TRAGEDY IN THE COOP

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It’s been a rather sad week and for that reason I am keeping this brief.  I don’t want to be morose and I don’t want to dwell on things, this has always been such an upbeat blog, but one of our chickens, one of the big ginger farm hens, died at the weekend.  It was simply horrid.  Hetty and I were down at the bottom of the garden cutting some of the lower branches off the lime tree, when something made us decide to take a look inside the chicken coop.  I truly don’t know why, but we opened the door and there inside was Buack Buack, flapping her wings in a crazy fashion.  I ran as fast as I could back to the house and called for Roddy and Millie to come quickly.  We were no more than two or three minutes.  We opened the door and she was dead, lying on the floor of the coop.  It was awful.

We stood hugging our poor sobbing children.  But like most children, within half an hour they were playing with a friend, poor chicken temporarily forgotten, screams of laughter once again rung around the garden and Gigi returned to her current hobby, taming Penny and Adrian so they eat out of her hand!

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We phoned our vet and they told us to bring her straight in and they would carry out an autopsy for us.  We really did want to know why she had died.  Why, why, why?  Roddy loaded the box into the car and off we trundled to our vet who is in the middle of Rochefort.  Amid Louis XIV’s venerated and exquisite 17th century buildings, you would imagine a very la-de-da surgery, caring for the pampered pooches of the sophisticated residents living in such a beautiful part of the town.  But no, this is very much a vet caring for farm animals too.  The shelves are lined with fly-masks for horses and various boxes that indicate their contents will be helpful to sick sheep, cattle, pigs and goats!  Whilst waiting we casually looked at the notice-board; did we want a 2 year-old ewe? A puppy? Some goats? Or perhaps some riding lessons?  Noticeboards are such fun to read but rather dangerous – suddenly I was wondering if Roddy would mind terribly if we had a sheep, and as we had talked endlessly about getting a puppy in the summer, and as it is nearly the summer after all………

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And then, we nearly came away with another kitten; nearly but not quite, as we really, really, did NOT want another kitten!  But they were so adorable and I am such a pushover when it comes to any small helpless newborn creature.  The veterinary nurse showed them to us; they were about three weeks old and just starting to open their eyes.  They had been left on the vet’s doorstep in a cardboard box the night before.  I suppose someone was desperate and didn’t know what to do with them – at least they had the decency to leave them at the vet’s.

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