After hosing the byre out this evening, the Other Half and I went through to feed the chickens and call them back to their pen. As I was casting their feed down, the OH noticed that our oldest surviving hen, Peggy, was walking strangely. Peggy also looked lacklustre. I caught her fairly easy, which was telling in itself as she should have been very difficult to catch unless she specifically wanted to be held, which she didn’t.
Peggy’s problem was immediately apparent. She had a severe prolapse of the oviduct. If it had been a minor prolapse, I would have treated it by carefully pushing it back in with a finger, treating her with hemorrhoid cream and isolating her for a week. It was too severe, so she had to put down.
We’d had Peggy for six years. She was one of our first five chickens and our last Scots Grey Bantam. We kept bantams alongside the standard Scots Greys as the little hens are excellent sitters and mothers. The standard hens aren’t. Peggy has hatched and/or reared a couple of clutches of chicks every year, ably protecting them from hawks and magpies despite her diminutive size. She was also second only to the Duchess as senior hen—well, all the big hens knew her as mum so they weren’t going to argue with her. Peggy was also a real character: friendly, fussy and with a penchant for finding the highest possible roosts. She will be missed.