Thursday, May 29, 2008

In a Dead Faint

William frantically called me away from my desk work. Something was wrong with one of the chickies. We had tried picking them up for him to hold, and though William is gentle beyond his years, the chickies are not very socialized yet and were very hard to hold, flapping and carrying on. So, I had put their crate on the floor for him to pet them rather than hold.

"This chickie is dying, " he said. I thought there was no way, as I'd just put the crate on the ground. But sure enough, one of the chickies was limp in my hand, its neck lolling around, eyes closed, and it had the "pant" that I've seen many times on injured baby fledgling birds. It was dying. William claimed no injury from him and I could see no visible trauma.

I held it, wondering what to do. Did it inhale some sawdust? Something in its throat? I massaged its neck, held it up. Nothing. I blew on it. Nothing. I tried mouth-to-mouth to Lauren's disgust. No really, I just blew in its beak. Still nothing. So, I returned to my desk, holding it against me thinking at least I could hold it until it died. It then began to jerk every now and again, and suddenly, it was okay though shaky. I put it in a box under my desk lamp for warmth, and short story, after awhile, it was fine and returned to its mates. Today, I cannot tell which of them it was.

This story is perplexing because last week, my sister Diane and my nieces were visiting and reported the same exact thing had happened with one of the black chickies outside up by the barn. Reanna had picked one up and it had virtually "died" in her hands. She put it down, thinking she must have done something, and it popped back to life. Can chickens play "possum"? I've googled and googled and can find nothing on it. I will continue to search for the answer. Perhaps like fainting goats, I have fainting chickens. I can only think they were "chicken" and were frightened literally to death.

Farm Notes
Daisy proved last night she's as worthy of a scavenger as Kiara by stealing half of a turkey breast (about two pounds) from the counter last night and eating the whole thing.

The big chickens are on strike, though Chickin' Lickin' continues to lay steadily.

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