Goodbye my sweet little Nobie
I got Nobie as a 2 day old chick 5 years ago. She was a buff orpington. I couldn't keep my 17 hens straight, so I gave them colored leg bands. I had run out of colors, so I left a band off of one of them, and called her "no band".......or Nobie for short.
At 6 months, I noticed that she was smaller and paler than the others. I began finding her off to herself in the coop. I picked her up one day and discovered that she had a huge, swollen abdomen. I took her to an avian specialist, and she told me that it was ascities, but without other tests, we wouldn't know if it was cardiac, liver, kidney or cancer. I couldn't spend that kind of money. The vet drained her of alot of clear fluid. Once she was drained, she would be fine, but I had to keep her separated from the other hens, as they know when one is sick and will kill it.
I took her every few months to the vet, and she would drain her. I figured out how to drain her myself.
Nobie and I have been through alot together. She got lice really badly because of the small crate she was in, plus, she was in a weakened state. We finally got that taken care of.
My husband and I drained her about 4 times a year. She would have a hard time breathing when she would get full, and she wouldn't eat.
But right after her drainings, she would be a new woman, and would be happy as a clam. I moved her to a larger penned-in area in the front storage room of the coop.
I felt bad that she couldn't be with the others, but at least she was close to the screen door, where she could see the others. And some mornings, I'd let the others in the front room to visit. (outside Nobie's pen). I would try to take her outside when the weather was nice, and I would sit there, while she would hunt for bugs, eat locust seeds and grass.
Last winter, she got much sicker and I brought her into a crate in our big bathroom. She was too sick to even drain. She would almost pass out when I would try to hold her to drain her. So I gave her some antibiotics, and just tried to make her comfy. Well, after about 6 weeks, she had perked up enough that I could drain her, and she was back to her old self again.
I took her out to her pen in the coop in April, where she seemed happy. I got her a mirror, to help keep her company.
Every morning when I would go out to the coop, she would jump up against the chicken wire fencing that was her pen, out of excitement. She loved getting a little bit of scratch and sunflower seed.
Every morning I'd talk to her, and every evening I'd say goodnight. I'd shine the flashlight around her, and she would peck at the light. It was cute.
Last night I said goodnight. She didn't come over to me like she usually did, but I figured she was just tired.
This morning I went into the coop and she was laying at the front of the pen, very still. I picked her up and she was cold and a little stiff. I realized that the end was near.
I sat out in the sunshine with her on my lap, while she breathed shallowly. I walked around with her in my arms, like she always used to like doing.
About 2 hours later, she breathed her last breath, just as I was showing her a bluebird.
I loved that little girlfriend. She was the strongest little animal I've ever known. She endured so much, yet always came back and had a sweet disposition.
We buried her next to Rosie, Floppsie, Jean, Whitney, Skye, and Squeaky.
I will really miss Nobie, and the coop will never be the same.
I just know that some day, after I'm gone and my spirit is somewhere else, another spirit will come up to me and say "Hey! I'm Nobie!", and we'll hug and laugh.