Squeamish, girly, and blonde.
In three words, that’s me.
And I guess there’s no changing any of that.
I thought that moving out to the country would somehow magically turn me into this “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar ” kinda country girl that I’ve always wanted to be.
You know…like those women who can milk a cow or a goat with their bare hands. The ones who don’t bat an eye if a mouse happens to scamper over their bare feet. The ones who have the guts to hug their chickens one day and butcher them for dinner the next. The women who can deliver their goats’ kids in the middle of the night with no vet for miles around.
That’s the kind of woman I had dreams of becoming…
It didn’t happen.
So back to reality.
Today the kids and I picked up our order of chicks from the feed store.
While we were checking out, I noticed that one of the chicks seemed a bit lethargic but I figured, “Ah, she’s probably fine. Just sleepy.”
I honestly couldn’t think very clearly with my son loudly proclaiming his love for the cute little fuzz balls while I was trying to sign the receipt with a pen that wouldn’t work. And my daughter, whom I was holding because I forgot her shoes again, was trying to get down and touch everything.
After we got home, though, and I started placing the chicks in their new little home and this little one I had been worried about definitely looked much smaller than the rest.
As I was placing this chick inside the pen, I felt some gross stuff stuck to its belly.
I touched it!
Oh, the horror!!!
I washed my hands with ten different hand soaps and yet I still can’t put my fingers near my mouth. So gross!
I flipped through all my chicken books on raising chickens, to find out what I could do to help this little chick out. I found out that new chicks often have a “pasty butt” problem. (Their words not mine.)
To resolve the issue, it just said that I needed to wipe the chicks bottom with warm water and a washcloth.
Great! Sounds like a simple solution that my husband can handle. <grin>
I called my husband, who was at work, and begged him to come home and rescue me from the sick chick situation.
I went over all the reasons why I could not handle this situation and all the reasons why he most certainly could.
And to no avail. He said he just couldn’t come home early. I pleaded…
Not even to save your wife from farmish calamities? Not even to save the life of a poor sick chick? *cry*
Well, the thought of that little chick having to suffer until hubby got home outweighed my fear of touching an icky chick. So, in my desperation, I decided to pull up my big girl panties, ahem, my purple nitrile gloves, and help that little chick out myself.
And not because I’m a cool country girl but because I’m a sappy city girl that tends to cry over poor little sick chicks.
I took the poor little limp chick in my protected gloved hand and brought it over to the garage sink.
The belly of this little chick was covered in chick poo, egg shell, and green gagable grossness. Seriously traumatizing stuff for both the chick and me, but mostly me!
Well, the warm washcloth technique was accomplishing nothing. I mean this icky stuff was stuck on like super glue and it wasn’t budging. The chick in my hand was squawking at me and I was really stressing out at this point.
I decided to try running a little warm water over the chick’s belly to free up the ick instead. Chicky hated that more. So did I.
And then for one awful moment the chick went limp and I thought it had died in my hand! I looked that chick straight in the eye and told her “Don’t you dare think of dying in my hand!”
This poor chick couldn’t handle the trauma it was undergoing and I wasn’t getting anywhere so I dried her off and just made her as comfortable as I could.
I went back into the house and walked around in circles, stewing over the situation.
What was I going to do now? I could not handle having a dying chick in my care.
Then it hit me.
Take the chick back to the store!
Duh! Of course. Why didn’t I think of that in the first place?
Off to the feed store we flew!
During the drive, the poor little chick would squawk and then fall silent, causing me to say, “It’s okay poor baby! We’re gonna be there soon, Honey! Just hang on a little longer!” And then during periods of silence, “Don’t you dare die on me! Don’t you even think about it! You stay with me, you hear me?”
The feed store owner was none to pleased to see me again, even though I had called ahead and explained everything.
And unfortunately she had no clue what was wrong with my chick either. She admitted that she had never owned a chicken in her life and vows she never will.
Maybe you’re in the wrong business field?
I seriously think I need to find a new feed store to frequent whose owner is knowledgeable in raising chickens.
Well, we came home from the feed store with a much healthier looking chick, although we were all feeling sad to have left our little sick chick at the feed store.
And I’m not at all sure what our little chick was sick with. It really looked like something more serious than “pasty butt” but I guess I’ll never know.
All of the rest of our chicks are doing well so far.
Happy healthy little fuzz balls. Thank goodness because I’m just not capable of handling sick poultry all by my lonesome.
In a couple of weeks I’ll check back in and show you just how quickly these adorable little fuzz balls grow into ugly stinky teenagers. <wink>