After morning feeding earlier this week I was strolling around in the barnyard, enjoying the sun and doing my usual chicken head count. Something wasn’t right. I was one chicken short and immediately had a deep-in-my-gut kind of panic.
I’m frequently surprised at the depth of my emotional connection my animals, animals that most people eat regularly without thinking twice. I don’t have anything against all you chicken eaters out there. I just can’t imagine doing it myself. They rank right up there with my dog. And I’ve never thought about eating my dog.
Anyway, so there I was, panicked. Next move, start saying names. Lucy, Cindy Lou, Cleopatra? They’re ok. Rapunzel, Belle, Jasmine, Aretha, Maude? Yep. Scarlett and Sarah were both present. Hermione, Louise, Sophia? No. WHERE IS SOPHIA?
I scanned the barnyard again. No Sophia. Coop? Nope. Run? Not there either. I stuck my head into the shed and there she was, right where she sleeps next to Doink. She had not gotten up for the day. She did not look good. Her head was tucked under her wing, she was all fluffed up, and looked like she was not going anywhere anytime soon.
I scooped her up, gave her some pats and set her out in the barnyard. I did a few quick chores and when I went to check on her, I found her where she is most comfortable. Right next to Doink.
It’s a big barnyard, full of chickens she could pal around with. Yet she chose that spot. I truly think she loves him and feels safe next to him.
The vet was called and we were in his office in an hour Long story short, he had no idea what was wrong with her.
He set a course of treatment nonetheless, so I left with two medicines, special feed, and the knowledge of how to feed a chicken by a tube.
An additional trip back to the vet was made with fecal samples of all the animals. (Yeah, I know, YUCK.) All results were good – there’s no parasites, worms or any of those weird chicken diseases that start with a “C” to be found in any of the animals.
I’ve been tube feeding her regularly and keeping her in at night. She seems a bit perkier in the barnyard during the day.
I don’t think she’s totally out of the woods yet. I’ve keep my eye on her. But for now, she’s ok. And if she’s ok, I’m ok.
On a side note, the fox was back in the barnyard last night. I threw my coat and boots on and headed out to run her off. Keela jumped up on the door as I ran out – and promptly locked me out of the house at 3:15am. I got to enjoy the lunar eclipse for a few extra minutes before I could wake Very Excellent Husband Don up. I think a nap is on my to-do list today!
(Shared at Simple Saturdays, Farmgirl Friday, HomeAcre Hop, Backyard Farming Connection, Tuesdays With A Twist, Maple Hill Hop, From The Farm Hop, Old Fashioned Friday, HomeAcre Hop and Down Home Hop!)