Chicken traumas

I’ve had a malfunctioning chicken for a while. For whatever reason (most likely the ridiculous over-breeding that goes into commercial layers) she cannot make eggs with shells. Every so often she fails to pass her shell-less egg and becomes ill. I’ve been predicting for a few months that I’ll be down to three chickens before Xmas.

So it was a bit of a shock to realise that one of my other chickens was poorly. With hindsight I realise that she had stopped laying eggs. I hadn’t noticed because my remaining layers have gone feral, making nests under hedges and in flower pots. I just assumed that Rowan Chicken had found a better hiding place than the others. 

As with most home hen-keepers, I hit my poultry books (and of course Google) and diagnosed sour crop. This can be fatal, and often indicates an underlying problem, but is something you treat at home rather than run straight to the vets. Unfortunately, by the time I’d got back from a shopping trip into town, armed with the obligatory live yogurt, Rowan was looking extremely ill. She didn’t survive the night and is now keeping me metaphorical company up the allotment.

I’m realistic about chicken-keeping, but I’ll miss Rowan. Holly will really miss Rowan. Holly’s favourite game was to make Rowan turn on a circle. Rowan usually won by running under her belly. Rowan also took every opportunity to forage in the house, not helped by Holly’s habit of herding her ever further into the interior.

So now I have three chickens and two layers. At least Hazel, my malfunctioning chicken, is doing well (for now).







About Yasmine

After working with horses for many years I came to my senses and got a 'proper job'. I now live in Weardale with My Taller Half, a mad border collie and 5 chickens. Still wishing I could spend all my time in the great outdoors
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5 Responses to Chicken traumas

  1. ayomtov says:

    Aaah, I’m really sorry to hear about this. It may be just ‘one of those things’ but this is still a hen you’ve got to know and be amused by, and she’ll be a loss. Hope Holly finds someone else amenable to her particular forms of torture….

  2. Jon Storey says:

    Now that you mention it, some of my ex commercials’ often laid shell-less eggs latterly. Never seemed to happen to the pedigrees?

    • Yasmine says:

      I think it’s the breeding. The chicken I lost was a commercial laying hen and I think the breeders/farmers expect a few duds. The price of cheap eggs 😦

      • Jon Storey says:

        Yes, with a bird bred to produce something like 350+ eggs a year, something has to give. Sadly it is the bird. On the up side they make very rewarding domestic birds and we can give them a couple of years good life.

  3. Pingback: Goodbye, hello | Muddy Tracks

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