Thursday, May 26, 2011

Farm Girl Meets Pharmacist Girl . . .

I was about to get in the shower, but decided to go outside and check on the hens in The Bunk House, since it was their first experience in the rain.

I opened the lid, and was greeted by five happy chicks . . .


Where was the other?  I searched the run. . . nothing.  Nowhere.

I then checked for illegal entry signs.  None.  Nada.

I was totally perplexed.  Did a snake get in, and out, and have lunch without leaving any evidence?  Because . . . that was a big mystery:  There were no feathery evidences of an intrusion!

Totally perplexed, I decided to begin circling a radius about The Bunk House.

Once in awhile, I thought I could hear a chick alarm cry, but it wouldn't continue, and the cacophony of birds singing post rain was almost deafening . . .

I turned back toward The Bunk House, when I saw my cat come out from underneath the neighbors porch . . . but she was relaxed, and acting normal.  I turned again, when I heard the alarm cry sure as shootin'!

I redoubled my efforts, this time going into the neighbors back woods . . . that's when I saw the big white lumbering tom cat.  A harmless housecat my neighbor brought home from the Humane Society ~ but, who has been eye-spying my hens every time he was outside!!

He was looking at me, while I was looking at him, when the pullet cried out again, and I saw her move in the brush!

Trooper the tom cat saw her too, and got to her before me ~ but I shooed him away.

Bonnie was glad to see me, and moved toward me, whilst I reached in between the brambles to pick her up.   No feigned attempts to get away, no chirps indicating to her peers where she was . . . she leaned into my hand, my arm, my body, and sighed a deep sigh.

I shored up The Bunk House with her in hand, then headed indoors.

Taking inventory of her injuries, which seemed mostly superficial, I devised a plan of action.

Her tail end was the area of deepest wounding, even though those weren't very deep; the top of her right wing, and strange marks under each wing (which I finally determined were claw marks) seemed to be the extent of need of nursing.

I chose Q-tips, hydrogen peroxide, and antibiotic cream and got to work.  Bonnie seemed content to let me doctor her, until I determined I needed to pour the peroxide on the deepest wounds ~ but that was because she wasn't happy about getting wet!  The antibiotic cream must've been soothing, because she sat patiently, waiting for me to finish.

Because she had been in the rain, or at least under rain-covered leaves of the woods, I determined to put her under the heat lamp to warm and dry her, as opposed to on my lap, which is where my heart wants to hold her . . .

Did Trooper actually perform a break and enter without *any* evidence remaining?  Did Bonnie jump out, without my knowledge this morning, when I had the roof open to feed and water them?

Trooper is an outdoor tom cat wanna be.  He lives his days on Nine Lives cat food and scraps from the table . . . I'm sure his city-fied ways actually saved my hen, that he did not actually know what to do with the 'prize' he found.

I am perplexed as the day is long . . .but I'm grateful my hen is alive.  Each hour she survives will settle me that she'll be none the worse for wear . . .

Any one up for a prayer vigil for a chicken?

Resting, after the Incident.

An aerial view, of her tail end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How awful, Angi! I would have been mortified. I'm very impressed that you knew what to do and were able to take care of things with such ease. I'm pretty handy with the first aid for my kids, I guess feathered fowl aren't that much different.

We are getting ready for the big move outside, just waiting for another week of growth, and hopefully some warmer temps.

Here's to a speedy recovery for your little girl.

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