Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spendy chick


On our little half acre plot of earth in the suburbs we have two hens. They live in a dog kennel with a home-made coop inside, just big enough for a couple of nests and a roost. Their names are Crow (the Barred Rock) and Lizzy (short for Elizabeth, after the queen she resembles with her fabulous ruff; the Ameraucana). Several months ago Crow stopped laying eggs and became rather "puffy" making it hard for her to walk. Yesterday, she was so lethargic and droopy that I decided something needed to be done. But surely, no vet would see a chicken, right? Well, after calling several offices I found one who would gladly take on a new avian patient! Dr. Harris kindly examined Crow (commenting that she must be having an identity crisis) and after aspirating some of the fluid from her middle, concluded that she has congestive heart failure. Now you may be thinking, "Of course, the only solution would be to put her to sleep." But, after an eighty dollar bill for the office visit, Crow has a prescription for a diuretic and instructions to keep her warm. The good doctor says he sees a goose who has lived quite comfortably for five years now with the same diagnosis. Miss Crow is certainly an expensive pet now; we're hoping she'll start laying golden eggs from now on. Mr. Browning had some mixed feelings when I brought the bird home from her appointment and told him the prognosis. He kept shaking his head incredulously and exclaimed, "How am I supposed to keep a chicken warm?!"

8 comments:

Lady Farmer said...

Well, you will either have to learn to knit or else sew her a 'down' jacket to keep her warm.
Or, perhaps, you could go to the Sporting Goods store and buy some of those "instant hand warmer" things hunters use for keeping warm and tuck one into her nest at night.
Just thinkin'! :~}

Liz said...

electric blankets of course! Go to the library and borrow "Click Clack Moo" from the childrens section. You will have a complete understanding of how to keep your farm animals warm!

Melody said...

Poor little chicky.

I have to say Corbin sided with Chris on this one. I know that's a huge shocker, being that he is such a huge animal love and all...HA! He also asked if the chicken is going to start sleeping in bed with you!

ivoryspring said...

Hmmmm - that's a tricky situation... :) Heat lamp in the kennel?

Miss Jen said...

Awww.... I love chickens too! ;)
A heat lamp might work to keep her warm or... something like that!!

Blessings~ Miss Jen

Full of mischief and mayhem said...

Oh poor Crow! I do hope she feels better soon. The only suggestion I can come up with to keep something warm is a... Bunsen burner! But, alas, placing an open flame around hay (remember Father and his tricycle?) or feathers is probably not a good plan, unless you want roasted chicken? My word verification is "quizest" = my student's response to an easy question on their lab exam.

Michele said...

I love all the good suggestions for keeping a bird warm! I'll have to narrow down my options, though, to something that doesn't need electricity (since the coop and surrounding areas are not wired) and that won't ingnite anything, including the creature I intend to protect. It looks like I'll either need to take up knitting, or make room in my bed for one more (one can usually find between two and four people and two large felines in it already).

Lady Farmer said...

Well, I should think one more in bed wouldn't hurt, all would stay nice and toasty warm and hey, you like feather pillows anyway!*grin*