Its been a few days since I was here. I hoped to have exciting, lovely news about this and that, but alas, no. I had to take little chicken Grace to the vet yesterday and leave her there to be put to sleep.
It took the full five days of antibiotic, and then another two days after that, for her to stop snotting and sneezing. I was slightly optimistic at that stage, thinking that she would pick up slowly over the coming days, given the 5 star attention that I was prepared to give to her, but quite the opposite. She wouldn’t eat, rarely drank anything and would only half-heartedly pick at grass and lettuce. The weight fell from her and I stressed and worried. Although her weight was falling her crop was still huge. I suspected that she was crop bound. I Googled it all and found videos of people with chucks hung upside down whilst the owner attempted to squeeze the crop to make it break up the impacted food. It all looked awful. I had a little massage of Grace’s crop but it seemed to cause her distress.
Yesterday I decided that she needed putting to sleep so I took her to the vet and explained this. I said that if she (the vet) disagreed then I was happy to consider treatment but she didn’t disagree. She said that the crop was probably so far stretched that even if they emptied it, and Grace didn’t die of stress, there was a good chance that the crop, having been so stretched, wouldn’t function properly. I also said that what was the future likely to hold for her if she was going through all this at such a young age.
I had to accept that some lives are meant to be short. I had to try to believe something because trust me, I am really, really at the end of my emotional tether with these chickens.
When I look back, and it really is true, hindsight is a wonderful thing, I think Grace had always had a large crop. She was a greedy chicken and would always swoop on anything and have the lion’s share. This it seems was to her detriment.
Richard’s first words when he came in from work were, ‘how’s the chicken?’
‘Gone,’ I said.
I won’t have another. Flight and Little will have to amuse themselves with each other. I’ve had a major rethink on the chucks bedding. I’ve thrown out all the straw and replaced it with wood shavings on the inside and a horse-type hemp bedding in the outside run. I fear that the straw was subject to mould spores and also the chucks ate it. Flight and Little don’t look massively impressed but it’s a stupid person who can’t learn by experience and no chuck of mine will ever be subjected to mould spores or material that can help to block a crop. I think I’m being hard on myself regarding the blocked crop because, as I say, I’m sure her crop was always enlarged right from the first day of having her.
The good news, from my point of view at least, is that I’ve buckled down to writing the new novel. I’ve worked on it Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for a couple of hours. This is good because I am lacking enthusiasm and discipline just lately. Sometimes you just have to stop grovelling in self-pity, kick yourself up the butt and get on with things. As I have said many times – it isn’t the things that happen to you in your life that do the damage and affect you, it is your perception of them. How you choose to let them affect you.
I’ve also pruned back the garden to within an inch of its life and moved a few plants that need more space for next year so, even though I haven’t been here I have been somewhere, doing something.
And right now I am going to just make this a short blog and be back tomorrow.
Take care my lovelies x
PS And again – welcome to all new followers and thank you for the likes and comments.