RIP Joan, our Intimidating New Hampshire Red
Abigail Black/Mindwatering 08/12/2020
Joanie was perhaps the sweetest chicken anyone could ever ask for. She would come up to you even if you didn't have food, bawk and bawk her every thought, and loved to be cuddled. She was certainly very pretty with mottled brown feathers and flushed wattles and comb. Her name, Joan of Hawc, was inspired by her hawklike features before her comb came in.
One day, we noticed she had an impacted crop. We had operated on Sally previously, so we had a good idea on what to do, but we needed more supplies. That took a few days. The surgery went smoothly, we evacuated the contents of her crop (which turned out to be whole blueberries as the culprit; we've not fed them anything but chopped since), and sewed her back up. We sterilized her with hydrogen peroxide.
That was a mistake. We did not know that hydrogen peroxide reacts badly with chicken flesh, killing the skin cells in the area. We first discovered something wrong when she developed a hard black mass near the incision site. It grew to about half an inch across before starting to recede. We believe it was scabbed necrotic mass. During this time, Joanie was getting thinner and weaker. There wasn't anything we could do but make her comfortable inside the house. She wasn't interesting in food or water.
We found her in the morning, having died in her sleep. The cardboard was damp where her mouth was, but it dried soon after. We think she passed from dehydration or starvation.
RIP Joan, you are solely missed and I don't think there'll ever be another like you.