At 8am Tuesday morning, Laurence, our compassionate, knowledgeable vet and I made the decision to euthanase Saffron. Late afternoon, Saffron suddenly developed a new and debilitating set of neurological issues after a period of relative calm. She spent the night on heavy pain meds in my bedroom. Neither of us slept much. Saffron battled to get comfy and dozed on me while I sat in bed for most of the night.
Her pain was tangible.
X rays taken early in the morning revealed congenital issues – including a deformed hip joint, that would have never allowed Saffron to walk or stand. Her other leg was so deformed, she could have never hopped to compensate. She would have lived on tranquilising pain killers and been mostly cage bound. There were some other complicating factors too. A deformed spinal chord, her balling muscles. A life, we (Dr Beherens and I), with input from a few other trusted consultants, was not a life we would want for ourselves or Saffron.
Secondary issues such as swollen joints and sores were starting to develop despite regular physio.
We agreed that even with the best care and nursing, which I would have given, we could not keep Saffron comfy enough to warrant any type of quality of life. We have had, and have many special needs chickens, but in all cases with some help they manage a good life.
I feel as comfy as one can feel with the difficult decision when choosing to end a life. Grateful to be able to put her out of her pain, but acutely aware the decision is a responsible and sad one.
Thank you to Cathy for seeing the challenges Saffron was having and taking action by delivering her to me for these last 3 months. Thank you to Dr Beherens for his support medically and emotionally. To Sophie, Karla, Nick and Lilly for the daily care of Saffron, especially while I was away, and to my friends and FB friends (you) for all the support and words of encouragement when it came to Saffron.
Saffron brought so much joy with her. A truly tenacious hen who bore her disability with acceptance, and Grace.
My heart is very sore today as I miss my friend and face the third day in months with no Saffron cuddles and kisses.
Love you Saffron. You made your mark in your short time on earth.
Early November I posted this picture on our FB page. Baby Ostriches sited at local main road Plettenberg Bay market (South Africa) being sold as gruesome souvenirs. The post attracted some attention.
One of our favourite animal activists Sue Randall wanted to take this further. Under our banner Sue wrote the following letter, which we posted on a few sites relating to Plettenberg Bay and the South African Garden Route. The posts were removed.
However, the letter cannot be removed from this site.
To whom it may concern
Recently on Facebook, I saw some photos of items that are being sold at the “Market on Main” in Plettenberg Bay. I was horrified. These items consist of little dead ostrich chicks, preserved by taxidermy. Each dead baby bird is sitting in an open half of an ostrich egg.
Baby birds – of any species – are a symbol of new life and ecological diversity. A dead baby bird is a sad thing, especially when it’s so obviously been killed by human hands and preserved for sale as an ornament. To see a tiny, helpless creature that has been killed so soon after hatching, and has then been pushed back into an eggshell from its own species, is plain bizarre. It makes a grisly trinket.
I, and many others who saw the photos on Facebook and commented on them, find these “ornaments” most offensive and unattractive.
Allowing the sale of these macabre trinkets ruins the quiet and gentle nature of a coastal town such as Plett. Although such sale is not illegal, it is both unethical and unnecessary. Africa has so much more beauty to offer than this. Our animals and birds should be cherished alive, not butchered and abused. I don’t think it creates a good impression for tourists.
I strongly encourage the organisers of Market on Main to relook at their policy about what items should be allowed for sale, and why.
On behalf of Chickens as Pets not food – Chicken Rescue and Rehabilitation
If you are partaking in Kaparot using live chickens, consider this: for thousands of years the Jewish people have been persecuted, often begging for the freedom to live. As the persecutor of that chicken, look into her eyes and know that she too is begging for her life.
Celebrate Kaparot 2015 by choosing the alternative humane option of monetary donation. Live the New Year with dignity.
Please feel free to share this post to increase awareness.
4 months ago Korlia Schmidt who operates out George branch of Chicken Rescue and Rehabilitation SA rescued a mom and 7 chicks that were in trouble.
Mom and chicks have prospered in this protected environment. Just over ago, Asha (one of the chicks) suddenly developed splaying legs and lameness.
See video below
The vet wasn’t entirely sure what was up but after some observation time felt it was mechanical damage from an injury.
Asha was put onto a strong anti inflammatory and bed rest. We added vitamin B complex and the homeopathic remedy ‘opium’ which we have had huge success with before for spinal injury. Opium was suggested for use by our talented and experienced homeopath here in Johannesburg.
A week on and look at Ashas progress. Well done Korlia. O