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!
April 11, 2017 — 7:08 pm