Two years ago I decided to get some baby chicks. (I think it is still posted in my blog for February 2016 somewhere here.) Why chickens? Because I like watching them walk, run, eat. They calm me down. They are 100% engaged in being what they are.
When I got the day old chicks, I kept them under a heat lamp and I would occasionally play my guitar and sing to them. One in particular would run over to me first. That little chick ended up being a rooster and I had to find a new loving home for him when he started crowing, but not before I named him Clint and told the new owner that he was fond of country music. She kind of looked at me strange and said, “Ok, I’ll remember that.”
My chickens have lived a very good life so far. I built them a good size run with 4 strands of electric wire around it that I turn on at night. We have skunks, possums, raccoons, fox, bobcats, mountain lions, and bears in our area and I have the pictures to prove it.
We also have an acre of land, so we let the chickens wander about in the afternoons and the weekends when we are home. Every night I lock up their coop where they roost.
This past Sunday, I let them out and Lucy, who occasionally needs to be reminded that she should not peck at my exposed toes when I am wearing sandals, was in bad shape. She couldn’t keep her head up. It was actually upside down with her head touching the ground. I felt terrible for her.
We gently took her out of the coop and put her in some sunshine to enjoy her last moments on earth. I was sad.
I had to get some material for the landscaping project and when I came back, Lucy was still alive. She could keep her head up when walking, but when she tried to eat off the ground, it just flopped upside down.
So I got on the internet to find out what the issue might be. It could be wry neck, some disease, some condition, some virus, some something. I headed down to the local feed store and they just said, “Huh? Beats me.” Finally after more research on the world wide web, some folks said to try feeding the chicken some vitamin E, selenium, baby vitamins, bread soaked in molasses – all with an eye dropper.
So morning and night now, we’re trying to feed Lucy with an eye dropper. We have to hold her upside down in order for her head to be right-side up. I keep expecting her to be dead in the morning, but so far she continues to be in critical condition.
I wonder, how and when I become this type of person? You know, there is so much sadness in the world, so much violence, so much…so much that we can’t seem to control… that for some reason compassion seems appropriate for this chicken. And, this will sound really strange, but when we’re holding her, trying to feed her, she almost seems to know what we’re trying to do. There is some kind of connection there. As I write this, my eyes are getting kind of teary. I am that guy who would laugh at such human behavior toward a chicken. Now it seems to me, chicken, homo sapien, dog, tree, rock, we’re all part of the same source of mystery.
Oh man, have I ever changed. I didn’t mean to.