Sunday, August 26, 2012

RIP Pecky

I don't remember what I had named that Lavender Amercauna, or if she was the one I raised from hatch or got a couple months ago (they looked identical), but my niece named her "Pecky". She was pretty upset when she fell ill.

On Friday morning, I decided to clean out my big chicken coop. I didn't want her breathing all the dust, plus I wanted to clean her corner as well, so I put her out in the grass. She perked up for the first time in a while, and even was eating some of the grass. She'd lost more than half her body weight, so it was nice to see her so happy. When I got done, I couldn't bear to put her back inside because she seemed so much happier on the lawn. So, I got her water near her and a small pile of food. I realized that she was not safe from any predators, and we see hawks almost every day. I knew it was a risk, but at that point, I knew she wasn't going to recover and thought she should be in a happy place. If I was a bit better at owning chickens, I would've euthanized her a couple weeks ago.

I checked on her a couple hours later, and everything was fine.

A couple hours later, I went back outside, and she had died of natural causes. Though part of me was sad, the overwhelming feeling was relief- I knew she wasn't suffering anymore, and I didn't have to worry anymore about her.

I dug a hole a couple feet deep and buried her (not going to eat a chicken that died of illness, and besides, she'd lost so much weight that I don't think it would've been worth the trouble), then stuck a board and a bike frame over the top to discourage predators from digging her up. It was kind of funny, because after the fact, I realized she was only about 5-10' from the chicken run. I started worrying that her smell would attract predators, and they'd attack the other birds. I mentioned to dh that maybe I shouldn't buried her so close to the others. He replied, "I don't they will notice she's there." With that, I realized he thinks I'm a lot crazier than I actually am. He thought I was worried about traumatizing the other birds. Um, no. I'm worried about the smell of decomposing bird will attract dogs, foxes, whatever else, and then they'll notice fresher meat nearby.

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