Our little Mindy was put to sleep last night. For those who don't know, Mindy and her best friend Honey were surrendered to us at the beginning of August. When they arrived we found out Mindy had a huge, inoperable abdominal tumour. Sadly tumours are not uncommon in hens that have been bred to lay too many eggs. Selective breeding is another way humans have abused animals over the years. The vet said that euthanasia was the only option. I asked him if Mindy could have quality of life for a few more weeks if given regular pain relief. I wanted to ensure I was not cutting her life short unnecessarily, but I also wanted to give Honey a chance to settle in and hopefully make some new friends. I was afraid Honey may die of heart break if Mindy were to pass away then. The vet agreed that we should be able to give her a good quality of life with pain relief and special care. He said she may only have a week.
Every other day we had to wash Mindy's bottom as she could not keep herself clean. Every night we gave her pain relief. She was brought in to sleep inside with Honey on the cold nights. She was still eating and drinking well and although she sat down more than the other hens she would run to get treats and would cuddle up to Honey every night. I often found them sunbathing side by side. Last night when we went to give Mindy her medicine we found she she could not stand up, her eyes were closed and there was a sticky substance in her mouth. It was time. I rushed her to the emergency vet as I know hens can hang onto life for a long time and I hated the thought of her suffering anymore. She was put to sleep at the vet and I have no doubt that was the right decision.
Mindy survived 2 months longer than expected and I believe that she enjoyed most of that time. Honey certainly loved having her best friend by her side. Now we are keeping a close eye on Honey. She has been a little out of sorts today which is to be expected. I know she will miss Mindy, but I hope her new friendships will help her feel a little better. She has made friends with one hen in particular, Kylie and I have a feeling they will begin to spend more time together soon.