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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Snowball's Snowy Day

First, an apology to all the blogs I usually read. I have not been reading much. It has been a very busy time here, and I just don't seem to find the time lately to keep up with reading my favorite blogs. Rest assured, I will get back to it soon! I have a lot of deadlines at the moment, but they will soon pass.

In the meantime, I wanted to write a quick blog about my white silkie rooster, Snowball. It's kind of a girly name, isn't it.....well, that's OK, because Snowball is a very unusual rooster. I have heard him crow once or twice, but generally, he's very quiet. He also loves to be picked up and cuddled, which is nothing like most of my other roosters. So, his name suits him. After today, in chicken terms, we might also say that he's a few eggs short of a dozen.

Snowball decided that on this very chilly April day, in which we had significant snowfall and sleet, that he would just hang around outside. Most of the chickens went into their respective coops for most of the day, venturing out only for short eating binges or nest box forays. Snowball, on the other hand, was behaving like it might be midsummer. So, when I went out to do an egg check in the late afternoon, there he was....the most bedraggled and sad looking roo I ever saw!

I brought him inside. Really, I couldn't stand leaving him out there. He'd been hanging out with the ducks, who had been treading the snow into the mud and making a mess. He was filthy, wet, and shivering.

I first gave him a little warm bath in the sink. He just kind of lay there, pathetically, while I gave him a bath. I washed him carefully all over and tried to get him cleaned up.

Then, I had to blow dry him. It takes a very long time to blow dry a silkie.

Even after the blow-drying (during which he acted like he might die at any minute, just laying there limply), he didn't have much energy.

I wrapped him in a fleece blanket and took him upstairs. I sat with him on my lap for a while. He drooped his head and looked miserable.

I went to the kitchen and fixed him some of my favorite chicken treat - cottage cheese, warmed, with a little grain (usually quinoa) and some oatmeal and some "kickin' chicken" oil blend for energy. I brought it to him. He very half-heartedly stuck his beak in it and nibbled, but didn't really put much effort in. I thought he might be "on his way out" so to speak. I tried to make him comfortable.

So, he stayed wrapped in his blankie for a couple of hours in a basket, occasionally making odd little purring noises, and then becoming silent. I was working on writing a paper and was concentrating, so eventually, when he made a squawking noise, I'd nearly forgotten he was there. I asked him if he wanted more cottage cheese mix, and he said he did. He hungrily ate the entire rest of the dish.

He's now sleeping comfortably, not shivering, having perched himself on the edge of the basket, looking clean, dry, and warm.

Silly chicken. I bet he'd do it all over again tomorrow if I let him. I think he'll stay inside for another day until our weather warms up again.

20 comments:

Flartus said...

In spite of sharing your fears he might have been "on the way out," I have to admit I chuckled throughout your story. Especially the blow-drying part; he looks so dramatically pathetic.

He reminds me a bit of our perenially oppressed black/white Polish rooster, Stanley. He, too, was a few eggs short, but he at least knew enough to come in out of the rain!

Christy said...

What a sad looking chicken he was! I'd say he was stupid, but he is getting to spend a few days in the warm house, under a blanket, getting good food delivered to him. I think he may be the smartest chicken ever!

Mom L said...

I'm with Christy - what a smart, sly, conniving roo! I think he just wanted a day in the spa. With a personal chef. Just wait until word gets around the farm about that! You'll be rocking the donkey foal next! And then the new twins will want their time inside...oh, I can just see it!!!

Nancy

Totally Timmy said...

Aw good thing you warmed him up. Poor silkies just don't have the right feathers to repel water. He looks like a beauty though. Mine doesn't have a big crest.

Nancy K. said...

Poor Snowball! Somebody out there must be being mean to him and not letting him into the barn...

I have the top have of a dog house sitting in the paddock, outside of my barn, for any chickens that get kicked out.

Yellow Jacket Ridge Angoras said...

You should have fixed him some old fashioned chicken noodle soup.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm smiling at the conversation you had with Snowball. He's so sweet. More like a cat than a rooster.
My Silky rooster's name is Mr. Cotton (and his wife is of course Mrs. Cotton. lol!) so his name is not much better. :)

You did a great job cleaning him up and fluffing him back up again. A wet silky is not a pretty sight. :)

~Lisa

Amy ~ 12 Acres said...

Now I can finally die. I have seen EVERYTHING!

Jennifer said...

So glad he is going to be OK. He is a beautiful chicken all clean and dry.

TheMartianChick said...

Maybe you should try to get him a role on a soap opera... I think he'd enjoy the daily drama!Lol!

Blue Goose Farms said...

That is just too sweet! I think you might have created a monster now. I am glad he pulled through, he is very pretty.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Snowball, what a great comeback honey.

Yes, we get busy and several days have passed and we've missed out on our blogging. I always like to tune in to your updates when you get a chance.

frolicnfibers said...

Hurray for Snowball! He does indeed look quite content!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Sweet story; spoiled roo; kind Claire!

Karin said...

I was going to apologize to you for no reading your blog for a while (or anyone else's..)-- and I don't even have a farm!

What a good mama you are to all the animals. That rooster is priceless!

Ishtar said...

He is the sweetest chicken I have ever seen!!!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

I like that fluffy chickum! I would chase him around. Goat kisses from Isobelle!

d/iowa said...

that is great- i can see you blow drying him like crazy.

love the pics!

what in the world is a conniving roo? must be some mensa word i don't understand/

Farm Chick Paula said...

Awww... poor Snowball.
I read somewhere that Silkies are more succeptable to freezing to death because their feathers have no insulation against the cold like normal chicken feathers do. Poor thing- he needs a rainsuit if he wants to stay outside in weather like that! LOL
You're such a good mommy, Claire!

Alpaca Granny said...

Oh, my, what a story! Thanks for sharing.