We are not have an easy-chicken time of it at the moment. I thought chickens were supposed to be straightforward creatures to look after. Apparently I'm wrong - novice chicken keepers take note. What they are is very good at hiding when they are really ill. After losing Ellie last week, it is now Doris's turn for the vet.
Egg production has been down for a number of weeks. I have sought advice on this via Google and via the chicken shop (Annie Halls Poultry, were we brought the girls) and concluded it was just down to 'one of those things'. Wrong. Ellie had stopped laying because of a tumour in her tummy and was subsequently put to sleep. Doris had stopped laying because she had an egg stuck inside her. A situation the vet thinks had been going on for a week or two because the stuck egg had started to fuse back inside her, making it impossible to now get out. The vet has broken up the egg inside her in the hope that helps but she did say the prognosis wasn't great.
So now we wait. She is on antibiotics, she is not really suffering but if she cannot get the bits of egg out over the next few days she is likely to have to go the way of Ellie. Better start preparing the kids for that eventuality.