A Fond Farewell; Goodbye Rowena

A few weeks ago I noticed Rowena, our Black Australorp was laying away from the flock and reluctant to get up. She had no noticeable injuries or sickness, so I kept an eye on her. After two days, she rallied and started acting normally again. For my part I was relieved that a crisis was averted and Rowena was back in business. After all, she was in the prime of her life and a valuable member of the flock.

Then, on Sunday, my husband went to let the flock out in the morning and found Rowena on the floor of the coop with a bloody comb, some blood on her right eye and unable to stand for any period of time. I immediately put her in a spare plastic storage container with bedding and food and water. I put a towel halfway over the top of the container and then put her in our guest bathroom where it was warm and she could avoid going into shock.

My husband and I researched chicken diseases and could find none that fit Rowena. Our conclusion was that she had hurt her leg and then the others started to peck her. On Sunday and Monday I treated her wounds, made Rowena comfortable and hand-fed her. I also moved her to my office where she'd have natural light. She seemed to be getting better. She'd stand up when I came in the room and was eating and drinking quite a bit (that's always a good sign).

Rowena on July 18th when she got caught out after dark
and perched in the redbud tree next to our deck.
This morning, however, I went in to change Rowena's bedding and knew something was wrong. She didn't want to stand up at all. She had no interest in the treats I had brought her and she didn't want to drink. Once back in her clean home, she just laid there and closed her eyes. I checked on her every few minutes but she never responded to my presence again. Eventually, she stopped breathing. And I was forced to say goodbye to a friend.

Luckily, it's a cool day here, so I've put her in our garage until the kids and my husband come home. Then we'll bury Rowena and hope all remains well with the rest of our flock.


  1. Such a beautiful bird--so sorry for your loss...

  2. Dear Pam,

    I just found your blog from another blog, and wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. We have one Australorp hen here in Kansas City (along with 6 Rhode Island Reds), and she is the snuggliest hen I've ever seen. They are so lovely.



  3. Thanks, Marqueta. Rowena was a beautiful bird and I still think of her often when visiting with my flock. I hope you enjoy my blog.


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