chickens, Pleasant Hill Ponderings Blog

Thankful for Andy

Andy is a very special chicken for quite a few reasons, not all of which are a credit to his character. Just saying.

As a wee chickie, Andy suffered some sort of childhood illness….which will remain nameless because we never figured out what it was. The long and short of it was our smallest chick had pulled out most of  his underside feathers, refused to sit down or eat, and cried constantly.

Andy – 1 week

Andy cried loudly. Andy cried all the time. Andy cried in his sleep. We could hear Andy crying from our bedroom. We could hear Andy crying over the TV. Andy liked to watch TV and that seemed to help sometimes.

In my attempt to “save” Andy on one particularly awful night, I very nearly killed him. After much reading (on the oh so reliable internet) I had narrowed down Andy’s illness to a few things – and promptly decided on a treatment involving a bath and Vaseline.

The bath wasn’t so bad, but the Vaseline was a huge mistake. So at 3 am in the middle of a lightening storm, my husband woke up to me sobbing next to the bed with a trembling and crying chick, because I KNEW deep in my heart, that I had just consigned Andy to an early and painful death.

It was all my fault.

Stephen dutifully got up and gave Andy another bath, toweled his little raw body down with a flannel square cut from his own pajamas, gave Andy back to me, and went right back to sleep.

Doc Martin

With the storm and my medical experiments behind us, Andy and I settled down on the couch with a heating pad and sugar water. We both watched a few episodes of Doc Martin, one of Andy’s favorite shows, and we resolved that I was, obviously, no doctor and that we should go on  to bed.

I set up Andy’s heating pad and flannel on a chair next to our bed. He seemed pretty content, but still very weak. I closed my eyes fully believing that he’d be gone by morning.

As the sun rose the next day, we found Andy happily attempting to “fly” from the chair into our bed – he was lonely. Thankful doesn’t begin to describe it!

Last week before Andy’s bath

Today, Andy is our largest chicken. He is kindhearted and still a little dopey. He can’t run in a straight line, occasionally makes poor decisions, and still needs the occasional bath…..don’t worry, Vaseline is no longer part of his life.

chickens, Pleasant Hill Ponderings Blog

Earlobes and Love are Precious Things

Since dispatching Twister, we are attempting round two of integrating the new girls, Pearla and Josephine, into the original flock. To say the first attempt was a disaster is a major understatement. Integration Round 1 ended with the so-called “earlobe incident.”

One bright, shiny day….with all of the chickens (old and new) in the coop….two roosters became hypnotized by the astounding wiles of one new Josephine. With her exotic plumage and lovely, Cleveland County Fair “ID tag”…..well….it was simply a combination that spelled disaster. At the end of the scuffle that ensued, poor Josephine was left with the majority of her earlobe torn off and two VERY guilty roosters still glaring death at one another.

the tantalizing Josephine

My solution to this problem was to simply remove Josephine and Pearla from the flock, allow a little healing time from the trauma, and just try again later. We are now in that “trying again” phase.

Lovely Penfold

Round two has resulted in a few hen scuffles…..mainly involving my sweet, little Penfold….and boy can that little girl FIGHT! She ninja drop kicks like a rooster – growling and all! I think she’s  been taking “wax on, wax off” lessons from Mini on the sly.

Pen holds nothing back, determined she will NOT be at the bottom of the totem pole this time. Her Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon moves have Pearla utterly terrified — now, all Pen has to do is glance in Pearla’s direction and off Pearla runs.

All in all, it has been easier the second time around. There has been no blood involved…. and we can all be thankful for that.