Update on the Avian Flu

As I told you on the 15th of March the Avian Flu has been seen in our county, and so far our chickens, and my geese Polly and Fredrik are flu free.  I have made it a point each day to check beaks and bills in the AM and PM to be sure no one has a runny nose.  This is the good news.


And so it was that I found my Black Cochin rooster, Pagliacci had fevered and swollen eyelids on his right eye.   I picked him up and took him into the mudroom to see what was going on.  I expected to be cleaning debris out of his eye and then treating with an antibiotic eye drop…  except that his eye was missing.  Gone.  It was a chilling discovery as he had been fine in the morning when I let him out.  I did the only kind thing I could do and put him out of his misery, but I must tell you that every time I thought about him for the next couple of weeks I was chilled and sad all over again.

My 14 lb, big fella came to me from Murray McMurray Hatchery as a free chick; they are almost always a rooster.  He  got his name for singing crowing loudly every time he heard my voice or saw me coming into the chicken yard.  He was so fluffy feathered he looked for all the world as if he were wearing a clown suit!  I am sad to tell you I never got a photo of him fully grown, but if you follow the link above you will see an illustration that looks exactly like him.

Raising animals on the farm is certainly not for the timid or weak of heart.  It’s all fun and frolic until someone gets hurt and then you have to step up and do your best for the injured animal.  Sometimes, as in this case, it is very hard to do.

12 thoughts on “Update on the Avian Flu

  1. katechiconi says:

    Oh, Cochins are gorgeous… what a sad day, and poor Pagliacci, what a shocking and painful thing for him to endure. You did the right thing, but it’s hard to say goodbye to beloved creatures who have to go before their time.

  2. shoreacres says:

    I’m so glad to hear that the flu seems to be avoiding you, and I’m so, so sorry about Pagliacci. Things like that are awful to discover and deal with, but in circumstances like that, we’re the only ones who can do what needs to be done. I still think from time to time about the stray cat I had to take to the vet and have put down. It had kidney disease and other problems, and after months of coming and going, it clearly had come back “home” to be taken care of. It just broke my heart — but that wasn’t what was most important at the time. When the time comes that I have to deal with Dixie Rose’s problems — she’s nearly 18 now, arthritic, and clearly developing some issues — I’m going to be a mess for a while. But, she’s the important one: just like Pagliacci.

  3. Littlesundog says:

    Having lost Zoe and Bear recently, I understand your sadness, Lynda. Decisions like that are difficult, but the kind thing to do. Being a good steward to the land and our dear animals is a tough responsibility.

    Pagliacci was important. We/they all are. Hugs and love to you, my sweet friend.

  4. norma says:

    That’s so sad. I’m hoping never to find such a thing, but you have to be prepared.
    There hasn’t been a case of avian flu here in ages & I’m hoping all restrictions will be lifted soon. Good luck!

  5. Deb says:

    Howdy neighbor..well, at least your not on the other side of the world. I’m from Ga . Hubby and I have a small farm. Oh yes I know all about that avian influenza, NASTY stuff!!! Hope you don’t get it! Enjoyed your post 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Patty, I am late too. Sorry. So far, everyone has seemingly escaped without sickness. There is a new little Roo in the chicken yard now who’s hormones haven’t kicked in yet… he is very henpecked! But, I noticed today that his cape and mantle are beginning to grow in so it won’t be long before he is in charge. 😉 Thank you for checking on me and the girls.

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