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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Louise is Dying: Devil Dog Returns Just a Bit of Hen Drama

Poor Louise. Her head is down and so is her tail. One wing just hangs. I won't describe her behind. It is gross. Her comb is not bright red or perky. I can tell she is dehydrated because of the limp condition.

I left for a bit this afternoon and left the pen open and hens out. Of course, Louise never got out of their nest today. After I put her on the ground, she did drink quite a bit of water, but refused to eat or even chase Lucy.

When I came home, Louise was still in the nest and Thelma was looking antsy, standing on the table in front of their Rubbermaid boxes. I could see Devil Dog on the outside of the pen. It was near dusk, so Thelma was either near the outside of the pen or, most likely, inside the pen already. Lucy was nowhere to be found. I looked for her before dark and after dark. I heard a raccoon a little while ago, so I fear that she will die in the morning.

If I set the clock at 6 am and get up AND go outside in the cold, maybe I can save Lucy.

Tomorrow, if Louise is still sick, I am going to have someone kill her for me. I don't care if anyone thinks it is cruel, it will happen. However, no one will be allowed to carry her off and do it. I want to make sure she is treated kindly until the last moment. At that last moment, I may turn away. Poor Louise.

I fixed the hen security last year. Now, the dog now scares them away so they get killed. I will have to fix the dog! I lost Fancy in a long illness and fight, and cannot stand that again. At this point, I feel Louise will be dead in the morning and probably Lucy if I cannot help her. Thelma would be alone. That thought is sad, too.

Thelma and Lucy were hanging out all the time and seemed to like each other well enough. At least Thelma would not peck her. It's weird, but Louise would not allow Thelma to peck.

Besides all the heartbreak, I cannot afford to buy more hens!


  1. I am so sorry about Louise. Sadly, chickens are vulnerable to predators no matter how secure their living arrangements are. I lost a beloved hen last year. I do keep, of all things, lemon gatorade for them. It treats shock immensely well, although I will be honest, sugar added to water might rally them in the same way. I hope she rallies and surprises you. There are chicken miracles !

    1. Jane,
      Thanks so much.

      I will try some sugar water tomorrow. However, I might buy some powdered lemon Gatorade. I don't know if it is shock or not. But, the stuff on her vent and all over her bottom and back is not shock. I will give her until tomorrow until noon unless she just gets so much worse overnight. This hen is the one that gets ill, coughs, languishes and recovers--all her life. This time is much worse for so much longer.

    2. Linda, One of my hens and a rooster were attacked by one of my own dogs, a female labrador, who for some reason, doesn't like those two particular animals. We gave lemon gatorade for shock immediately, and it took a long time for them to drink any. Sometimes, it helps them rally and fight. I cleaned the wounds with a spray bottle later, and used a powdered antibiotic from the feed store, and both survived.
      The US being so large does not have a rescue battery for chickens as is found in rural England. People informally give one another area chickens when there are losses. They do this also in Canada. I have both given and received from informal arrangements from farms here when there have been unexpected animal passings. Good luck.

    3. Jane,
      This is a big poultry raising county. The main way people get free chickens is to take in chickens that escape the chicken trucks carrying brolers. These chickens grow fast and die early, much to the chagrin of the new owners. We had one of those one time.

      I am going to give the hens sugar water right now.

  2. Sorry to hear that PP, I used to keep hens too.
    I hope they don't suffer. Do you know whats wrong ? could she have eaten something that has poisened her ?
    re buying new hens, we can 'rescue' battery hens over here in UK for no charge and give them a life, don't you have that option there ?

    1. Wean,
      She seems miserable. No, I don't know what is wrong. It is probably not poison. But, who knows! I don't think we do that over here, but it is an excellent idea. I would rescue hens if there were a place.

  3. Oh Linda, how awful for you. I sometimes wonder if animals are worth the money and love we spend on them. Be broke and worried all the time or have no pets to care for and be more lonely...
    Hope things turn out OK with it all.


    1. Barb,
      It all breaks my heart. When my dog died years ago, I could not get another. When my cat died, I did not get one until last year and gave it away to someone who had more money to care for it. I do love my chickens, any animal I get.

      Tomorrow, I will know how things turn out. Maybe I can get to Lucy before the raccoon does.

  4. Praying for you and your chicken. It just seems so unfair to me that all this is happening on top of all the medical issues that you have.

  5. This certainly put lots more stress on me.


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