Saturday, November 15, 2008

Upsidedown Chicken = Not Good

It's not a good thing when you find a chicken upsidedown in the straw. In fact, an upsidedown chicken, with both legs in the air, has a tendency to cause significant alarm in the owner, namely, me. I went rushing over to this poor creature, naturally assuming it was dead, because this is a most unnatural position for any chicken to maintain for any length of time.

Nonetheless, it was alive. I gently picked it up and cradled it and it moved vvveeeeerrrryyyyy ssssllllooooowwwwlllllyyyyy in my hands. (You have to read that properly, in your mind, speaking with the velocity of cold molasses - it's OK, go back and read the sentence over again, so you get the full impression). Got it now? Moving on...

Truly, I was distressed, but hopeful. I took my poor Polish chicken inside and put it with all the baby chicks in the brooder under the heat lamp. It took several hours, but now it's running around just like all the others. I have to keep calling this chicken "it" because I can't tell which of the pair is the male, and which is the female. They are both very similar. Here is a picture of the pair from when I first brought them home. I should take a new picture, but this one is the only one I have for now.

So today we went to a local hardware store and we bought two (yes, two) aluminum sheds. They were $290 apiece, but we feel that it was worth it, because our homemade efforts take lot longer to build and we are behind on coops. So, tomorrow's task is building 2 aluminum sheds (each 10 x 8) and installing some nice straw bales in them for insulation, and ensuring that our chickens all go inside for the night. The Polish should have been inside another structure but they have a habit of going on walkabout and roosting elsewhere. That's what happened and why this one got so cold. Even if we get just one shed completed, I'll be happy.

Then we shall have two more coops and, in theory, enough space for all our chickens, even the picky ones who currently can't make up their mind about which coop they prefer of the two existing coops. Now if I could just get help with this egg hatching addiction problem...

Lesson learned: Happy chickens are upright and active. Always ensure your chickens are happy.


Don said...

Wow! I just read about your chicken/dog experience and how you rescued your chickens and I am very proud of you! Yea!

I have some crested Polish hens and they wander mostly because they can't see anything! I actually give mine haircuts so they can see!

Cool blog!

Claire said...

Thanks Don! I feel good about the rescue, and hope the chickens do also!

I will consider the haircut option. Maybe the Polish didn't go into the bantam "hut" with the others because it couldn't find its way in there. A very real possibility.

Must go find scissors tomorrow!

Juri said...

I just had to leave you a note...I found your blog and was so happy I did...I have really enjoyed reading your posts...great blog...I will be back!


Farm Chick Paula said...

Whew! Glad you got there in time!!