It was my turn to see if there was an egg stuck. Ew. If you didn’t read The Embarrassed Chicken and need a laugh, you ought to check it out. That was Doug’s turn. So, I found a produce bag because we didn’t have any gloves and went in to see what was the matter. Oh, the glamours of chicken farming. There was not an egg stuck but I do not know how far up you are supposed to reach! Her vent was swollen and she seemed to be clogged but I couldn’t find anything. So, we stuck her in a pot of warm water. See if we could soften things up a bit. She laid there like it was a hot tub and she’d had a hard day hiking, or fending off boys. We took her out and put her in a warm corner of the coop.
Daffodil was one of our last three chickens from our original flock. She laid eggs religiously for three years. She was tired. I had read that chickens lived twelve years. Seeings how Doug and I are not really the ax wielding, chicken beheading types, we figured we’d see these girls for a long time!
My friend Sandy’s chickens (she and Bill are not really the ax wielding, chicken beheading types either) lost almost all of their three year olds last year. Just dead, face down in the dirt. Sandy commented that she understood now why the farm women in the past culled two year olds in the flock. You didn’t want to waste meat and if you waited too long you’d find them dead!
Daffodil lay on her side, barely breathing, her feet sticking out. We moved her to the rabbit hutch because Owl wouldn’t stop humping her. Teenage boy chickens, I tell you…
She died overnight. We had known something was wrong because she was floofed up, sitting in corners, head down, eyes glazed. But what exactly was wrong could have been anything from being constipated, a virus, or old age. ‘Tis the life of a chicken. She had a pretty good one here though.
On a positive note, we have an interesting chicken. I had looked at the local feed stores to see if they would get Olive Eggers but did not see them on the list. The next day we had an egg in the coop that was a beautiful olive green. The green against the blush, beige, blue, and chocolate colored eggs was breathtaking. Our own Easter egg hunt each day. Reeses, who was assumed to have been an Araucana like her sisters, must be an Olive Egger. Does anyone know? She is very friendly as well as showy.
And our final surprise was when Owl started crowing alongside Christopher Robin. There is a lot of opera singing going on around the chicken coop!
Ups and downs and ins (ew) and outs, having chickens is fun, entertaining, sometimes sad, mostly fabulous work. And the dozen plus eggs we are getting each day isn’t a bad reward!