It’s a bad time to be a chicken in Bexley right now, with both Jewel and Flamingo lost in the last few weeks.
What killed them? Good question. Probably old age more than anything else. Both girls began to slow down, went a bit grey in the comb, slowed down some more and, a few days later, simply sat down and never got up.
Red mite was the first suspect: an unpleasant sort of tick that feeds on chicken blood (it says on the Internet). A thorough check of their coop hasn’t turned up a single mite, however, and surely all the chickens would be suffering at once, not one at a time, wouldn’t they?
Jewel was the first to go – she started to go a bit grey on top, which I’ve never seen happen to a chicken before, then just sort of…stopped.
But Flamingo and Winter both were fine, hungry and inquisitive as ever.
Then, over the weekend, we noticed Flamingo was looking a bit grey in the comb, and she didn’t come a-running when we put leftovers out, just ambling up the garden, stopping for a rest halfway (rather like my Dad before his heart transplant).
Yesterday she pretty much gave up all movement, sitting quietly in one spot, dozing and only eating if food was placed in reach of her beak – which is a bad sign for a chicken. And this morning she’d gone to that great hen coop in the sky.
So, we’re down to a single chicken, Winter, for now. She seems fine – busy, talkative and permanently hungry – but we’re keeping a close eye on her, just in case.
She probably can’t believe her luck, having all the food to herself now, but I hope she’s not too lonely. 😦