Yesterday morning Sparkle half heartedly joined in with the morning corn. After that she refused anything I offered her. The only thing she does now is a little preening. She was always the girl that preened the most and had the fluffiest feathers and in fact still does.
The rest of the day she just sits, sometimes in a patch of sun, sometimes on a perch and often on the table.
At one point her flock mates joined her on the table.
Topaz is sitting at the back, Peaches and Barley are the book ends and Emerald is on the right, Sparkle is in the front. Honey was in the nest box trying to lay her egg (she takes ages) and Toffee always a bit of a loner was wandering around the run.
I visited Jackie and her flock today and then bought her here to visit my flock and see what she thought about Sparkle. Sparkle was always a favourite of Jackie’s and I wanted her opinion on the situation. I told her that I am at a crossroads where I don’t want to give up on Sparkle too soon if there is a chance for her but I don’t want her to suffer either.
I am afraid of giving up too soon but equally I know that chickens hide their suffering and I don’t want Sparkle to starve herself to a slow death and suffer. I picked Sparkle up and gave her to Jackie to hold as she did a few weeks ago. Jackie said she could feel how much thinner Sparkle was. Sparkle had always been our fat hen which may be why she has survived this for so long. She always had the biggest appetite and was plump with a waddle in her walk. Now she doesn’t look so bad as she has the fluffiest feathers of all but when picked up she feels so much thinner than she did.
All she does now is eat a little corn in the morning, preen a little and then sit all day much of the time dosing. Sometimes when sitting she has her head down and her sad eyes keep shutting. I can see her in eyes that things are badly wrong with her.
Jackie said that she felt only a miracle could help Sparkle now and that I have to make the tough decision to end her suffering because keeping her going is for me and not what is best for Sparkle. I have done every thing in my power to help her but it’s been a month now and whereas with Emerald and Amber I could entice them to eat and build their strength with Sparkle the refusal to eat anything makes any progress impossible.
I can hardly bare to make this decision but I know in my heart that I need to make it soon for Sparkle’s sake. I almost hope to find her gone in the morning but that is only to make it easier for me and I wonder how long she can linger on if she just starves herself.
I know that I must make this awful decision very soon. I will give it one more day and then I must decide.