Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Sick Guest

We have a new house pet today. One of the chickens has been invited into the main house.

She's not been right for a few days and so finally I decided to bring her inside to see what I can do to save her. She was kind of out of it the first night and couldn't seem to move or walk normally. I put her in a cage the first night, pretty sure that she would be dead in the morning. I didn't sleep well, waking up often wondering if there was a DEAD CHICKEN in the house!

But she was still alive in the morning and seemed to make some progress yesterday. She seemed more alert, ate and drank water and even walked around a bit. I spent a lot of time on the internet trying to find out what she might have and although she does have symptoms for a few common chicken aliments, they don't seem conclusive for any of them.

Today again she doesn't seem well. I am getting used to the idea that she may not make it and that I am going to have to deal with a dead chicken body. I am not sure I am cut out for a farm life that includes livestock, as I find this part of it to be fairly stressful. I am also reconsidering our plan to get sheep and maybe a few goats. The last few days have made me feel sure that I can't and don't want to handle this stuff.

Wait! I need to remember to just buck up and deal. Of course I can handle this. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks with animals. Our cats are the best lap warmers ever, Penny follows us around with complete devotion in her eyes. I love watching the chickens and their antics, their eggs and how they are so happy to see me each morning. Even if it is because I bring food.

So I will keep the chicken inside until she either dies or gets better. If she were suffering I would probably put her down, or to be more precise, I'd get someone else to do that part, but she isn't yet so I am just going to see what happens. I never considered myself to be such a bleeding heart when it comes to animals. But we have these animals and now I find myself washing off chicken butts, clipping hamster teeth or holding a cat's mouth closed until they swallow a pill (that's a story I haven't told here).

I managed all of that just fine, I guess.


meno said...

The patterns in that chickens feathers are lovely. I hope she feels better. Have you offered her chicken soup?


Tracy said...

Meno, you are just ever so witty...

Steven LaRose said...

remind me to tell you the story of why i know where you're coming from.
why is death so freaky?
or gross?
I think the more animals the better.
the more experiences you have, the better painter you will be.
(this coming from the dude who has never been to a funeral).

Tracy said...

Hi Steve, Look forward to hearing that story....Good point about having experiences, I know the bad stuff helps my work, but ick, dead chicken bodies:)

You have never been to a funeral?

Steven LaRose said...

I've also never seen "the sound of music" or "rocky"

Tracy said...

Clearly you are out of the pop culture loop.

I have never seen Rocky either, although I have seen about about a hundred people do the run up the art museum steps in Philly. I now know THAT scene.

Anonymous said...

it was probably good that you took her out of the "main pop"...chicken sicknesses are notoriously comminicable. Can you feature dealing with all of them dropsical and crapping in your kitchen?

deb L.

Tracy said...

Deb, I am worried that one of the things she might have is Marek's disease, which is definitely communicable. None of the other show any of the symptoms yet and I am not even sure she has it. Also the sick ones get pecked at and often injured or worse by the others in the coop, so the first thing to do is to separate them.

I do draw the line at one chicken in the house however. If any others become sick, they get the unheated garage!

Katherine said...

I've got to get you together with Jeanette who lives in Newfoundland - she's always got good farm animal/bird stories. She's at http://illustratedlife.blogspot.com/ - and she's a jolly good read too.

Tracy said...

Thanks for the link, Katherine, I'll check it out!