Friday, October 16, 2009
I would love to introduce you to Charlie J. the Chick. Named by my grandmother who hopes Charlie is a girl. Charlie is quite adorable, one of our 12 new baby chicks born last month. She is part Rhode Island Red and Buff Orpington. Originally one of the 12 eggs the boys and I held every day, waiting for them to hatch. One of the 12 eggs we held as it hatched, watching the tiny wet baby chick emerge to this new exciting world. However, like Mike the Headless chicken I blogged about a few weeks ago, Charlie has had a tragic accident.
Notice that Charlie's right leg is not in the proper place. Honestly, it is amazing that little Charlie is even alive. Last week I was in the chicken pen with Imp (my 2 year old). Blackie, the mother hen, and her 12 little chicks are in this huge rat and snake-proof cage that was placed up on a piece of plywood a few inches off the ground due to flooding fears.
This day was a dry one and I wanted to put the cage on the floor so the little chicks could have fun scratching in the dirt. The floor of the cage is pretty wide chicken wire so they can get at the ground. I usually just tip the cage, the chicks run to the far corner (that's covered in tiny chicken wire to keep the varmints out) and then I can drag and drop it down.
As I was carefully moving the cage, Imp started screaming "ants!" and I glanced over at him and noticed his boots were covered in fire ants. At the same time I felt ant stings on my feet and legs and realized BOTH of us were standing in fire ants. I quickly dropped the chick cage and grabbed Imp and rushed us out of the pen and frantically brushed off the hundreds and hundreds of fire ants covering our lower extremities. Luckily I was quick to respond and we only suffered from a few dozen bites each.
Remembering my little chicks, I ran back in there (sitting Imp up on a bench safe from ants AND Zebra the rooster who has some attitude) and heard a little chick peeping frantically. Unfortunately little Charlie's leg had fallen through the wider part of the bottom of the cage and he was trapped. I lifted the cage and gently removed him and realized he was probably going to die from internal bleeding. I noticed he could not move his back leg and he appeared dazed.
So little Charlie was brought to the house. I told Duke and Imp that she was probably going to die because the cage fell and crushed him. Duke said he hoped Charlie was a rooster because he didn't want a hen to die. Imp kept on saying "Chicken died, chicken died".
A few hours later Charlie was still alive and in good spirits and was car-lifted to my grandmother's house. She loves to doctor little animals and she recently lost her beloved little dog, so she wanted something to nurture. And amazing enough, Charlie lived!
As you can see Charlie's leg is probably never going to be perfect, but she can move his toes and use it to support herself. My grandmother gives her twice daily physical therapy (which involves moving her leg gently to keep it from stiffening and making her grasp her fingers with her toes). She doesn't walk but can hop short distances. She eats and drinks (and poops) with gusto and gets excited when we hold her. Not to mention that every day she gets stronger. She isn't in any pain and manages to get around quite well.
So we are going to keep Charlie the Crippled Chick. Hen or rooster, this little chick is going to get plenty of love and a safe home in our coop. I will report back later on her progress. The funny part of this story is little Imp loves to go up to people and say "chicken died, chicken died". They look at me puzzled and I tell them that he is telling them a story about the day that Charlie the Chick almost died.
I have been working on a few new actions and will be posting those in the next weeks! I have plenty of other goodies coming out, so keep visiting the CoffeeShop. :-) And if you have any questions, please post them on my Flickr Group!