Necropsy - the various farm critter yahoo groups I belong to are all about necropsies and posting photos.
There's nothing like that awkward moment as you are shedding a tear or saying a prayer for a darn chicken/turkey/ duck/goose when you realize you have become one of those crazy backyardchicken.com "Flower Child Moon Bats" <thx, SwampYankee>.
I suspect the emotional involvement one ends up feeling is inversely related to the degree of "OMG, what a bunch of weirdos" reaction one has when first learning that people have house chickens as pets. Some kind of karma, I guess. They get you despite your best efforts not to become a crazy bird person Some / most birds are alas, just poultry that could care less about people. But, the special ones are capable of turning even the most resistant humans into complete mush balls.
And, I will say this -- you can ask the absolutely stupidest question to bird people and they will kindly and patiently explain and encourage you --
like my frantic post to my turkey group that one of my poults had some kind of horrible tumor growing out of its chest with NASTY HAIRS growing out of it -- obviously birds have feathers -- NOT HAIR -- so what kind of horrific parasitic tumor alien was on my baby turkey???? Or when my husband didn't arrange the sun shades just right and some of my poults were starting to look like they had a horrible, blistering sunburn???
(answer is tom turkeys & some hens grow BEARDS. And, at a certain magical point the beautiful little poults begin to develop bald, bumpy turkey heads - unrelated to sunburn)
I have never read on a bird group a snarky, "well, obviously you have no idea what you are doing and should not even be allowed to own a bird" -- even when someone is asking for advice on removing the infected bump on the bird's back above the tail aka the oil gland Some of the CotH peeps could definitely learn a lesson from the patience of the bird nuts.
Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing
You were a fortunate hen. But you knew that, didn't you? You could have lived your life as a commercial layer in a wire cage. You got to feel the fresh air and sunshine. Taking dust baths, scratching in the earth, and mud between your toes. Oh and the joy you felt when you scratched up a bug!
When I die, if I come back as a chicken, I hope to be cared for by a kind-hearted woman too.
Ok, I was getting all leaky again reading the latest replies until ldaziens made up for her last one, with the latest one - I was working SO hard not to literally laugh out loud because my sick hubby is still sleeping in the next room, and that would have been rude That was awesome
I've been attached to these guys since I got the first batch as chicks in March, and the 2nd batch (including Cindy) as young pullets in June or so. It's the bodies that get me
fivehorse - this was a crash course in learning! That's how it usually goes isn't it LOL
I really, truly appreciate all the sympathy and understanding and research on my behalf, and even the very honest questions that seem like they should have an obvious answer, done so politely (jetsmom ). Rest assured I would not have come back with updates if there'd been any snark
leaf - I love that, thank you
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
JB, so sorry for the loss of Cindy chickie. We were in a similar situation during the heat wave this summer trying to self treat heat stress. Same outcome as you unfortunately.
You SHOULD do a necropsy. I've done many large animals, but was very interested to do a rooster a fox killed and couldn't drag off. It's very informative for the future.
If you decide you want to pursue more treatment in the future, NCSU has an exotics department that will see pet chickens, as will Avian and Exotics in Cary. I know neither are terribly close to you, but I bet either could give you a referral closer to home.
O DARN IT, JB. You made a valiant effort and your little Cindy knew it. I'm guessing she was pretty grateful too. Amazing how these little birds get into our hearts, eh? My small flock is going to be 5 years old this coming Spring and I worry and fret for them almost as much as over the dogs and horses!
I'm so sorry your brave little hen has flown the coop but my Jane, Josephine and Sophie will greet her and show her around The Bridge.
Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.