Filed under: bubbles, chickens, liz, Uncategorized | Tags: cancer, chickens, crop, molting, new feather growth, pet chickens, pictures of chicken molting
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….
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!
I’ve never seen her molt so fast and so much. She lost all the feathers on her back at once. Weird.
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. But they do say that chickens can molt if they’re really stressed out. And I do believe, that she was. Poor girl.
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!
Filed under: chickens, liz | Tags: 4 year old chicken, buff orpington, euthanasia, pecking order, pet chickens
After a lengthy illness, I took Liz to the vet for the last time last Thursday. She’d been sick for a while and we took her to the vet in early May. She didn’t get better but gradually declined, and finally she seemed to be unable to enjoy her life around the farm.
We were happy that she got to enjoy the summer, and she did, running around and dustbathing as she loved to do. She had some kind of thing that impeded her ability to swallow. She didn’t throw up, but struggled to get the food down. It started slowly, a burp really, and over time it got louder and her swallowing action more violent. She would stand up really tall and drop her wings down to manage it. She didn’t lose her appetite, or her sweet personality. But she lost a lot of weight, and towards the last days she wasn’t too interested in tooling around, but was content to lie by the kitchen door. Her last day she came and stood next to me in the garden. I could tell it was time.
She didn’t feel any pain, and she went to sleep while I petted her.
Silly chicken, she is greatly missed.
She was the poster child for cute chicken. I love this picture of Liz, aka Queen Elizabeth the third. She was the first chicken to touch the earth.
She got pushed out of the box and ended up being the first chicken to go outside. Maybe that experience scarred her, as she was always so sensitive. She refused to go outside when it was snowy, she hated cold feet! She also had the largest ugliest feet of any of the chickens!
She was our special needs chicken in many ways..
She never laid an egg. For a year or so every once in awhile she seemed to be ready to lay one, she would sit in the nest box, mill about looking like she was ready, but then. Nope, no egg. Eventually she stopped having any urge at all. We thought we might lose her for that. But no she lived on.
She was the lowest chicken on the totem pole. The other chickens picked on her constantly. Maybe because she was so pretty!
I’m sure that was hard on her, but she found other ways to amuse herself. Like….
long dustbaths. She wouldn’t always come when called if she was bathing. She liked getting a free ride back to the coop.
chasing the goats. the goats were both very afraid of Liz, who’d track them down, and peck them.
jumping to the top of the coop door.
When you opened the door, she’d come over and if you weren’t careful she’d jump up on the top of the door. Really hard to get her down from up there!
And she loved naps with people. She was our lap chicken. If you sat down for a minute, she’d come over and peck your leg asking to be picked up. Then she’d give a few cursory pecks to your lap and settle down for a good long nap. She just really liked the people. And they really liked her.
A very nice Buddhist woman I met this summer told me that they believe that if you treat animals really really well, they can come back reincarnated as people! So if you see that the new prince or princess to be is pretty, opinionated and hates the cold–well I’m hoping that little Queen Liz made it through to her rightful place in the world!
Them chickens is cold tonight! Look at them all in a pile. Actually they like to start out this way every night. It’s a big showdown to see who gets the best spot on the roof over their nest box. Silly chickens. I thought it was pretty funny how they were arranged tonight–head to toe!
I always look in on them when I go out to close their pop door. Sometimes I give them a pet. Knuckles, normally so friendly and sweet, likes to give me a peck or two–telling me hey lady don’t make me lose my spot here! That’s what she was saying in picture #2 I think.
The girls had a brief outing before dark today. There was a bit of snow on the ground, so they did the expedition walk–following one another in a line. So cute!
While the chickens were enjoying a barn patrol, the goaties and the doode and me took a walk.
Filed under: bubbles, chickens, edwina, knuckles, liz, spanky | Tags: 3 year old, chicken nursery, chicks, cute chicks, meyer's hatchery, old chickens
Some stuff fell in behind a drawer in the kitchen today so i couldn’t shut the drawer. Lo and behold lookee what I found under there!!
Hard to believe you could put a price on our little flock, but there it is. Five little bundles of joy, all for 2.53 a piece! (2.70 for the mean but beautiful Bubbles!).
Let’s take a look back at the little cherubs as they near their 3rd birthday!! Can you believe it?
What a great adventure it’s been. It’s good to remind us of the old days, as we’re contemplating another run west to get another mini-flock this spring! Are you planning on getting some chickens this year?? I’d love to hear about it!
Filed under: bubbles, chickens, edwina, knuckles, liz | Tags: bristol, chicken, emotional life, humane treatment, language
Thanks, some dude at Bristol, for doing a study about chicken’s feelings. Anyone who owns chickens can attest to the fact that not only do they feel empathy, but they feel annoyance, anticipation, etc etc.
Yesterday, for instance, I heard annoyance–poor knuckles got kicked out the nest box so that bubbles (the not so empathetic chicken) could have a go. Poor knuckles stood at the coop door broadcasting her displeasure to all in the turdacres domain. I’ve heard Liz make these distinctive (and screamingly loud) repetitive bu-gahs, and lately have seen a pushed out Edwina do them, and now Knuckles. Is it, oh my god hurry up! i need the nest box!! hurry up! There is definitely a chicken language. I wonder who’s studying that?
Filed under: bubbles, chickens, edwina, knuckles, liz, spanky | Tags: chickens, ice
Will they make it? Will they find their goal? What is their goal, anyway?
Ah yes, a chance to scratch in the feed room. And,
Meanwhile, Liz stayed behind. She doesn’t like cold feet! Here’s what she had to say about it:
Silly chicken. She didn’t like being left alone, but there was no way she was going to freeze her huge toes. So, I ended up carrying her over to enjoy the sun for a few minutes. Spoiled chickens!
Filed under: chickens, liz | Tags: buff orpington, chicken names, chicken personalities, pet chicken
Think carefully, because I think we’re finding that the chickens kind of match their names. So think twice before you name your chicken Queen Elizabeth the Third. Naturally she is a beautiful thing. But she is also a bit snooty. She doesn’t deign to lay eggs–that’s below her class. Instead she wanders around, kind of clueless as to what the other chickens are up to. She does her own thing on her own schedule.
Where’s Liz? is our common question. All of the other chickens have returned, but she is off in la la land checking out her domain, or preening her yellow feathers. She is our lap chicken. She will peck at your legs until you pick her up and then she will hunker down and have a nice comfy nap on your lap.
And today when all of the other chickens zip over to get a hand out of grain, what does our Liz do? Well it’s nap time. The bright sunshine requires a nice stretch out and snooze. I don’t hear anyone calling, do you? I do wish they would shut up and they are interrupting my pleasant dreams. Are you getting a theme here? Our nap chicken.
And so, rather than clumsily trundle through the grass, why should she get her nice huge white feet dirty, after all, instead she waits for her first class ride. She’ll take a ride any day. And she’s the only chicken who you can transport with one hand under her body, her legs hanging down casually, her wings kind of outstretched. She is so relaxed because this is her birthright. No one would ever drop the Queen!!