my pet chicken had cancer

Liz the lap chicken

As you know, we took Liz to the vet to have her put to sleep. It cost 124.95, but the peace of mind was worth it. I opted for the shot and not the gas chamber. It was nicer for her I think, and it was nicer for me too. She got a shot of sedative and then fell asleep as I petted her. Not that I think all chickens like to be petted (cause I don’t think they do) but Liz was our lap chicken. We knew that she had some kind of terminal illness. She was finding it hard to swallow and it was getting worse.

The vet offered to have a necropsy done. Apparently Penn State will do them for free. Anyhow I got the results back this week…she had cancer of the crop. An adenoma (though I’m not sure if that’s the right thing–reading around it sounds like that’s an ovarian thing?–dunno.) It was a relief to know that it wasn’t worms or something we could have helped her out with. We didn’t get her body back for burial, but I thought the opportunity for learning was important.

While we’ve been sad about Liz’s departure, someone I think has been more sad….
We went away for the weekend after I took Liz to the vet and when we got back, we saw this….

which one of these chickens looks like she just lost her best friend?

which one of these chickens looks like she just lost her best friend?

Yep that’d be Bubbles. We used to say that Liz was Bubbles’ be-otch. The two of them used to hang out. They were best buds. And Bubbles would come over and try to attack me if I was holding Liz. Sheesh! Bubbles is a mean bird.

But she is a pretty one, and I haven’t really posted pictures of the birds when they’re not at their best. And yeesh, Bubbles you looked a mess!

one molty Bubbles

one molty Bubbles

I’ve never seen her molt so fast and so much. She lost all the feathers on her back at once. Weird.

Bubbles' bare back

Bubbles’ bare back

One thing that’s neat about a Bubbles molt–her feather shaft things look BLUE when they come in. Kind of neat. (If you have an aversion to those scenes in the Black Swan–cover your eyes!) Of course, chickens are due for a molt, they haven’t been laying any eggs for a bit and it’s common in the heat of the summer.┬áBut they do say that chickens can molt if they’re really stressed out. And I do believe, that she was. Poor girl.

my blue swan

my blue swan

One other finding from the necropsy…Liz apparently had some testicular tissue in her ovaries! I don’t really know how common that is, but it probably explains why she never laid any eggs. Poor girl had a lot going on. She really was one special bird!