Lost 3 chickens in the past 4 days. All seem to have similar symptoms to the chick that died a few weeks ago.
It is very time-consuming to deal with animal illnesses. I spent yesterday cleaning out the old coop and putting down fresh straw. Cleaned all the feed dishes and disinfected. Moved half the chickens into that space. Cleaned out the other coop and again disinfected what could be done. Put down fresh bedding. Kept 2 birds in the house for observation. This morning, one was suffering so much that Matthew dispatched it. Left the body in the fridge for me to autopsy. No worms. No tumors. Lots of fluid in the belly. The vet was here today for the dogs and I asked him about the chickens. He said that there are so many things it could be. To find out more would mean sending the body off for testing. Right now all the rest of the birds look okay. I think we’ll see what happens.
We’d already butchered 6 of our 7 laying hens on Saturday. They were all in good health, but out of production.
Death is exhausting.
Hear me, Lord of Creatures. Ease the suffering of these, your children. Make them strong to resist what would harm them and receive with grace those who leave this life. Make us wise and give us courage to act with compassion. Blessed Be.