Sunday, February 13, 2011

A phone call, baby chicks and geese

What an eventful day today was! We started the day off by going to Lifepoint Church. After church, tim realized he had a voicemail. It went something like this "This is Greg, calling from the Post Office. We have a box of baby chickens here for a Jessica Griffith. You can come pick them up now if you want". What? We were expecting them tomorrow. We had one quick stop to make before driving an hour to get them. Our one stop was to pick up our new pair of geese. Remember I mentioned them before? We now have a goose and gander! We dropped them off at the house, changed out of our church clothes and drove down to Frederick, to get our newest additions. Little did we know this morning we would be returning with over 32 birds!

We arrived at the post office (did you know the shipping dept is open on sundays? I sure didnt!) and retrieved our box. As we were walking out of the post office, our box was like a chirping alarm. Man those chicks are loud! Once we got in the truck, I couldnt resist opening the chirping box. One chick, I sadly declared dead. He (or she) was laying in the corner, neck crooked and beak open. His (or her) eyes had never even opened. All the other chicks were standing on their feet, chirping loudly (i am sure in search of food and water). Hubby drove and I sat with the box, monitoring all the chicks. As I glanced in, I noticed that the "dead" chick was barely breathing. Now, if the chick really was dead, I could handle it. Its part of life. But I wasnt about to give up on a "mostly dead" (to quote the princess bride) chick. This chick was not going to die on my watch. I scooped him up, careful to support his head. The poor thing couldnt stand up, or even lift his head. I gave him some water by dipping his beak in a water bottle cap. Slowly he would drink and I would lift back his head to swallow. By the time we got home, he was still struggling. We set all the other chicks in the brooder. Hubby showed them each how to drink and they were off. Hubby set up the heat lamp and we admired our healthy chicks. I returned my attention to our sick one. We fed him sugar water and put him in a bowl with his own heat lamp. Hubby and I settled in on the couch to watch Glee. After each episode I would feed the poor chick more of the sugar water concoction. As I was holding him, he slowly opened one eye. Then another. Then he chirped. He would try to stand and lean and fall over. Once he was down, he wouldnt have the strength to get back up. We would prop him back rightside, where he would stand until falling over again.

I am now proud to report that he seems to be doing fine. His chirping is louder, he can stand without falling over. We put him in with the others, so that he could join his kind, have the warmth of their bodies, and try to eat and drink on his own. He will require lots of checking up on, but I believe our "mostly dead" chick can now be counted amongst the living! Its a miracle!

As I went out to do our afternoon check of the farm animals, I couldnt help but smile. The goats were playing in their pen. Jumpy was standing on top of their dog house igloo. Meanie was scratching her back along the chain link fence. Jackie and Billy were standing together. The chickens were running about, enjoying the freedom that warmer weather brings. The geese were checking out their new crib and looking for possible escape routes. I was overtaken by contentness. I love this farm! Sure, there is a ton of work that needs to be done. Yes, the goat pen is smelly. But there are baby chicks again in the bathroom. The hens are producing 3 eggs a day. The goats are growing by leaps and bounds. Hubby and I start beekeeping classes next week. By the summer there will (hopefully) be bees buzzing around. Life is good. And I am thankful for that!

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