Yesterday I lost my lovely Treacle. I cried buckets yesterday and was too upset to write this straight away. In the morning we syringed her medicine into her beak and then some sugar water. I made her a mash of pellets, tuna, yogurt, tomato and sprinkled sunflower hearts and dried meal worms on top and offered it to her but she wouldn’t attempt it. Later I offered her maggots but again she showed no interest al all.
She went to stand under the bush. Later she went and sat in the nest box which is something she never does. Pepper was very cross as she wanted to lay her egg so I picked Treacle up and took her indoors to sit on my lap for about half an hour. She kept closing her eyes and her beak would open which I know is a sign of stress. I stroked her and talked to her while the tears streamed.
I put her back in the nest box and a few minutes later she went out to the water. She would drink water and just remain standing by the water for a long time. Her poops were now bright yellow and green, a bad sign. She then went back to stand under the bush, then returned to the nest box.
I knew that she had given up and that if she wouldn’t eat there was no chance of her getting better. I couldn’t let her suffer any more so I rang the vet to see if I could take her to be put to sleep. I agonised over this all day and if I thought she would die in her sleep over night, I would have left her but I knew she could go on just drinking water for several days like this. With the other girls doing all the chicken things and her only standing doing nothing, she has no quality of life.
My husband drove me to the vet so that I could have Treacle on my lap for the half hour journey. I stroked and talked to her the whole way while raining tears.
The vet was very kind (my usual vet was on his day off), he felt her and said she was very weak. He said she may have a crop problem but we will never really know what was wrong with her. I held her while he gave her the injection and she went very quickly. He let me hold her until I was ready then laid her down and tucked her head under her wing.
My husband said he found it all very upsetting too but that I was very good with her and that it was the right thing to do. It is so frustrating not knowing what was wrong with her or why this happened.
I never thought I would get so attached but at fifty two years old this is the first time in my adult life that I have had pets and I think once your children are grown up, pets become your babies.
Treacle was the first one to sit on my lap or shoulder and when she was in what I think of as the teenage stage, she would follow me around and jump on my back when ever she could. Even a few weeks ago she would jump on my lap despite me keep picking her up for what ever reason. When she was standing in the coop yesterday she would still come to the coop door when she heard me open their gate. She was my most interactive girl.
Treacle was ten months old and had been laying for two months before she suddenly stopped at the first signs of her illness. She laid forty three eggs in total during a Sixty seven day period. She laid lovely dark brown eggs.
I am ending with some photos of her as a tribute to our beautiful Treacle.
This photo was a week ago before I first took her to the vet. In the following week she went down hill so fast. I didn’t take any photos at the end because I was too upset but her comb looked very different from this picture. It had shrivelled to half the size and gone very grey.
This morning it was so sad to be greeted by three girls instead of four. I opened up the nest box and there was what I thought was Pepper’s egg. I then remembered that Pepper laid an egg at lunch time yesterday and only usually lays every other day. I picked it up and realised it was paler and longer than Pepper’s eggs and had a little streak of blood on it. It suddenly dawned on me that it was Dotty’s first egg. Ironic how the circle of life goes on! My husband had said that Dotty was going “boc boc” yesterday for the first time. With all the worry over Treacle I had missed the sign. Dotty is nine months old and all grown up at last. I am saving the photo of her first egg for my next post.
After the girls had their breakfast, Dotty went and stood under the bush looking really sad. At first I thought there was something wrong with her or that it was the shock of her first egg, then I realised she was standing where Treacle had stood for the last few days. Dotty was looking for Treacle. Suddenly all three girls in a row explored every corner of the garden area then went to the patio area, they all trooped in a line behind the coop, under the nest box, to the side of the cabinet, to every corner. I realised they were looking for Treacle and it made my cry all over again.
I am sure they miss her too. Goodbye sweet Treacle.