Sunday, January 16, 2011

Out of Lives: A Chicken Story

My poor chicken ran out of lives while I was banished to my parents’ house with Blair. She had at least four. Lives, that is.

Since it’s been so cold, the dogs have been sleeping on the porch at night. They don’t usually bother the chickens at all. Everyone pretty much lives together in peace around here. But they do like to play. The dogs will cuddle up with Mona, our cat, but they will chase her all over the yard too. They’re fun like that. Unfortunately, they must have thought this chicken wanted to play when she somehow managed to escape the chicken hospital in the other part of the porch and wandered through the hole in the door to the part where the dogs were sleeping (or more likely bored). They played, and she lost whatever game they included her in.

That chicken, I called her Gimp sometimes, and I had a long chicken hospital history. She was the one whose toe was basically pecked in half the first week or two that I had them. Then she was the one whose panties were stolen by the three chihuahua-like mutts next door. She made it out alive, but we lost her sister Minnie. At first I didn’t think G (She needs a different name besides Gimp!) was hurt, but it turned out she had a wound on her back and her wing drooped. =( Then she and Big Mama, the other victim, had PTSD. It was sad, but they slowly got better. And for a while G did fine outside with the others, but when her tail feathers wouldn’t grow back and even more started disappearing I brought her in to the chicken hospital, a kennel on my porch, to be rehabilitated.

After a few weeks (of Brad grumbling about a chicken on the porch), she was doing fabulously! She had feathers growin’. She had even started laying again – in the kennel! She was on the verge of being reintroduced to her flock; I was just waiting for her skin to be completely covered by feathers. Just a few more days….

But it was not to be. She waddled right into the playful “hands” of my dear mutts. They were just bored and played with her too hard. They didn’t mean to; they were out today and didn’t even look at a chicken. And they didn’t eat her. She was just lying on their bed on the porch when Brad found her. Sad.

On a more positive chicken drama note, our rooster is happy. He’s come a long way from a face so swollen that he had to tilt his head to see the ground – that was pitiful to watch! After over 2 weeks of having the coop door constantly open to allow the chickens to come and go and to keep the new young rooster from having to bury himself in the dirt in the corner of the coop to save his face from the bully hens, I do believe that the rooster is a part of the flock. Those chickens tore up some waffle, squash casserole, spaghetti o’s, and mashed potatoes today, and those mean ol’ hens let the rooster eat right along with them! And he’s hanging right with them pretty much all day long! Yay!

016The rooster hiding between the chicken house and the coop fence. His head is in the corner. I thought he was dead the first time I saw him like this. Thankfully now they’re all friends!

My favorite part about feeding them leftovers? The chickens making a beeline to me, running as fast as they can across the yard after I call them. It’s priceless.


Lynn @whispersfromwildwood said...

Awwww. I'm sorry about your chicken. But so glad the rooster is part of the family now :)

I may have told you before, but I know how funny it is to have chicken run TO you or to have 2 roosters RUN after you, following like a dog would. Mine were all like pets....except they didn't really like being held.

When they were babies, I'd give them leftover grits to eat...they loved them!

MamaHen said...

Sorry about Gimp. We lost seven at one time and it is no fun.

My chickens stay in a coop all day, but when they see me come out of the back door with a pot of leftovers they all start crowding the fence. They love some leftovers.