in the last couple of days trying to remedy that situation. That means giving her two baths in a tub of warm soapy water and trying to ease whatever is in there out. She liked the baths or seemed to - just settled in and got kind of sleepy and quiet. Then I held her on my lap for an hour or so chatting to Kerol about this and that while she slept. She stayed overnight in the cat carrier and ate some oatmeal and yoghurt and drank water. This morning Ron said she had crapped but no egg. I thought that was fine - that if something was moving through that would be good enough. But I just went out to check on her and she hasn't moved all day from her spot on the hen house floor. I handled her and looked at her vent but nothing seemed changed. Ron is going to cull her and I'm quite sad. The Rhode Island Red girls were always a lively and independent part of the flock - they were the ones who went out late and occasionally missed lights-out. They didn't care too much for anyone else in the flock being used to being close to each other they didn't heed Dearie's queeny ways or Crow's fierce mothering. And as for the roosters...well really they would suffer their wifely duties but I'm sure if I heard them they'd have said they'd rather be at the bingo.
Oddly, at the same time, the real Ruby - Ron's mom - is at home from the hospital with Ron's sister, Ann, who I think is having a hard time. Ruby broke some bones earlier this fall and just got sprung from the hospital. She has lived on her own for a long time with very little help but that isn't going to work now.
Arrangements will have to be made and quickly I'm thinking. Ah well, life goes on a pace.
here is Ruby/Bea in a happier time...

5 comments:

KarenG said...

Well it truly is the complicated simple life isn't it? So sorry about your dear chickens, esp Ruby, and I loved the story altho sorry for the sad ending.

Judy Harper said...

This site reminds me of when I was growing up! I've often thought about doing a blog with me and my cats and our daily musings. I don't know much about Nova Scotia, so it's going to be interesting to get to know about it through you, and the chickens. One of the guys I work with bought baby chicks for his children at Easter. Once they grew up, he said he just couldn't understand why they wouldn't lay eggs. It wasn't until the next year he found out about needing a rooster! lol

Gardeningbren said...

You know what popped out at me...the 'real Ruby'. Just got some news myself...you said "lived on her own for a long time now".. "but that isn't going to work now".

Life's pace sure quickens sometimes, mostly when you are not expecting it.

Each day at a time hey...thinking of you.

grrl + dog said...

a lesson to many yuppie chicken owners...

It isnt all hay and frolic...

Hart Johnson said...

So sad to have a sick hen! I wish the fix would have worked! And I wish you luck sorting out living arrangements for the MiL. My father in law is now in a retirement home, and content with that, but MAN, was it hard to sort out. He really didn't want to 'leave home' in spite of dementia that really made it necessary... you don't hear 'saved by a broken hip' often, but that was the case with us.