I think it's fair to say that I have had a terrible run of luck with my birds. It started last March with Delilah, continued almost monthly with Mini, and then we lost Belinda suddenly back in August. I have been through my husbandry routine with a fine tooth comb, and am as sure as I can be that it's not anything that I'm doing wrong. However, every so often I doubt myself.
Just as everything seemed to be on an even keel after the death of Mini, Maeve has decided it's her turn to give me a few grey hairs. She is perched in the coop, and shows little inclination to join the others marauding around the garden. Her comb isn't very red, but she is still coming through the last phase of her moult. Her crop is fine, there is no abdominal swelling. Her nostrils and eyes are clear and odour free. Yet, still I'm fretting.
In order to get a hold of Maeve, I had to put on protective gear (gloves and a thick coat). She pecked me with gusto as I reached in for her, and gave an indignant squawk as I wrestled her from the perch. While I gave her a thorough health check, she muttered and eye balled me. I suspect that if I could understand her chook speak, I would be blushing. Baffled by her apparent healthiness, I released her. She turned around and pecked my foot, gave herself a shake (no doubt ridding herself of lowly human germs) and strutted back in to the coop.
I am left with two possible conclusions. Either Maeve is beginning to ail, is still recovering from her moult, simply doesn't like the damp, or is in some other way not totally fit. Or, Maeve is a master of mental torture, and is enjoying my anxious attentions.
I wouldn't put the second option past her.