Saturday, 9 April 2016
RIP the laddie
What a rotten end to an otherwise nice week! We came home from shopping yesterday afternoon to find the cockerel standing in the corner of the chicken condo, tail down, wings down, head down. He was obviously unwell and feeling pretty rough. I picked him up and wrapped him in a towel and took him inside. I tried to keep him warm but deep down I knew that it was just a matter of time. We offered water in a child's syringe, but he had no interest . I put him in the dog crate we had bought for isolating birds and said I'd give him a couple of hours to see if he perked up but after that I would dispatch him. My friend Lucie phoned so I kept an eye on the bird while I chatted to her, but within 15 minutes he had died.
I had wondered if he was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday morning as he wasn't his usual bright and cheerful self, but he was interacting, eating and drinking so I thought that it was a temporary thing. It seems that I was wrong. I am just so glad that he didn't die in the chicken condo or paddock with all the girls watching.
I know that there is always a risk when you move a bird from one home to another that they might not make it, but it's always a bit sad when it happens and even though he'd only been here for a fortnight, I had grown quite fond of his presence. We haven't named our birds except for Jack and Diesel who came to us with names, so the cockerel was just referred to as 'the laddie'. He was a beautiful bird.
I'm particularly sad that the young Cream Legbar (CLB) hens were not quite mature enough for his attentions, so there will be no CLB chicks for the meantime until we find another CLB cockerel. But there are fertile eggs from Jack and Diesel, so we have decided to hatch some of Jack's eggs which should give us an attractive bird that lays olive or pale greeny-blue eggs. The laddie's genes, we hope, will survive in the next generation.