Pin It

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ella, our lovely lady

Friday evening, we had to put Ella, our sultry, lovely lady down. She began showing symptoms of Marek's on Thursday night. According to various websites we've visited and according to our vet, some chickens that are exposed to Marek's will often exhibit a limp, which is not necessarily fatal. Other chickens will get internal tumors; that's where the fatality comes in. Salt and Pepa both died due to internal tumors, and Ella was on her way there.

We've decided to let the last four chickens live out their lives. We've read that Marek's usually wipes out around 60% of a flock. We can't get any more chickens while those remaining are still alive, but we're going to do the compassionate thing and let these chickies live until their times come. However, the second we notice Salt-and-Pepa like symptoms, we're putting them down.

That's why Ella is gone. She was standing around in a daze, clearly not herself. Her crop was empty, and her dander was flaking off in large bits. She must have been suffering from internal tumors. Unlike Salt and Pepa, she wasn't totally incoherent or clearly in pain. It was a bit harder to end her life, seeing her seemingly normal.

Ella had been one of my favorites. First of all, she was so beautiful. Secondly, she had quite the boisterous personality. When Janis wasn't around, the sounds that came from petite little Ella were shocking. She could really yelp! I always thought Janis and Ella acted like two little old ladies. They'd holler at each other - one would step on the other or they'd argue over a worm or piece of cheese. But each night, they'd cuddle on my shoulder together or snuggle on the coop ladder, and they'd always sleep cozied into each other. They were a team. Twice, Andy and I came home in the rain to find Janis and Ella nestled high up, getting soaked. All of the other chickens had the sense to go in, but not these two stubborn gals.

Janis, Andy, and I will miss Ella. I'm glad she didn't suffer too much before she died and that I had the opportunity to say good-bye to her on the ride to the vet. I hope her 19-week little life was enjoyable.
Such a little gal
Our two little "old" ladies
Happy and healthy
The comfort of Dad's shoulder

No comments:

Post a Comment