Koki, we'll miss you :(
A few months ago, my partner and I rescued our first two chickens. One of them a very inquisitive Polish chicken, Pollo, with no feathers on her head because of all the pecking she had suffered in her previous "homes".
The other one, Koki, a beautiful all black Ayam Cemani which apparently was also at the bottom of the pecking order and struggled to fit in where she had been staying previously.
When the two of them were put together, Koki started pecking Pollo's head (and the few feathers she had left on it) every now and then, which I thought was a bit harsh at the time, but I guess that's what chickens do...
Other than that, they seemed to enjoy each other's company. They finally had plenty of food and space for themselves in a nice backyard garden.
One day, for no apparent reason, Koki started to get sick. We still do not know what was wrong with her but at the start, the only visible symptom was that there was something wrong with one of her legs. She stopped walking around as much as before and seemed to sleep a lot during the day.
Not knowing much about hens, we took her to the vet who gave us some antibiotics that restored her energy for a few days but did not really sort out her problem.
We did all the research that we could about poultry diseases (Marek's, egg binding, lack of vitamins, worms, zinc poisoning...) and tried many treatments, but none of them seemed to work although we did see some improvements at different stages.
We spent a lot of time hand feeding her, cleaning her, hunting bugs in the garden, and trying to make her feel as comfortable as possible which made us feel very close to her the last few weeks. We really tried to do everything that we could and to be honest, I think she could tell... She fought until the very end for herself but also for us.
In her last few weeks, Koki stopped pecking Pollo. She had lost plenty of weight and no longer wanted to be the leader of the flock. In return, Pollo rose to the occasion and always kept her company, protecting her from other birds whenever we were not around with them in the garden. I cannot express with words how proud I am of her :)
On her last day, Koki refused to eat, and she could barely stand up. Before I went to bed that night, I found her in the garage close to where we left her to sleep earlier, but a bit dirty and flapping her wings on the floor.
I washed her, dried her up, and gave her a bit of food. I left her in a position that I believed would not cause her any pain thinking that she just wanted to rest, possibly forever.
Sadly, I was right... she never woke up. The next morning, she laid in the same position as I had left her in the night before.
Now all we can think of is how much we love her and how much she will be missed.
Koki, you will always be in our hearts, thanks for all the love you gave us.