SMD & I had a lovely child free weekend away, while J4 & L6 stayed with Mr & Mrs Skivvy.
But it ended sadly.
Velda had not quite seemed herself when we left on Friday morning, and by the time we got back, forewarned by our neighbour, she was in the corner of the coop, leaning up against the wire. She could walk, but only a couple of steps, and she would perk up and look around, but again only for a minute or so.
I took her to the vet within an hour of getting home, but really there wasn't anything they could do for her except speed her gently on her way.
I have never had to make this decision before, we only had a few budgies, a couple of mice and some fish growing up. I am still dwelling on it a bit, and missing her, wondering if I should have brought her home and nursed her 'til she passed away naturally, but everyone tells me she would have suffered.
Now I am worrying about the other birds. They don't show illness until it is almost too late. And I have to recognise that Blacky is looking very skinny, nothing like the beautiful bird in the picture. The vet told me that Velda had lost a lot of weight, and had probably been going down hill for some time, certainly the illness started well before Friday. And she did have some bad bacteria in her droppings.
So today I bought some organic natural yoghurt and fed that to Blacky, Elsa & Fasty Africa. It was something mentioned on one of the websites I visited, and I figured it was worth a try, after all we eat live yoghurt when we want to balance our internal flora. The girls loved it! I'm going to feed them some every day until this tub is finished and, if it makes a difference, I will continue a couple of times a week as a preventative measure.
I also bought them, from the cheap table at the greengrocers, a whole lettuce of their own. We actually don't have a lot of kitchen waste, not as much as I would like to add to their diet, so I am going to supplement their greens as well (despite them being free range). Fingers crossed.
I'll miss you Velda.