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.