I have had such a struggle to come to a decision with Marmite. After a summer of laying soft shelled eggs last year I knew there was likely to be a problem this year.
Over winter Marmite has had an extra, happy and healthy, six months of not having to lay eggs. Twice last summer I had gently pulled a soft shell egg from Marmite’s vent and always worried that one could break inside her.
What made this decision so hard is that Marmite was still eating corn twice a day and pecking at apples. We have seen girls give up in the past. They stand looking hunched and refuse to eat even the treats. We then know it’s time. Marmite was still perching and preening and eating treats.
I said I would give her the weekend then on Monday just one more day and then again Tuesday just one more day. Today I knew that I couldn’t leave it any longer.
I knew that she wasn’t going to be fixed and it was only a matter of time. Marmite’s comb and face were pale. Marmite was like a chicken in slow motion. She wasn’t doing all the normal chicken things. I knew that she wasn’t having a good quality of life.
I took a last photo of Marmite and gave her some corn and apple and called the vets.
My usual vet at Flackwell Heath was too busy and said to go their sister vet in High Wycombe. We had never been there before. We had an appointment for twelve o’clock.
When I put Marmite in the cat box she didn’t want to go in and was quite spirited in trying to escape. Once in though she settled down and sat quietly. I gave her some corn but she wasn’t interested.
The vet was really busy but well organised. We parked and someone, masked, asked who were and said she would let reception know we were here. Soon a masked vet came to the vehicle. We too both had our masks on. We gave the vet the cat box and I explained Marmite’s history. I explained that I had been putting off bringing her and that she may well try to escape the cat box as she was still quite spirited when I had put her in.
He said he could see from the colour of her face and comb how poorly she was. I said that I usually hold my girls while they are put to sleep but that I could see that wouldn’t possible. He said that he would take good care of her and bring her back to me afterwards.
The vet was soon back and asked if I would like to hold Marmite which I did. He said that I had done the right thing. She was very weak and quite empty and was ready to go. She didn’t struggle at all and went very quickly.
He said that he gave her a whiff of gas and then put the drug up inside her as it is more humane than trying to find a vein to inject.
He said that he was certain that if she was opened up he would find peritonitis which is an egg either stuck or broken inside. He was very kind. He said I could pay later over the phone or go to the reception hatch which I did.
I am so glad that this is over and we can stop keeping going over what to do every day. We have said that in future we will decide sooner but of course that is easier to say than do and every case is different.
Marmite was only three years old and had such a sweet nature. I will do a tribute to her soon with some photos. She will be missed.