I’m going to start with, this post contains some not so beautiful photos….beware if you get grossed out easily.
OK, now that we have that out of the way, I’ll start my story.
We have chickens, probably close to 20 now. My son always has this bright idea every spring to let the hens hatch some eggs, and myself wanting to let him have what he wants because, I mean, really, what is a few more chickens really going to matter at our circus of a farm? And, you know, we ALWAYS will have eggs. (big egg eaters this family) So I allow a couple select hens to sit and hatch some baby chicks. Baby chicks are my top ten of cutest things ever by the way.
And so it starts. The chicks hatch. The cruel reality is that a few die every year. I don’t know if it’s me, or the way life is. I really know people who never lose a baby chick…damn those people! So…chicks hatch. We let the hens raise them until they are sick of them and then we separate them. Our chickens free roam everyday so the hens can take only so long of being cooped up (haha) before the crazy comes out. Fast forward to separated young chickens.
We have three. A rooster (because that is the way it goes, apparently 4 isn’t enough we need 5) and two hens. One of the hens is so pretty-solid white and the other is a beautiful brown with black tipped feathers. Well the brown one, Mary, decides she hates the white one Blanca (more on that later) and precedes to beat the crap out of her. So we separate again in another coop. So Blanca is now all alone while I’m treating her cuts and she heals and is big and beautiful and I can let her out with Mary and the rooster and all is well.
Fast forward again…
We have a Rhode Island Red that needed to be separated because she was also getting beat up by her flock-mates. (new word, like it?) So I come up with the brilliant plan to put her with Blanca, what could go wrong? So that night I move her and all is well, they get along! Yea! I give myself a little pat on the back and I go inside for the night. Next morning I go to the barn to feed and everything is how it should be so I go to work, and when I come home 7 hours later what a sight do I find. Blanca has been beat up pretty bad. From the top of the back of her head to the beginning of the middle of her back where her wings meet is ripped in half. The skin is separated showing nothing but neck muscle. Dammit man. So what do I do? I take her to the vet. Yup, I took a chicken to my small animal vet because I had to. My wonderful son is away on vacation and last year when he was gone one of our dogs died, so am I going to let something else die? Hell no I’m not going to traumatize my 9 year old into believing that whenever he goes somewhere that mom kills something!
So our wonderful, fabulous, says I’m not the only crazy to take a chicken to the vet patches Blanca up and she is home now. By the way, the vet techs named Blanca. They needed a name I when I brought in a bleeding, traumatized, young pullet for stitching up and I was not in a name giving mood. So Blanca it is because my not so nice sarcastic names weren’t in the best interest of the chicken although they were funny. A few hours and a bit of money later, Blanca (the now house chicken) is home. I am requested by the wonderful vet to keep her inside. Are you kidding me? Put a chicken in the house? I’m not the fruity, crazy chicken lady doc….but because of the love for my son we now have a chicken inside until the stitches heal. And people wonder why I endearingly call my farm the circus!