Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Chicken Story, Part 1

A couple weeks ago, my brother saw an unidentified creature in a snowbank by the side of the road. At first, he thought it might be an eagle or large hawk. Then, he saw that it had some sort of crest on its head and wondered what on earth was stuck in that snowbank. It turns out that what he found was a lost and half alive domestic chicken It was many miles from the nearest farms, so who knows how it got there, but the weather was sub zero with a strong wind and the chicken was in a very bad way. So he stopped his truck, picked the bird up and tucked it under his coat, got back in the truck and started for home. On the way, he called his wife and told her about the chicken and asked that she have a landing spot for it when he arrived.

The poor, frozen bird had a comfy, towel-lined box all ready for it in front of the wood stove where he thawed it out and fed it a bunch of bird seeds - his wife took a pair of pliers and cracked some corn for it, too. It ate hungrily and drank water, but its feet and comb were totally frozen and there was a lot of anxiety about whether the bird would survive.

After a few days, this lucky chicken had been given gifts of high quality chicken feed from the local elevator and antibiotics by an area veterinarian. She had baths in Epsom salts, antibiotic laced water and seemed to be coming around a little bit. She began to be able to stand on one of her severely frostbitten feet and then she managed to walk a bit. She is staying in a paper lined dog crate and coming out to bask by the wood stove. The first picture is of the chicken (which we're told is a Rhode Island Red) walking up to the stove and the second picture is of her laying down on her side, extending her feet to the fire to dry them off after a bath in Epsom salts. They're not great photos, since my brother took them and sent them by cell phone, but they do tell the story -- and I love the one of her laying by the fire. She's one lucky little chicken and it looks as if my brother and his wife have a new pet!!