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Chicken drama


They came together and they left together. Vita fell ill last night and, before we could get her to the vet, died this morning. Similar symptoms to Violence, but much faster. They were both six years old.

As it turns out, the vet called and told us not to bring her in just before she died. I didn’t realize the prohibition on moving live chickens meant you can’t take a sick one to the doctor, but it does. Quarantine officially over here this Thursday, but there was some discussion whether DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) would want to get involved and might want a necropsy. Their symptoms were not consistent with bird flu, though, so I don’t think we’ll hear back on that score. They can’t take an interest in every dead backyard chicken.

So, symptoms not really consistent with bird-to-bird transmission — Violence died three weeks before Vita got sick — but it’s hard not to think there’s a connection. I’m guessing bacterial infection. A nasty wild bird poop in the run or something.

Vita was the most beautiful chicken in my flock — a big, blowsy bird with gorgeous markings — but she had a sad life. From the beginning, she was the pariah hen. The other chickens pecked at her something awful and she stood took it patiently. Probably what made her bottom hen. Normal chickens squawk and run away from the beak.

Sometimes I’d find her all by herself in the flower border, blissing out in her own private dust bath.

As a precaution, I’ve closed the old run and put old Mapp in with the young chickens. Last I checked on them, they were on the perch as far as possible from her. Ewwww…nobody wants to sleep next to grandma – she smells!


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 11, 2017, 7:31 pm

Sorry to hear this. It’s like an era has passed.

RIP, Vita.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: April 11, 2017, 8:40 pm

I like the alert look she gives you, and love your descriptions of their behavior.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 11, 2017, 9:49 pm

RIP, Vita.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: April 11, 2017, 10:10 pm

Aww…sorry to hear about Vita, RIP.

Comment from Mrs Compton
Time: April 11, 2017, 10:58 pm

I’m so sorry.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 11, 2017, 11:43 pm

Poor Vita. RIP.

Will you be serving KFC at the wake?

(Too soon?)

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: April 12, 2017, 12:17 am

R I P Vita…. sharing your passage into the afterlife with J. Geils, “found dead.”
John Warren Geils Jr. (February 20, 1946 – April 11, 2017) known professionally as J. Geils…

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: April 12, 2017, 2:22 am

J Geils! Yikes! Saw them in concert over 40 years ago. 🙁

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: April 12, 2017, 5:25 am

Of note, David Letterman’s mother, Dorothy also passed on today:
Dorothy Marie Mengering (July 18, 1921 – April 11, 2017), better known to Late Night and Late Show viewers as Dave’s Mom

Comment from dissent555
Time: April 12, 2017, 1:09 pm

Sad to hear. She was indeed a purty bird.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 12, 2017, 3:57 pm

Vita, gone, but living on forever via the interwebs.

Think of all them other chickens that ain’t never gonna be mentioned other than “grilled and served over a bed of rice”.

Gone to a private dust bath in the sky (or, the ground, uh, too soon?)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 12, 2017, 5:18 pm

We eat chicken several times a week. You have no idea how weird that makes me feel.

As Violence is taking up our usual chicken burial spot, I had to put Vita nearby under a cairn of stones.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: April 12, 2017, 5:56 pm

Only one spot? Uh, Cremation? (then pencils!)

I’m not one to comment really, we have 2 dog packs at the house, one pack of 3 still on the paw, the others (apparently pencil ingredients) in cedar boxes of varying size sitting on a corner shelf in the game room. Schnitzel, Emmy, and Quincy (the good boy who did bad things).

Though not being members of Obama’s family we don’t normally dine on canine so I suppose it’s not quite the same.
Speaking of Obama, to brighten up your day after the loss of Vita –

Hillary Clinton will NEVER be President.

Comment from bikeboy
Time: April 12, 2017, 7:41 pm

Condolences, Ms. Weasel.

I got a little misty when my kids’ pet rat, Humphrey, vacated to the Big Treadmill in the Sky, so I can appreciate the loss.

Last Saturday we had a couple minutes of delight when my 4-year-old granddaughter discovered a couple of the neighbor’s chickens in our yard. Of course her recommendation was, “Let’s put ’em in a cage, so they won’t get away!” But predictably, when we approached them, they skedaddled for more familiar territory, clucking and with heads bobbing.

Comment from BJM
Time: April 13, 2017, 3:11 am

RIP Vita and John Geils, one hopes they are enjoying a dust bath together in wherever chikkens and old rockers go.

@durnedyankee…we too have a collection of cedar boxes…little boxes all in a row.

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