So having dealt with the death of Ivy within a week of her arrival, we immediately agreed to taking on another chicken – enter Ivy II.
She arrived with more feathers than the others with an uncut beak. She looked lovely.
Now our two other girls , Holly and Star were doing well and even though Ivy (II) looked bigger she was physically anxious and the others picked up on this and gave her a fair old pecking, stopping her from accessing the food and water. We read this is normal, hence the sayings, but Ivy would almost jump into our arms when we opened the pen. Not afraid of us at all.
As the weaker one of the three, she became a favourite of ours and regularly got free range of the kitchen and dining room. In the photo below Indi is giving Ivy (II) a cuddle whilst getting some extra food. We read that as long as the weaker one keeps up their strength that’ll all settle down eventually.
Sadly things didn’t settle and one afternoon, Bee returned to find Ivy (II) in the eglu coop, not moving. She took her out and could see blood on her back where Holly and possibly Star had pecked and pecked her. Bee, having just arrived home from the school run with all 3 kids thought she had died but she was still alive… just. Bee held her for a short while and witnessed what seemed like death throes as Ivy (II) suddenly stretched and then gave in. Apparently stress in situations like this can be fatal.
Bee called me and I came home to find everyone in tears and Ivy (II) laid out on a mat the kitchen floor. Etienne being only 2 decided to speak up and said “Ivy dead daddy” to which I said “I know, how sad”. My mind went into practical, non-emotional mode and I decided to wrap her up and put her outside. I asked the kids to say bye and placed inside a strong carrier and took her outside.
Bee felt a huge sense of guilt. What if we had been home earlier? Why didn’t we separate them?… but the more you read the more you find out this is common. We can’t be there all day long to watch them, we can only do our best, which wasn’t good enough this time and it was a hard lesson, but an important experience for everyone.
Now we have room for another… but what to call her?