Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Going light

A light Sussex " going light" this morning
Some hens just fade away when it is their time to die. They don't really look ill. They just stop eating and sit themselves away . It is a phenomenon known as " going light".
You can give them antibiotics, you can tempt them with titbits such as scrambled egg, but the outcome is always the same, like sad little ghosts, they seem to disappear gently into the ether.
Usually I cull these poor birds but only do so when they go completely off their feet, before that,they are placed with the gentle blind cockerel Cogburn, safe from the bullying general flock, and they spend a few days in some semblance of peace and quiet.
Dying birds are often pecked to death when the smell of death is in the air

I have seen patients fade away in a similar way, it is as if a light has been switched off inside themselves, and like the " going light" hens, they are in desperate need of being somewhere safe. A place where they can just be still.

When I eventually " go light" I want it to be at home.
With my own pillow under my head.
And with a dog at my side.

73 comments:

  1. They might not be able to speak... but boy do they tell you!

    LLX

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  2. Well John, ..... that's really started my day off well !! I'm feeling a bit in the doldrums now !! I hope that your little Light Sussex goes ' very lightly ' and that yours is a very long way off !!!!
    How's Weight Watcher's going ? XXXX

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    1. Lost 12.5 libs in 4 weeks!

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    2. That's brilliant John ....... I have a few friends who go to WW and I know from them that it's not easy. XXXX

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  3. I hope for the same thing John. The end is near for one of our dogs, and I watch the other dogs around her, and they know and thankfully give her the space and peace at the last stage of her journey.

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    1. Another rollercoaster for you Kim x

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  4. Me too.

    Will email you about Christmas card. x

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  5. Aw John and she is a beauty as well. how sad.

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    1. They never last long sol

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  6. Just one dog? We all know better than that. I've never heard that phrase "going light," but I like it.

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  7. "Going light" really does describe well the phenomenon. It's not a bad way to go, I suppose.

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  8. You are a welsh version of the " dignitas " clinic in Switzerland .....just wondering whether they feed their carcasses to local badgers when they snuff it

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    1. Yeap..another badger meal tonight

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  9. I'd never heard that term... but last week I ran into an old classmate from grade school on... your term just described her perfectly. Her husband took me aside and told me she has Altzheimers... sad.

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    1. Yes...Alzheimer sufferers always seem to have that unfocused faraway look

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  10. never heard of that term either, I think it's wonderful the way you let them die in peace though away from the main bird population.

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  11. A sad but beautiful post. Dogs do this as well. I had a dog as a youngster who went under our storage shed to pass away. We found him the next morning.

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    1. I would love to actually find out why animals seek solitude
      Maybe it's for protection

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  12. Going Light.....a good description. I think we'd like to keep you for many years to come....

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    1. I don't intend to go just yet

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  13. we should all be so lucky to 'go light', eh?

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    1. Going gently is the way to go x

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  14. Aww... bye bye little chook. Peaceful endings to you x

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  15. A hospital death is one of my fears.
    Jane x

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    1. Chain yourself to your bed xx

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  16. We have a cat who has appeared to be 'going light' for months. He's hanging in there though!

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    1. Many of the hens do AJ X

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  17. Very few animals die a peaceful death. Grandpa Fox rarely dies beneath a colourful quilt, surrounded by weeping cubs; he and his ilk are usually attacked by the healthy and die from infection or by being eaten alive.

    So, well done John; it's the caring 'nurse' in you that we all admire so much.

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    1. That sounded almost like Kipling cro

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  18. I've had hurt or sick, old cats do that. Disappear. I've turned the house upside down to find a hidey hole the cat had tucked away in his conscious to retreat to, then.

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    1. As long as they don't die somewhere inaccessible.....
      The smell!

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  19. Nice that this hen will have a peaceful ending. I like that term 'going light'.
    and speaking of 'going light'.....12.5 lbs!! Good on you John! I see a new wardrobe in your future......

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    1. I will throw away my elastic acted pants jimbo!

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  20. 'Going Light' has a rather poetic and peaceful sound to it.

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  21. Indeed. x
    P.S. I have lost nearly 2.5 stone got some great recipes if you are interested.

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    1. Yes please
      How about one for low calorie scotch eggs?

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  22. One hopes that one will be allowed to die in peace, but it's by no means certain.
    I have an aunt who is bed ridden, unable to move a muscle, has a double colostomy so they can put food in at one end and clear it up when she has processed it.
    She has no quality of life, is totally unaware of her surroundings, yet each time she has an infection they put her in hospital where the staff move heaven and earth to restore her to her previous miserable state, not taking the opportunity to let her go. Being "self financing", the value of the family home and savings have all been spent in maintaining this situation.
    "Going light" is so much better an idea.

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    1. Just because we can doesn't mean we should eh?

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  23. Hi, just trying to work out how my friend can sign in to your blog and send comments. Her name's Eileen. Hopefully you'll meet her (on here) soon. x

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    1. Geraldine and Eileen
      Hello to both of you

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  24. Thank you for recognizing when a lifelight is dimming, and for providing a safe environment for the one in transition. I hope someone will understand and just tuck me in when it's my time to go.

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    1. Tip me a nod...I'll put you in with Cogburn x

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  25. Awe, may this Sussex hen go lightly. Thanks to your care she won't be pecked to death. I had this happen to my little cripple hen at the beginning of the year. Her gammy leg was pecked raw by the other chickens when they were put to bed at night. I brought her into my garden, filled a half drum with wood shavings, bathed and bandaged her leg, and placed her inside it protected by a large shrub under the eaves near my kitchen door. She thrived here for several days but then I went out on holiday to SA. I left her in the care of my gardener, Edward. We had a tropical storm one night and she drowned! You're the first person I've told about my disaster with my little peg-leg hen! Good luck with WW. Greetings, Jo (East Africa)

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    1. Jo..... It's like she was destined to die wasn't it
      The same happened to that chick that survived the badger killing its mother......after a few weeks of being fostered by a buff Orpington she drowned in the pond

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  26. Very poetic, John. And sweet.

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  27. I like the way you place the fading birds in a safe place away from the other birds that might attack them.

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    1. You would do the same nick

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  29. I had to look up "cull"...
    Congrats on the 12.5. Before and Afters?

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    1. Another 28 lbs to go susie x

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  30. I love that term - it's so gentle. Your hens are so beloved they will probably join the dogs and cats on the rainbow bridge, waiting for you! On a "lighter" note, John, I am 70 today, still in Iowa waiting for the opportunity to move into the senior apt. of my choice in Savannah, GA where I'll be close to my daughter and grandson.

    Nancy

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    1. Bet you are just like one of the golden girls nancy x

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  31. So sweet....the term, your caring ways.....the wish that we could all have a sweet ending. x.

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  32. This was very moving. I hope you get your wish. I hope we all do.

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  33. I too want to go light in my own home with gud dug by my side.

    cheers, parsnip

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  34. Do we all know when it's our time?

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  35. You are the kindest person I know John. I know exactly what you mean about hens - they simply fade away don't they? My dear old Goldie, who I bred at least eleven years ago, is still going strong - hope she doesn;t fade away for a long time to come.

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  36. So sweet John I shed a tear
    Jo xx

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  37. Farewell, little hen--oh, that all of us could have such a wonderful carer to ensure that we have a safe place as we cross the final bridge.

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  38. What a lovely term. I guess we all hope we'll go peaceful; I just hope my family is around me when its time xx

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  39. A gorgeous term, and a nice way to leave. I hope to drift out quietly myself - far away from the pecking medical professionals.

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  40. I just want to go in my sleep, in my own bed with the cats using me as a pillow.

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  41. Ah this explains my hen Breeze's colour before she died.

    When my grandmother died I was the last to see her. She was looking directly at the hospital wall clock but I always had the feeling she was seeing something else; perhaps it was a light to show her the way.

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  42. Yes, going light is a good way to describe it :( Marjoram Hen did that over 5 weeks a month back - no real pain, just a quiet fading out.

    Sorry about the hen though, she was very pretty :(

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  43. Never heard that phrase before but I like it. When I used to live on a sheep farm the lambs would get to a point and you knew then that there was no bringing them back from it.

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  44. I've never heard that term before, but it suits what they do. I also have never had a hen pecked to death by the others. Maybe mine are just a close knit bunch but there's always one of them that sits with a dying bird in it's last few hours.

    I've also had some heart wrenching days that make you realise how intelligent and like us our little feathered friends are.

    http://ournewlifeinthecountry.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/farm-is-quiet-place-this-morning.html

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