R.I.P. Big Twin (Twinnie 2), Our Illustrious Isa Brown
Abigail Black/Mindwatering 04/23/2021
Our Barred Rock Sally died last week. She and Big Twin were friends, always toegther. When Sally passed, Big Twin looked for her in the coop and run for a while before becoming quiet. On Sunday, April 17, we came home from church and found Big Twin in the back of the run with a very large sour crop, induced by stress. We brought her inside.
We followed directions from other chicken owners. We held all food and water for a full day and massaged the crop often, which should have made it go down. It did not. The first night, she started choking on overflow and we were forced to vomit her, which is dangerous and carries high risk for asphixiation. The crop remained large.
Two days after we brought her in, we tried feeding her 1/2 inch of Miconazole (a vaginal antifungal found in pharmacies) two times a day. We already had Big Twin on water laced with Big Blue Bird (probiotic) and powdered electrolytes, but she wasn't getting any better. We had to keep vomiting her because her sour crop was continuing to produce fluid.
On day three, we tried giving her grubs, raw egg with oregano, and scrambled egg, despite there being no decrease in the sour crop, but she hadn't eaten in three days. She had a few bites. Her poops were entirely white fluid. When we vomited her, the fluid was straw yellow and dark yellow and reeked.
Day four, her crop finally showed signs of going down, but Big Twin was lethargic and refused all food. She would drink some water/BBB/electrolytes, but she spent most of her time sleeping. Fluid almost constantly dripped from her beak. We free ranged her with the others for some social time, but she mostly sat and dozed.
Day Five. She was extremely lethargic and refused all food and water. We stuck her beak in the 1/2 inch of Miconazole so she would eat it by reflex. She had a few moments of alertness when we took her out of the quarantine dog cage she'd been staying in, but she wanted to sit and sleep. She pooped once, which was cream-colored liquid. The sour crop dripping from her beak was yellowish green. I wrapped her in a towel and held her. There wasn't anything we could do.
At around 9:45, she started waking up in bursts, looking around before falling asleep. Her pupils were blown to almost completely overwhelm her irises. I made sure she knew I was there.
At 10:15, she had a heart attack. She woke up several seconds beforehand, very alert, before her head started to tilt backwards over her chest. Then her head rotated in the opposite direction, under her chest, and she spat up more green fluid. Then she started flapping very hard, which lasted several seconds and she almost flew out of my lap. Then she stopped and we knew she had died.
She's buried next to Sally in the backyard.
Big Twin was the largest in the flock after Pixel's passing. She was not cruel in her rule, but never hesitated to establish her standing in the pecking order if anyone crossed her. She was slightly overweight and didn't like to run for anything except hawk attacks (no one has died to one yet) and treats. Her best friends were Orion, Ruth, and Sally. We believe the sour crop was induced by depression and stress over Sally's death.
She was also somewhat docile. She absolutely loathed dipping into the submissive squat when it looked like we were going to pick her up. If we did, she would glower but not fight it. If we didn't, she would hackle and shake like we had personally offended her. My brother liked to ruffle her feathers when she squatted and see how long she shook afterward.
Big Twin laid her last egg a week and a half ago. She was just over three years old. She was a fair alpha and definitely loved. We will miss her greatly, and we pray our last two hens, Evie and Naomi, will not take her passing hard.
Rest in peace, Big Twin, Twinnie #2. April 23, 2021, at 10:15 AM.