Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Trial by Chicken Poop

This morning a chicken pooped on me. Thankfully just on my apron. And not to get to graphic, but this was a HUGE icky runny poop. Ah well. I'm thankful I have chickens, so I rinsed it out, treated it, and washed it. No problem.

I went in later and noticed that the sand in the brooder was not working out. It coated the poop, disguising it as delicious chicken food. Totally fooled the girls. So.... I spent an hour moving the sand over, cleaning it, sweeping the brooder (it's big - 4x8 feet), adding pine chips to the main part, cleaning water and feeders (because that's where they poop. There and everywhere else.) Sigh. Yeah! I smelled of chicken poop but everyone is happy and clean (you know, everyone except me - I was happy but definitely NOT clean).

All right - nearing the end of the day. I did do a bit more than chickens - not much more, but some. Then at 5ish, we were checking on the chickens, and my daughter and I noticed something odd around one of our little butterscotch chicken's mouth. What was that? I pulled at it and what the heck? A black string? A little tug and a squawk and oh no please no. It is stuck. In my favorite chicken. No. No. No. A little more tugging showed it was stuck on her tongue, a tongue that was turning blue.

Immediately we wrapped up Spice in a towel, jumped in the truck, and took off, calling the vet on the way (twice by accident - in my panic I thought I called the wrong vet, but it worked out). The girls sat in the waiting room and I went in to the room with the vet. My sweet girl sat so quietly, crying out when the vet tugged the string, which was now twined around a tongue that was more blue than purple. Oh no.

The vet looked up and said she was concerned. Very concerned. We were at the point where there may be no return - should we anesthetize her and try to save her, or put her down? I said RUN - get the stuff, we are giving this girl a chance!!! I signed papers and they ran to the back. I sat in the room and cried, looking down and realizing that Spice had pooped all over my shirt. Maybe for the last time. I had a talk with God, crying and asking for that chicken to come home with me. Until I got tired and got to where I needed to be - whatever happened, God would take care of her one way or the other, and I could trust that whatever the outcome, he would work it for good. I'd be sad, very very sad, but I could still trust Him.

After about one million hours (translation, 30-45 minutes), they came in with a slightly drunk Spice, smiling. They had removed the string and after working on her for a while, got the circulation going in her tongue. Not out of the woods yet, but hopefully after keeping an eye on her, 5 days of pain meds, and 10 days of antibiotic, maybe this girl will be ok. Whew. I burst into tears, which made the vet burst into tears, so we all cried from happiness and stroked my little sunshine girl.

As I paid the bill, she pooped on me again. Good. That little body was still working. We drove home and made sure that no more string was available, spending another 45 minutes reworking the brooder (it was the tarp under the straw - an edge was exposed and a frayed string caused the problems.  I don't know who pooped, but someone got my leg but good while I cleaned. And another pooped in my chair but I did not notice and sat in it. Ew. But it was all fine - while we watched, Spice ate a bit and drank, slightly slow but acting like a normal five week old chicken.

Now we wait for her to poop tomorrow to make sure she's doing ok. And my clothing is in the wash again, along with about half a gallon of vinegar to disinfect it. After my shower, I feel clean and no longer smell of a chicken toilet. And we will wake up filled with hope and joy,... waiting for the poop.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground but by the will of the Father. And even the very hairs of your head are numbered. So don't be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:29-31
(you knew it had to be that verse, right?)