Monday, August 18, 2008

Almost Dead

Friday was a very hot day and along with the heat there was humidity and bad air. I try not to be outside too much on days like that.

With the evening feeding I was distributing the hay to the sheep, cows, and pony while my husband filled their water tubs. While he was watering he remarked that it looked like one of my chickens was down.

It didn't really surprise me because we've had these chickens for quite a while now and it seems like they go to the big chicken coop in the sky more frequently with this type of weather.

I went to check on her and found her laying on her breast, feet straight out behind her, but still alive. I thought I'd try and make her passing a little more comfortable so I took her out to the grass. My husband had made a pool of water in the lawn and I gently set her there and spread her wings over the area. Meanwhile I was dipping my fingers in the water and transferring it to her comb, which was very hot. I tried to put her in what I thought was a comfortable position and I went back into the house. I was not optimistic about her prognosis. I was sure we would be one chicken less in the morning.

I know there are people that look upon their chickens as pets and even give them names. But I learned not to get too emotionally attached to my chickens. I don't give them names and I try to be realistic about their purpose here. I feed and water them and they are supposed to give me eggs. Eventually they die and I replace them. That's just the way it is.

When my husband eventually followed me in that night he told me he moved the chicken. He flapped her wings a few times over the watery grass and eventually placed her, wings spread open, on the corner of our telephone post fence.

The next morning I looked out and to my complete surprise I saw a white chicken pecking and scratching around by the sheep. Was it one of my neighbors'? No, his were still all penned up. Surprisingly our heat stroked chicken pulled through and was happily looking for grain scraps and bugs as if nothing happened. In the pictures she is the white chicken with the flopped over comb. In fact, at first I had a hard time trying to figure out which one was the sick chicken when I let them all out together.

We know cats have nine lives. How many lives do chickens have?


Anonymous said...

It scared me as I was reading and scrolling down, I saw WHITE, I thought it was going to be chicken with mashed potatoes!! Thankfully it was your whip cream topping on your pie!!! And yes, I WOULD name them!!

Anonymous said...

Your chicken probably was suffering heat stress (heat exhaustion, which could lead to heat stroke), and your "loving" ways revived her.

I love your compassion, TF!