Elderly Eleanor

Eleanor and Edwina, my Barred Rocks (they’re in the big barn, so you don’t see them on HenCam) are now six years old. That’s old for chickens. Of the two, Eleanor is looking elderly. Last year, I nursed her back to health from a mystery ailment. It’s recurred. Her butt is red. She’s limping. She’s not able to vigorously scratch in the dirt, so her toenails are growing too long. She rests a lot. Here you can see her favoring one foot.


The foot isn’t injured – her limping is a sign of internal discomfort.

I’ll keep a close eye on her. Being observant is an animal keeper’s best tool. I know what a healthy, bright-eyed chicken looks like. I know the color of her comb, and how she relates to her flock mates. Eleanor, despite  the limp, doesn’t have the scared look of an animal in pain. She’s still eating and getting around. She’s old. She has issues. I can relate.

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