When you’ve just come back from the osteopath who told you to : “stay calm for a few days, especially today…we’ll see you in a month with a new course of treatment”, you really want to spend the end of the day calm and relaxed, to let your body benefit from it. But that’s for people who don’t have a chicken breeding business with cheeky animals… 🙁
Before I take some time off, as soon as I’m back home in Brahmaland, I have to do a “patrol” around the chicken runs :
- Checking water levels
- opening the chicken coops’ rooftops now that the sun has come around…
- making sure everybody is “fine”
- Pick up the eggs in order to keep them from overheating
- Managing to do all that without hurting myself or wasting the osteopathy session… 😉
I start with the “chicks’ garden” because I know I have to bring some fresh water to the pekins. At that very moment, the splash brahmas wandering around next to me seem to be excited by something….that I easily identify in the beak of the one running around : a black and white chick !!!!!!! AAAAAHHHHH
When everything goes wrong
My brain is in survival mode : to run…go over a fence, open two doors, run again, open the net….I keep running…the rooster now has Diabolo, an orpington chick. He’s still alive I hear him chirping…I’m still running, trying to stop the rooster under the quince tree : I fail once and try again…I forget about the good postures, the calm and rest, all I can think about is saving Diabolo…(that I’ve already saved once 🙁 )
The rooster lets go of him when I get close. He seems lifeless…he opens his beak, gasping for air and is breathing very fast…His body is not responding. I lock the others up calmly, despite my growing anger, holding the chick tight in my hand.
I sit down under the hazel tree to check him out, trying to calm down but he’s not showing any reaction. Apart from his disturbed breathing, no other sign. His eyes are closed. I think his spine may be injured, he has a poor chance of surviving.
Because we never know, I grab a pipette of Traumasedyl (homeopathic solution for bumps and bruises) before going back to the house…in case the spine in intact…we can always hope…
I lay the chick on a table cloth, his heads moves a bit, but he can’t hold it up…there’s a painful spot close to the neck. I try to feel if something is wrong with his tiny spine but I can’t feel a thing. I don’t dare moving him too much in case I make things worse. It’s always difficult to find the right balance between DOING and LEAVING THINGS ALONE.
Diabolo drinks the Traumasedyl. I wrap him up in the cloth and his eye opens up for a second. First sign…I would really like to believe that I didn’t just ruin my morning osteopathy session by running after him…Well, the harm’s done so let’s hope, wait and see…I place him in a small cardboard box on the brooder’s heating plate, we’ll see how he feels later on.
I don’t really know what I can do for him anymore…
Discussion & reflection
So, I go back outside, into the sun to check on the rest of the animals. On my way past Picorett’ (the chicks’ mother) I tell her that I think the spine is injured and that he won’t be coming back…She listens to me and seems to understand what I’m saying. I’m sad to pass on the bad news.
Then I go to see the Splash 2, the ones responsable for the attack. I tell them how mad and sorry I am to have hens doing that sort of thing. Only Lotus replies. She’s half right. Since June, we’ve been experiencing wild animal predation and all our scheduled outings have been modified. Some chickens are not allowed to leave their chicken run, some of them are showing abnormal behavior. We have to find new solutions…
After such a bad afternoon, do we only keep the negative things in mind or do we use this well-known experience to find new alternatives .
==> I’m going to think about it while I rest ! I really needed to let it all out in writing to help take the stress away 🙂
We’ll be back soon with the rest of Diabolo’s story 🙂