Chicky Boo Boo.

Oh me, Oh my, Oh HEAVENLY DAYS! That’s a unique little phrase I learned about 14 or 15 years ago from my old neighbor. She was literally OLD. Like, as old as the hills. And holy mackerel was she wild! As wild as a stormy sea on an August afternoon! Anyway – she used to utter that phrase every time she was annoyed or surprised or angry or even if she was just sitting on her porch with little else to say. I don’t know exactly what it means, but today seems like the appropriate time to start incorporating it into my vocabulary. It has been a real emotional roller coaster around here this afternoon. Just when you think you’re finding your way & feeling the groove & living the good life, you take a walk outside to admire your poultry & realize one of your chicken’s wings is missing. When I say missing, I mean it’s completely detached from her body & nowhere to be found. Talk about a rude awakening into a harsh reality. Holy $#%&! I was freaking out! Albeit a very silent, calm, ‘deer caught in headlights freak out’ so as to not scare the holy hell out of my innocent 2-year-old son. So there I sit with my bloody bird in a poopy chicken yard, turkey pecking at my dangly earrings & flies swarming my person. The bird is looking all sad & helpless & totally pathetic.  And of course I’m like singing twinkle, twinkle little star like an absolute lunatic, trying not to cry. It was like this psychotic scene from some twisted horror movie.  I’m not 100% sure why I started singing, but somehow that little ditty just seemed helpful at the time. I got Jasper busy playing with the garden hose (that garden hose is the best damn baby sitter this side of the Back Bay by the way) & I scrubbed the chicken up as best I could with some warm, soapy water & covered the wound with hydrogen peroxide. I made her a nice, comfy little bed in the mudroom & I told her all about her future egg laying duties. I’m pretty sure that didn’t help the situation. Talk about feeling like a total failure. I knew a situation like this could happen. I knew something bad would eventually happen. But for Pete’s sake… I mean, this is like the very first week that we got these animals & already there’s a hen house crisis! A sad, woeful feeling washed over me today. I kept thinking maybe I’m not cut out for this hobby farm life after all. I started questioning whether or not I have bitten off more than I can chew. I started convincing myself that I’m not a farm girl… Not even a hobby farm girl. I’m a farm girl imposter who doesn’t know how to do anything right. I’m not prepared to offer up first aid to poultry. There are people out there qualified to handle these situations. I’m not that person. I started worrying about how traumatized the other birds might be & wondered whether or not they witness the assault. Of course they did! Do they have PTSD? Dear God, they’ll probably never lay eggs now! They’ll all be neurotic! Then my thoughts shifted to my totally ridiculous, naïve set-up. How could I be so stupid as to assume they were safe in there? Why did I not think to wrap the mesh around the lower half of the fence? This was all my fault & stupidity & negligence. Way to go wanna-be farm girl! Now look at the mess you’ve gotten yourself & these poor, defenseless animals into! I just stood there in my mudroom, staring at that bird for about 2 hours…. (Realistically it was more like 45 seconds or so, but it seemed a lot longer) before I finally snapped back into reality.  I stopped beating myself up, regrouped a little, scooped up my baby boy & sat down close to my potentially mortally wounded chicken friend & read “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.  I’ve found there are few moments in life when a well written, classic children’s story can’t help you rise above the ashes of the chard ego & find your way again. It’s just a darn good book people! So I’m back on my mission to become a farm girl. Even if that means I’ll likely just keep chickens (barely living) for a while.  This has been quite the initiation into the homesteading life.  I’m yet to find out if one of my own dogs got a hold of the poor hen or if it was some other assailant. Maybe she got it stuck in the fence all on her own & ripped it off in a moment of panic. I just don’t know. I spoke with Chanda – my realtor, chicken whispering, gypsy hearted mama friend – & she suggested covering the wound in Blue Cote. So I bought some at the feed store today. My chicken is now traumatized & purple… Like, REALLY PURPLE. She’s totally like a punk rock chicken at the moment. I’m going to write a story about her if she pulls through. I’m so hopeful that she will. I’m dedicated to her & I think she’ll find a way to trust me over the next several days as I care for her. She’s scared, but hopefully she’ll realize I’m doing my best to help her heal. Welcome to farm girl status Kristin.


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