Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mabel Update

First off, huge thanks go out to everyone who offered their condolences yesterday and today.  Thank You!

After a call from the vet yesterday afternoon, I was put at ease to find that Abby and Frannie have nothing to worry about.  It turns out the leading cause of death was liver failure.  The Dr also said that there were some issues with her reproductive organs, and she had a broken egg inside of her, which caused an infection similar to pyometra in female dogs.  I asked what causes these two things, and the vet was really unsure.  My guess is she came to us with an already weak liver and who knows what caused the broken egg.  I was glad to hear that there was really nothing that could have been done for her, I didn't do anything wrong, and Frannie and Abby are going to be ok. 

Speaking of which, they are doing fine.  They stood by each other extra close yesterday and went to bed early, but overall, don't seem to be too affected by the sudden loss of their sister.  They might know something is off, but that's the extent of it.  They're free-roaming the backyard now, doing their usual chicken thing.

Some people have asked us if we're going to get more chickens.  Part of me says no, that two is enough, but part of me is really worried what would happen if we lost another one.  Chickens are super social little beings, and need company.  They lose sight of each other for just a second and they're calling out trying to get back together with their flock. 

I know that getting just one more is out of the question.  Introducing a hen to an already established flock, (even if it's a flock of two,) is really hard.  There is an established pecking order, and often times the old hens will beat up on the new one, and sometimes even kill it.  Once the new pecking order is established, things are fine.  I just really don't want to cause any stress on all parties by introducing new members.  BUT, just seeing the two in the backyard is really sad.  Looks like I'll be doing some research.

So there you go.  Mabel was put on this green earth to live ten months.  I'm just really glad that those ten months were with us, and we were able to give her the very best ten months that a chicken could have.

This is the last picture that I took of her.  You can tell she's already not feeling too well, but she's lovingly sandwiched between her sisters while they hung out under the eave during the crazy thunder hailstorm on Tuesday afternoon.  She died sandwiched between them on the roost too. 

Moving on.  Tomorrow, the blog will be back to normal.

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