Posts Tagged dead hen

RIP Mrs Light Sussex

We were clearing the hens out in the week and we noticed that one of our Light Sussex hens was standing all hunched up and not scrabbling for foods like the others.  So Neil picked her up and we had a look at her.  Her eyes were closing and she started to sneeze, so we thought the best thing to do would be to separate her from the others.  We moved her to the old hen house and put down lots of straw to keep her warm.

The next day she was still alive but hadn’t moved.  A local farmer’s wife had told us that if one of your hens gets poorly again try feeding her some Beechams powders.  We had the “cold and flu” Beechams powder which I thought was quite fitting for a hen with a cold.  I mixed up just a tiny amount and drew it up into a syringe.  Neil wrapped Mrs Light Sussex up in a towel and I gently prized open her beak and squirted the liquid into her.DSC05013

You can see how handsome the white hens are from this picture.  Unfortunately the next day when we went down in the morning to let the hens out, Mrs Light Sussex had died, so we had been unable to save her.

Neil took her body into the woods and left it there for the fox to chance upon.  Now we are down to 12 laying birds and the 2 youngsters, but we are still getting between 7 and 10 eggs a day, inspite of the short days and no artificial light in the hen house, so not bad going.  Must be all the good food they get.  When we have no vegetable peelings for them, we cook up some spaghetti and mix it with layers mash and they absolutely love that!!

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She just curled up her toes!!

We went down to clean the chickens out this afternoon.  We did all the normal stuff, changing their straw, sweeping out the sawdust and droppings, filling up their pellet feeder and changing their water.  Neil was in the hen enclosure doing the water, when he saw one hen step on another that was laying down.  The laying down hen did not move, which Neil thought was odd, so he went to investigate and found that one of our Speckledy’s had just curled up her toes and was lying in the sunshine dead!!

We had no warning of this.  She had not acted poorly in the preceding days, we had not seen any signs that anything was wrong and there she was laying on a patch of grass in the middle of their run, so unlikely that she died of fright!! We can only assume her heart gave out or something similar to suffer sudden hen death.

Neil took her poor body away to the woods for the fox disposal service. So now we are down to 13 hens, 12 laying birds and one foster mum, who doesn’t lay at the moment as she is still looking after the chicks which are 7 weeks old today.  Today we had 11 eggs, including one massive one (ouch!!), so not bad for 12 hens!!

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RIP Black Rock Hen

One of our Black Rock hens has died.  I went down to let the hens out of the hen-house early this morning and there was a lot of commotion in the hen-house.  They all came tumbling out except for one hen who was lying in the straw in the nest box.  I could see from how awkwardly she was lying that there was something wrong. When I touched her I realised she had died in the night.

 This particular Black Rock had lovely markings with a gold necklace of feathers round her neck.  But she had been poorly for some time, she would stand there all hunched up and not interested in food.  When we threw corn all the others would come running and she would just stand there taking no notice. Nor was she laying any eggs.

There’s not much you can do when a hen is poorly.  Taking her to the vets would be prohibitively expensive and not worth it for the cost of a chicken.  That may sound a bit harsh, but they are not pets, they are here to produce eggs.

So now we are down to 15 hens. Neil removed the body from the nest box this morning and took it down the woods for the “fox removal service”.  All just part of nature’s food chain!!

Now the nest box is clear and the others can get on with laying eggs.  So when we get some lovely guests for our B&B in Buckland St Mary, they will have fresh eggs for breakfast.

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