Vale White Sussex

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White Sussex was taken to the vet this morning and the difficult decision to euthanize her was made.

For a long time, White Sussex has been the queen of the chook pen. Top of the pecking order, and she was the girl who made a lot of BagerK-ing whenever one of the girls was laying an egg. Her Bagerk-ing could raise the dead, even me when I’d been on night shift and was dead to the world sleeping during the day.

She was also an excellent broody chook and when the time came to kick the broody out, she took it like a good chicken, not trying to remove your hands with her beak, just meekly accepting that you were going to pick her up and kick her out and take the eggs from under her.

She was the most enthusiastic bug eater and loved the white curl bugs I would dig out of the garden and throw to her. She was a wonderful chook, and she will be greatly missed. Even her Bagerk-ing!

As I always post when this happens – there are 6 other chickens in the yard for whom life continues. They live minute by minute, sucking the most joy out of each and every moment, whether it is a dirt bath, finding a bug, eating a treat from the humans.. all we can do is love them while they’re here, protect them the best we can from predators, know when it is time to let them go, and remember them when they are gone.

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Chickens, country life, Vale Pets

7 thoughts on “Vale White Sussex

  1. She is a beautiful girl! I didn’t know that chickens had such personalities; my late husband grew up on a farm and dealt with lots of them, but they weren’t his favorite animal. He preferred cows.

      • Honestly, I don’t think Patt liked them because it was his job to kill them and for that reason he had negative associations. So sorry that you lost her, especially that suddenly. I marvel at her coloring, like a painting.

    • She seemed quite normal until Thursday when we dosed the girls with Ivomec (for mites and lice as the wet weather has made dustbathing impossible) and checked their health, she seemed to have an odd lump in her throat.

      Chooks are super good at hiding illness *especially* if they are top of the pecking order and White Sussex was no exception – this morning I said to the other half I think we should take her and get the lump checked out, it might be something stuck in there maybe. As soon as she was in the pet carrier and could not see the other girls, she stopped putting on her “I’m perfectly fine” show and we could see the real truth – she was not a well chook at all. She seemed to be struggling to breathe and she couldn’t stand up anymore..

      The fact that I’d put in many sunflower seeds right in front of her face and she was totally ignoring them told me everything I needed to know. She normally cannot resist Chooky Chocolate.

      We could see she was suffering and we didn’t want to put her through any more of that. But as we did not want to pay $360 for a necropsy, what exactly was wrong will remain a mystery. I don’t want to ask The Other Half to do necropsies or to euthanaze – he would likely agree to do these things, but these are our much loved pets and I think we’d really struggle with doing them ourselves.

      We know our girls are getting on in years, and while we don’t love having to make these decisions, it is a difficult part of chicken keeping. But to balance it out, we’ve had nearly four years of awesomeness with White Sussex, and she has kept all the other girls in line. :)

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