Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Fern, the little black hen
We said a very sad goodbye to our little black hen yesterday. Unable to walk in the morning and not eating or drinking, the wee one and I took her to the vet...took all of five minutes to learn than euthanasia was the kindest path.
The vet nurse was very kind; after Fern's little heart stopped beating she took her limp body and wrapped her gently in a shroud of calico, tied it with a plain satin ribbon and placed a rose stem through the loop. The wee girl was quite delighted with the wrapped 'gift' and held her all the way home chatting about how she was 'very sick' had a 'sore leg', 'she won't feel better soon' and 'she died'. I sobbed a bit, felt a bit crazy and couldn't believe I just handed over $130 to an specialist avian vet.
I picked up my big girl from school and broke the sad news, she was quite distraught. Death is never easy.
Fern had Mareks disease I am steeling myself and hoping that Lavender does not sucumb as well. I spoke at length with the vet about getting other chickens - perhaps that is where the consultation costs were? I've spent the morning on the phone with a breeder discussing vaccinations and their merits. Friday the girls and I will drive down the coast and pick out some new little girls to bring home... the journey continues.