The good news is followed by bad…
We lost our sweet Athena today. She would never stay still and look at me at the same time. But I really loved her feathering. She was so pretty. This is the last one I got of her.
The day before yesterday we noticed chewed holes in the lattice on the side of the run that faces the road. It is outside the chicken wire. We use it as a screening. I at first thought it was some sort of rodent. Then I noticed it was in places the chickens could reach it. The run is three years old. None of the chickens have ever tried to eat the wood before.
I am not surprised though. Chickens will eat almost anything. They attacked the floatie noodle around my clam basket once and there were little blue pieces of foam all over the back yard. They haven’t touched it since or until up to that point.
In any case, yesterday I noticed that Athena was moving a little slower than usual. She’s a spaz and usually all over the place. I figured she was the wood eater and hoped she was just having a tough time digesting. I gave her some olive oil and vitamins and hoped that would help her tummy. Today she was worse, but I was still hopeful as I gave her more vitamins and olive oil this morning before I left for work. I put her in the house with food and water nearby. By this afternoon she was gone. Husband buried her in what is beginning to be our chicken graveyard with her dear departed friends.
To prevent this happening again, I am going to put hardware cloth over that side so they can’t reach the lattice. I don’t think anyone else was involved. Anything could have happened in her digestive system to kill her, I don’t know how big or sharp the pieces were. Or even if the lattice had been pressure treated with any chemicals. It was reused from elsewhere. I am feeling like a bad mom and that I just can’t take any more chicken deaths. I know chickens will eat anything. I know they are not the brightest bulbs. I baby them and love them so. I wish I could have prevented and foreseen this one. All I can do is prevent it from happening to the others.