Saturday, September 6, 2008

Frankenchicken on the farm

It has been quite the week here on the farm. On Labor Day, while I was industriously laboring over the coop annex, young Pooh the chicken decided to go visit the dogs in the backyard. It was not a good visit. Imagine if you will a presidential candidate dropped into the middle of the opposing team's convention with all the TV cameras turned off. It got ugly really fast. Pooh managed to make it back through the fence, but the results were not pretty. Long story short, Pooh ended up with a gash in her side and the dogs ended up with mouths full of feathers. Hard to deny your involvement when you have feathers sticking out of your mouth. Dumb dogs.

It's a bit embarrassing to admit, but I did haul Pooh off to the vet on Tuesday. She was still active and clucky. She just had a huge tear in her side. Seemed like we should do something about that. The vet was clearly intrigued. I'm not sure he had ever stitched up a chicken before. You'd think they'd practice on packaged grocery store chickens while in vet school, but apparently they don't. Go figure. So now he can say that he's done chicken surgery. Pooh now has about four inches of black stitches and staples in her side. She looks like a feathery Frankenstein. "It's alive, it's alive!" And indeed she is.

Pooh is now safely ensconced in a crate in the dining room (as opposed to on a platter in the dining room). She is living a fine life of attention and constant treatage. She does have to put up with me poking antibiotics down her beak twice a day. That's not going well. She's pretty clever for a chicken and has learned to foil most of my attempts at medicine. I end up wearing a lot of very sticky antibiotic. Not the fashion statement I usually try to make, but...

To top it off, Pooh's face is going red. First sign that she's heading towards egg laying. Wouldn't it be funny if Pooh laid her first egg in the dining room? What service!

While the boys are starting to figure out what boy chickens do with girl chickens, we still have no eggs. Little freeloaders. Everybody is getting red- combs and wattles are popping up everywhere. Maybe somebody will pop out an egg one day soon. Until then, Spot and Cheeto the roosters are crowing mightily and herding their women around. And the girls are tolerating them and getting into trouble. Pooh is muttering happily in her dining room crate and the dogs are in the figurative doghouse. All is well.

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