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Jen the Hen

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  1. Hi all, I'm sure this has been covered extensively before, but I'm reeling from a recent charge by my local vet. Sadly, I had to make the decision to have my lovely Henrietta put to sleep on Monday. She was an elderly hen, and she suddenly lost a lot of weight and stopped eating and drinking - I think it was the kindest thing for her. I didn't see a vet, as I knew nothing more could be done for her, so I gave my instructions to the veterinary assistant (receptionist). I realise that the vet would have been involved behind the scenes, but I was shocked to get a bill for £54 for a PTS/communal cremation. My bill at another surgery, which included a veterinary consultation, was £35. I was too upset at the time to question it, but having thought about it later this seems a awful lot considering the circumstances. Anyone had something similar?
  2. Big hugs to you, it's always so sad - it sounds as though Penny had the best life with you x
  3. Many thanks for everyone's extremely helpful replies. I made the decision on Saturday and got two new girls. I particularly liked the suggestion that hens recognise their own breed, so my new girls are Goldline hybrids just like Henrietta. Poor old Edna has gone to the big chicken coop in the sky, which was a very hard decision but she wasn't going to recover this time - I'll really miss that feisty little hen. Henrietta is a bit non-plussed by the two new girls, but she's not bullying as badly as I'd expected - just a bit of a peck every now and then. I swear she has a grumpy face, but better that she's not alone. I hope she'll see it that way eventually! Thanks again x
  4. Hello Omleteers, I have a dilemma and could do with some advice please. I started with three hens about three years ago, but I lost one of my girls recently, so I'm left with two - Henrietta (original, eh) and Edna. I'm tempted to introduce two new hens, as the balance between 'old' and 'new' hens might help to mitigate the worst of any bullying. My dilemma is that Edna is looking like she might go claws up at any moment. I took her to my chicken vet about four months ago, who said that she probably wouldn't last long (suspected egg peritonitis) but I decided to give her a chance. She perked up after some antibiotics and lots of TLC. I'm very worried that new hens would be the last straw for Edna and she'll be bullied (although she's a feisty little hen, even now). On the other hand, Henrietta gets very distressed if she's left on her own, even for the briefest time (eg while I take Edna out of the run to check on her). I'm sure many of you have faced this before, so I'd be interested in your views.
  5. Hi LilyintheValley, I took lost my first pet chook on Sunday morning, so I completely understand how you're feeling. Hilda was my friendliest hen and loved her cuddles, so she'll be greatly missed. Both me and my hubby were in tears - what a pair! Similar story to your Eva - brought Hilda into the house to keep her warm and was giving her antibiotics, which appeared to be working, only to find her claws-up on Sunday morning...so sad. She had lots of cuddles and sweetcorn treats before though, and I know she had a good life. I'm sure you feel the same about Eva too. Take care, Jen
  6. I've been following the Hen Power project for a while, and it's great. I think it started in Gateshead, and they are looking to expand activities across the country. I'd love to get involved if it started close to my neck of the woods. I've attached a link for anyone who's interested in learning more about it. http://www.equalarts.org.uk/pages/henpower.php
  7. I also use a very large, shallow trug, and my girls absolutely love it. They even stay in there if the weather's a bit blowy, as I think it keeps their ankles warm... I've had trouble finding dry sand at this time of year, so I use Auboise sometimes and the chooks still get in and have a good flap about.
  8. This post made me laugh. When I first had chickens a few years ago now, they free ranged and one of them managed to get through the cat flap into the kitchen! I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the chook. I have a much smaller garden now, so my hens are allowed out of their run with supervision, but they always make a beeline for the open patio door given half a chance...much to the cat's annoyance. So they're not allowed in now, but I do miss the surprise cat flap visits.
  9. Just wanted to share a success story, as I'm so happy that my little hen has recovered from sour crop. Thanks to the advice I followed on the forum, my Edna is getting back to her chickeny self. I'd been away for a long weekend, and my house/chicken sitter mentioned how quiet Edna had been, and I'd feared she would definitely go 'claws up' once I saw what a mess she was (diarrhea, hot and watery crop). Bit grim to keep emptying her (poor thing), but with lots of TLC, she's pulled through - even after double checking with the vet, they didn't want to adminster anything. Couldn't have done it without the sound advice from here - thanks everyone! I'm stupidly happy that Edna's okay - what is it about those feathery creatures!
  10. Hi Mrs B, My Black Rock, Edna, had a very similar experience about three weeks ago. She laid something in the run that included a bright yellow yolk, but also what I can only describe as chopped liver. There was a lot of viscous blood and tissue (sorry, bit graphic). I expected the worse, but she carried on as if nothing had happened. She's carried on laying. I'd keep an eye on your girlie, but I wouldn't worry too much if she seems okay in herself. Good luck.

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