Due to blogger having a bit of a tantrum, I've been unable to update you on Mabel's condition. You'll be pleased to hear that right now, our illustrious leader is mooching about the garden with the rest of the flock. Despite things looking quite grim on Wednesday, my millefleur girl has surprised me. I'm still not entirely sure what was wrong with her, but seeing as though the baytril appears to have worked, I'm assuming some kind of infection. She will continue to reluctantly take her medicine until tomorrow.
Yesterday, Mabel was living in the parakeet cage in the downstairs loo. It was the best place to put her so that she was warm, quiet and undisturbed. Well, apart from the children randomly bursting in to sling their shoes towards the shoe rack. On the whole, she took this quite well. Once the children were at school, however, she had a whole day to convalesce. Now that I knew her Achilles heel, I made sure that mabel's food bowl contained some chopped grapes mixed in with her pellets and probiotic yoghurt. Every so often, I peeked my head around the door to check on her. Most times, I found her sat in a corner, looking fed up. I would make encouraging noises and then leave her in peace. Although I was seeing signs of improvement, I still was unsure as to how this story of Mabel's would end.
Shortly after lunch I checked again on the housebound hen. And was surprised to find her on her feet. And looking bright eyed and interested. As I watched, she homed in on the corner of her cage and began frantically pecking. Intrigued, I leant in closer. It seemed that an ants nest had established itself near the downstairs toilet on the outside wall, and it's inhabitants were no going forth to expand their territories. As I contemplated the cruelty of fate that would place an ant scoffing predator right by their back door, Mabel hoovered up several more tasty insects. I'm sure they went marvellously with the yoghurt/grape combo.
Since taking part in ant Armageddon, Mabel seems much improved. This morning, she was well enough to not only redecorate the floor of her cage in poo, but also shriek loudly until I got up to get her some breakfast. As I watched her devour her porridge, I decided to let her outside.
I admit I was nervous letting her back within sight of the flock. Mabel has been top hen for three years, and I wasn't sure what would happen. I was surprised to note that all of the hens deferred to her apart from the gobby Doris. It seems that Doris has ideas above her station, and she pecked Mabel's comb. My eyebrows were lost in my hair line when Mabel allowed this to happen, and didn't retaliate. I fully expected Maeve to make a bid for the leadership title, but not Doris. In the event, Maeve barely seemed to notice the power shift. As I have previously suspected, ASBO Chicken seems to live outside of chickenny social boundaries. She's a chicken renegade.
Despite some surprising changes, I'm very glad to have Mabel still with us.