Over the past few days, I’ve realized that the chickens’ only goal in life is to die in the most improbable fashion possible. Finally, last night, one of the Dollies realized that goal. Godspeed, little idiot.
Let me back up. The chickens used to be ground chickens, but as they’ve matured they’ve learned to fly a little better / more often, and they’d been flying out of the pasture. So three nights ago, I snuck in the coop and clipped the wings of 12 of the 13. Number 13 was somewhere outside – she’d flown over the fence and didn’t trust me enough to come back through the gate, and of course she couldn’t remember how she got outside in the first place.
Anyway, the first 11 chickens went smoothly, with each hen getting progressively louder as I picked her up. The 12th chicken pitched an enormous fit – she screamed like she was being gutted, pecked and clawed at me, and flapped her wings. But she was a banty so this was really not effective and I got her wing clipped anyway. I put her back on the perch, but she screamed and flapped and fell down. I picked her up, she exploded again, and I thought well fuck it, you can sleep on the floor then.
The next morning I came out before dawn and fed, then came back out shortly after dawn to start digging that trench. I heard a shriek as I walked over to the coop to let the chickens out, and when I came around the corner I saw the same idiot, still lying on the floor, getting pecked. Seriously, her flockmates had decided she was dead and were pecking at her head. I shooed them away, picked her up, and took her in the house. I couldn’t find anything wrong with her (other than some tiny peck marks on her head) so I took her back out and set her free. She limped off. I consulted my more knowledgeable chicken friends and left her alone – the next day, she was totally fine. I really think she wrenched her leg fighting me, then laid down to die that night.
I also caught the stray that night, clipped her wing, and returned her to her “friends.”
Yesterday I walked out of the barage with a piece of the box, to test-fit it, and one of the Speckled Jims was sitting in the fucking stock tank like a damn duck. I fished her out, and she was shivering, so I took her in the house and blow dried her. Yes, I sat on the floor with a chicken and a blow drier under a towel and marvelled at the absurdity of my life. She also recovered fully.
Last night two things happened: I forgot to put the chickens in the coop, and it froze. So all the nonheated water had a skim of ice on it. So…
This morning, one of the full size Dollies was floating in the stock tank, dead as can be. Go to the light, little hen!
I’m going to chicken wire up one of the sides of paddock and move all the retards to THEIR OWN PEN. I’m sure their deathwishes will eventually triumph over me, but I’ll make it harder for them to die, anyway.