Sad news – Katie
December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
She seemed to have completely recovered from whatever it was a fortnight ago. After talking to Pauline, we had put her on precautionary antibiotics for a couple of days, and monitored her pretty closely. But she seemed absolutely normal, and we’d stopped worrying. We were picking our first crop of raspberries early afternoon on Sunday, and the girls were doing their usual (following us up and down the fence, in the hopes of snaffling any wormy or odd looking raspberries.) (Or in Neroli’s case, sticking her head through the wire and directly into Stewart’s container. Sigh!). I don’t specifically remember what Katie was doing, but surely we would have noticed if anyone had been behaving oddly. Then a couple of hours later we went out to weigh the chicks, and Stewart went in to collect the eggs. And found Katie lying flat out beneath one of the apple trees, with Holly sitting beside her. We raced to try and get the crop tube and some water (no antibiotics to hand), but it was already too late. She briefly looked up at us when we picked her up, and then sank into my arms and died within a matter of a minute or two – not even time for Stewart to get the crop tube from the laundry.
I have no idea what it was that killed her. Presumably whatever it was that we staved off a fortnight ago. Whatever it was, it was sudden and catastrophic. Her comb looked maybe a bit dehydrated (although the girls had plentiful access to water, and it wasn’t a particularly hot day, unlike a fortnight ago), and there was definitely fluid in her abdomen – quite swollen, but soft. I don’t think it was an infection, because she went from fine to dead too quickly (and there was no other symptom – poo normal, her petticoats clean, her comb absolutely fine up until then). The other girls all seem fine too (although Neroli looked off colour that afternoon – just her egg thing, as far as we can tell), so I don’t think it’s disease. And they’ve all been eating the same things, and have had access to the same things, so I don’t think it was poisoning.
We buried her in the orchard, under a Stella cherry tree. Poor funny, sweet little Katie-po, with her droopy eyelids. We are going to miss her so much.