October 29, 2010

Loss of a Good Ol' Gal

Today is not starting out well at all.  I went to let the girls out at dawn and found that poor Bessie had died during the night.  She was laying right in front of the door and already stiff, so she had been dead for several hours at least.

Bessie is one of the six original hens I brought home on Dec 1st last year and I believe the girls were about six months old then, so she wasn't an old hen.  She did bring a nasty case of scaly leg mites with her that I'm not sure ever cleared up.  I treated her legs and while it never spread to the bedding or any of the other chickens in the last 11 months, her legs never did get over that icky, scaly look.  Maybe I killed off the mites but the scales on the legs were too far gone to close up and look normal again.  I would imagine if she still had them, that at least some of the other girls would have picked them up before now.

Bessie nesting in her dishpan, before outside nest boxes were built

I'm still dealing with bumblefoot and it seems to be a losing battle.  I've treated and treated, both individually and the entire flock, but the girls that had it bad just can't kick it.  I've tried two different antibiotics as well as soaking and topical ointment and just can't eradicate it entirely.  It's been a while since last treatment, and Bertha, the worst case, is looking pretty bad once again. Bessie might have had a small callous on one foot, but hers never got out of hand so I don't think the bumblefoot infection is what killed her.  Hard to say.

The newer additions to the flock have been with the older girls for months now, long before the bumblefoot was noticed, but none of the younger girls has shown any sign of infection at all.  I don't know if it has to do with the age or breed, but it's very puzzling.  I'm hopeful that with cold weather and snow not far off, that it will kill whatever is out there and I can treat them all one last time and be done with it.

Bessie was a nice ol' gal, and I'm hoping whatever the cause of her death, it doesn't pass to her sisters.

Bessie showing her butt, second from right

I hope there's lots of scratch where you are now, Bessie ...


Lyn Lomasi, ParentSuccessfully.com said...

Awww sorry to hear about Bessie. I'll echo your wish for her to have lots of scratch where she is now.

Tammy Waters said...

So sorry to hear about Bessie :( People who have never been around chickens don't realize that chickens really can have personality and enjoy our company.

All American x5 said...

Sorry for your loss.

I had a chicken just die suddenly and never know the case. It happened last year around this time.

Maybe it just got a cold and never could shake it??

Good luck with the rest of the flock :)

Reena D said...

So sorry for your loss, Marie.

Angie Mohr said...

I'm sorry, MA- I know how hard that is!

Tania Cowling said...

Sorry to hear about Bessie, it's hard to lose any pet.

CarolineNot said...

I'm sorry, Marie Anne.

Martie said...

Awww... I'm sorry to read about Bessie. Hope the rest of the girls clear up and do well for a long time. :)