Saturday, October 29, 2011


Living in the country, no matter what the season, you often must deal with loss.  Whether through difficult birthing, accidents, or attack, there are many ways to lose your livestock.  Last week, we experienced a possum determined to have chicken dinner in our henyard and lost three birds, including two hens.

This week we lost two more.... we believe to a large hawk, or possibly one of the pair of eagles who lived a mile away along Stranger Creek.  One of these girls is gone:

Yes, my porcelain D'uccles, the ones I absolutely love.  The girl with her head down, May, is gone.  They would hang out on top of the little henhouse during the day, they always kept themselves separated from the other birds.  May disappeared on Tuesday.   April and Fancy were in the little henhouse that night when I got home from work, which is why I suspect a raptor.

Then, this girl came up missing:
Our beautiful Ameracauna hen, Eagle, came up missing on Thursday.  Keith was convinced she had flown out of the pen and was somewhere in the pasture.  She was...

All we found of her were two piles of buff and blue feathers.  We think she struggled, was dropped, and caught again.  We are watching today for signs of a big raptor.

And the last one is this little girl.

If you enlargen this photo, you will see what has happened this week... she now has glaucoma in her left eye.  She made a visit to Dr. Tom on Thursday afternoon, and the bad spot in the eye is clearing up, but she has developed glaucoma.  When I got to work yesterday, I researched it, and then talked to several of our vets (there are several in my own department, and many in our company) and vet techs.  I was told that glaucoma is very painful for the dog, the pressure building behind the eye hurts and causes them to become depressed, not eat, and the pain is constant.  Removal of the eye is usually the next step, but the second eye will most certainly develop it.  One vet tech, my friend Jill, recommended a veterinary opthalmologist far across town to us, but Keith and I have talked at length about it, and we are not going to do this.  Since Hannah came to us as an adoptee almost four years ago, she has led a very limited life.  She has never been able to run in the yard, or seen the chickens or llamas, or be a farm dog the way that Addie Mae, and now Abby and Gertie are.  She has always been limited to the house and deck, and is overwhelmed when the other dogs get rambunctious.  She is happiest when laying at my side on the couch (I was watching the world series last night next to her) or at my feet at the computer.  Her eyesight was already bad when we adopted her, and now has gone completely.  She is confused and has trouble getting around the house, and we crate her during the day when we are both gone.  We have watched her walk into things (in fact, we think that's how she abraded her eye) and we have rescued her from Ranger several times.  We are going to take care of her for the next few weeks and watch her, and as soon as she seems as if she is in true pain, then we will make a final decision.  Right now she is still eating well, and drinking, and seems to have only slight discomfort.  We are watching her closely, though our hearts are breaking. 


  1. I'm so sorry for all of your losses.

  2. Hugs coming your way. It is so hard when you lose animals. Mary G.

  3. We do become attached don't we. Sorry for your losses.

  4. Im sorry to hear about your loss. I know everything has to eat but not my hens darnit! Ted killed a fox in the upper pasture last week. He was so intent on the hen about 10ft away that he didn't even notice Ted creeping in on him till it was too late. I'm sorry to hear bout the pooch too but I agree with you too. We give them the very best lives we can then we have to make a very difficult decision. Our prayers are with you.

  5. Sorry about the hens! Sad loss.
    Sorry about your little dog too. You have some hard things to get through right now. I hope things start getting better.

  6. Oh, I'm so very sorry.
    Terry at Moondance

  7. My heart aches for your hurting heart, Mary Ann. Every time the loss of one my pets devastates me, I question if it really is worth having them because the pain is so intense, but I cannot bear the thought of a life devoid of God's beautiful and loving creatures around me. Hold them close....

  8. So sorry to hear about your losses. It's never easy to lose an animal, but it is heartbreaking to watch one you love go downhill. Blessings.

  9. I am so sorry for your losses. And I'm sorry about your sweet dog, it's very heartbreaking to know you can't help them. I'm sure she must know how much you care for her, tho. I do think they understand things like that. Our pets are only with us a short time, but in our hearts forever.

  10. When we made our chicken run we made it narrow and I have 10 to 15 blueberry bushes, etc planted in it to keep things from being able to swoop in and get the hens

    We used that 6 foot wire and we've never had one fly out

    sorry to hear about Hannah. but I think that she is lucky to have ya'lls love and to have found a place where she is cared for

    to be loved during their time of need is one of the greatest things that will happen to her

  11. I understand how you must feel. Last week I lost one of our chickens to my own dog, Bella more free ranging chickens in the yard :(

    And my little Rat Terrier, Cindy Sue, has PRA (Progressive Retina Atrophy) and is slowly loosing her sight and will eventually be blind. Thankfully it's not a painful disease like glaucoma. You'll know when the time is right~

  12. My lil Mitzi was in doggie heaven this May-- she was so precious and I got her when she was 6 yrs old-- lil Peke and they have those "bug" eyes too and tend to run into things-- At the end she was blind too but had an inf in her smushed in nose --would not go away with multiple antibiotics and I fed her morsel by morsel as she no longer could pick up her food with her mouth-- probably kept her longer than I should have but then it was time-- no doggie for me now but I just got a lil kitten-- she is a handful right now but she is going to be a great cuddler and she is already a great purr-er !!! Sorry for you fur baby !!!


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