While out pottering yesterday, I spotted Mini sat under the lilac bush. She was pale, hunched up and her eyes were closed. Uh oh. Rummaging in the undergrowth, I pulled her out and had a look at her. No obvious sign of parasites, good plump breast and no respiratory issues. Hmmm. I plonked her back on the ground, and she slowly lumbered back into the border for a little rest.
I have to admit, my heart sank. Mini has never been a particularly healthy chicken, and in the six months I've had her she's been to the vet three times. Before panicking and rushing her back to said vet, I decided to see how she went. I spent the rest of the day checking on her and fretting.
This morning, the ever tolerant husband opened the coop and let them out for their breakfast. Mini dived into the pellets, but with slightly less than her usual gusto. Again, I gave her the once over and could find nothing wrong. Hmmm.
Today was one of those rare occasions when I was actually quite busy this morning, so I didn't check on Min again until lunchtime. Stepping out of the back door, I spotted three greedy hens scoffing my geraniums (thanks girls). I assumed that the others were in the coop, so went to investigate. I found Lindy pancaked in the nest box with Maude wedged in beside her, grumbling away at the lack of privacy and floor space. Interestingly, I also found Min.
Mini was sat in the middle of the coop floor, on the droppings tray. When I put my hand in to stroke her, she shrieked at me and went for my fingers. Her comb seems to have shrunk back a bit, and she has a glint in her eye I don't much care for. Now, Mini is either poorly, or broodiness is coming over her.
Watch this space.