Louise was still ill this morning. She looked so small, all tucked in, head and tail, sitting in the box facing the back corner. She had not been out to eat or drink all day. That is not good. She is such a big girl when healthy.
I called my friend, Dickie, and asked him if he would kill a hen for me. He asked me why I did not just wring it's neck. I think he thought I wanted to eat it. I told him I was not sure if I could with back and shoulder problems, that it was sick and I thought he might shoot it. . "I'll be right over."
When I asked him how he was going to kill it, he said he didn't know if he had a knife sharp enough. No, he did not have a hatchet, just a machete. Withing 10 minutes he was here and in three minutes, Louise was dead. She did not make a noise when I picked her up to carry her out of the nest and only the tiniest sound as I walked to the spot for Dickie to work. She usually flaps about or struggles. I laid her on the ground and she just laid there, too sick to move about. Or, maybe she knew and was just resigned.
He asked me to put my foot on her so she would not move. I had to hold onto his back as he bent in order not to hurt her. My foot was barely on her, but I leaned heavily on him.
He hacked lots of times, maybe a dozen whacks with the machete to kill her because his machete was not very sharp. Louise barely made a whimper.
When I went out this morning, there was Lucy, standing by the pen door. She survived. Usually, she runs away until I move from near the door. Remember, she did not grow up here. She is still wary of me.
Lucy and Thelma are not locked in the pen, so as I started out the door a few minutes ago, they were on the porch, waiting for me, making little noises. They run down the steps when I approach because they know I cannot get down the steps without coming near them or stepping on them. Besides, I have nudged their behinds enough that they know to move along.
When Dickie arrived, they were on the ground near the porch. "Which one?"
"Neither!" I am glad he did not whack one of them.
So, they ran ahead of us to the pen but ran around the pen when they saw Dickie was still coming. They were not far away from the place where he killed her, but I don't think the releasing of her traumatized them like the raccoon killing did and the time that Pepper died dramatically with much noise and thrashing about INSIDE the pen with them.
Thelma and Lucy are eating creamed-style corn with corn meal mixed in to make it more stiff to peck and to give them more food. They will get the other half can and more cornmeal tomorrow.
I was raked over the coals by British readers who said I was cruel to not take Fancy to the doctor and spend almost $200 for her care. This one woman said we were cruel and unloving animal owners in America, that we should treat animals like children and get medical care. To be fair, some British people agreed with my not getting medical care for an ill hen if she had no chance and if I could not afford it.
Louise was hatched on March 29, 2009 and had a happy home here for almost four years.
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I actually feel relieved and sort of happy now.
They kill horses, don't they? The sick or disabled one, right? Did you ever have to put an animal out of misery? Is anyone having trouble posting pictures? Has everyone lost their blog roll and the little tag for people to join the blog like I have?