We Lost a Chicken

in the yard
Last Monday we lost Pearl. We noticed Sunday afternoon that there was a bunch of mud on her backside and by Monday morning when we went to go clean her off, she was walking slow and obviously bothered by something. When we inspected closer what we found was so horrific in our non-farmer eyes that we knew we would have to put her down. We think what happened is that she wasn’t somehow able to form a full egg (we had found a very gelatinous shelled egg in the coop the previous week) and that she wasn’t able to lay it, so it collapsed inside of her and well….. are you ready for this? Click away if you are eating or plan to eat anytime in the future. Anyway, her vent was teaming with maggots. It was disgusting. We did our best to clean her off without vomiting, but we realized that her problem was beyond our help.

Luckily the vet right down the road treats chickens so we took her to him and he told us what we had suspected, that we would have to put her down. Now a real farmer wouldn’t have been nearly as grossed out as we were and would have taken care of business right then and there, but we aren’t true farmers. Pearl had become a pet to us, so we took her to the vet and had him put her down. We were both sad. Sadder than we thought we would be about a silly old chicken dying.

That’s the thing about chickens, they are pea brained, they might be loud, they might bring unwanted flies into our house, they might eat all of our seedlings, but they are darling little pets and they grow on you. We’ve never laughed so much over any pet. So thanks Pearl for all of your eggs and for your antics!


Filed under chickens

10 responses to “We Lost a Chicken

  1. So sorry to hear that you lost Pearl. They truly do come to be pets after a while, even if you don’t intend it. Just know that there’s likely nothing you could have done even if you’d found it sooner.

  2. asonomagarden

    Thanks Laura. We had read that, that by the time you notice a problem with them, it’s usually too late to do anything about it.

  3. Em

    Sorry to hear about your Pearl, it is sad when your animals suffer; I’ve lived most of my life on farms and still find “nature” distressing at times. Your chooks look so happy in that pic 🙂

  4. bellamadris

    sorry, again, for the loss of Pearl. Animals become such a part of the family and I know for us, it seems that they are such defensless, helpless creatures and we are here to protect them and when something happens to one of them- it’s hard, sad and painful. Pearl can kick it with Wanagi now- he’ll have someone to chase around!

  5. Jen

    Oh, that’s very sad. I’ve been thinking about keeping chickens and this is one part that I’d have a hard time dealing with. Is it hard to find a vet to treat chickens?
    My condolences.

  6. So sorry to hear about Ms. Pearl. I love that she’d become your pet inspite of eating seedlings and hanging out with flies.

  7. asonomagarden

    Thanks again ladies. I think the hens are trying to figure out the new pecking order, Pearl was at the top. Their egg production is super low – in fact we are totally out of eggs. Usually we have at least two dozen in the fridge! I guess the cold/dark weather is getting to them too.

    Jen, I don’t know if its hard to find a vet to treat chickens, it probably depends on where you live. Sonoma is a pretty big agricultural town so it wasn’t too hard to find one. However most dog/cat vets don’t do chickens. You’ll have to call around before you get your chickens.

  8. we had a bantam cochin named Pearl
    The girls

    She was the best mother…went broody every spring for three years running. Sadly she got picked off by a coopers hawk last fall while out free ranging. I still miss her, especially since she was such a character. She is buried next to the blueberry patch.

  9. Thanks so much for publishing your post about the poor chicken you lost with the fly larvae in her vent. I just lost a chicken this way this morning. I’m very upset – I’m so glad to read that it was an egg problem. I think our chicken’s issue was an egg problem too – what happened was EXACTLY as you describe. Again, thank you.

  10. Pingback: Three New Chicks & Sally the Miracle Chicken. « A Sonoma Garden

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