Lucy seemed to be doing better this morning, other than holding her wings loose. She actually ate some gruel I made for her out of laying mash and water, with some apple pieces in it.
Boy, was I wrong. When I went out later in the afternoon, I found her in the chicken house, head tilted back, eyes closed, and stiff as a board.
I gently picked her up and moved her to a spot in the garden, where I dug a nice hole for her, laid her in it, and covered her up – thanking her for all her wonderful eggs and creating so much fertilizer for me.
She certainly had a personality and way about her. I’ll miss her, and I’m certain Ethel will too. I’m glad the two new girls have joined the flock to keep Ethel company.
Since I’m not certain exactly what took her, I put everyone in runs so I could remove all the bedding and soil from the chicken yard and house, spray tea tree oil mixed with water in the hen-house to sterilize it, sprinkle everything with diatomaceous earth to kill parasites and re-bed everything in clean straw. I’m hoping that will be enough to prevent anyone else from “catching” whatever it was Lucy had, if it was something contagious.
I looked at all the literature out there for lethargic birds, and by all the descriptions I read about bird flu, craw problems and stuck eggs, none seemed to fit the bill. She should have died much quicker than she did, if indeed, she had any of those.
So long Lucy. R.I.P.