Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Ah Poor Lulu

Just had a bit of a shock. It was dark, and a bit drizzly. Keith had just gone outside to make sure the chickens and ducks had all gone to bed. He shouted to me to come down quickly, he added, a duck has attacked a chicken. I ran to get my coat and met him outside to find Lopsided Lulu lying in a puddle on her back with her legs stretched out looking rather dead. I picked her up and she squeeked at me (a good sign) but she was sopping wet and cold and looked very bad. I feared the worst. I took her inside and wrapped her like a burrito in an old towel hoping to dry her out and see if I could revive her. She was breathing heavily but didn't sound like she had taken a dunk in the pond, although she was wet enough to have been in there. She lay in my arms quietly and looked sleepy. I assumed she was in shock so I quietly spoke to her in chick squeeking (I know its mad) hoping she would speak back to me. She didn't. I know when parrots get ill the best thing is to warm them up. Something to do with the heat allows their bodies to overcome what ails them. Once Lulu was warmer I treated her to some corn which she gobbled greedily. Another good sign. I then gave her the ultimate in chicken beauty treatment. A blow dry with the hairdryer. She wasn't too chuffed until she realised it was nice and warm and she allowed me to ruffle her feathers to dry her off completely. She then decided to have a wander round the kitchen squeeking as she went and we had a right old chat. She is now in the cat carrier for the night and hopefully she will join her coop-mates in the morning.

Lulu is so named because she took ages to come out the shell on hatch day and she has a droopy wing. When chicks are slow, they tend to get welded into a curled up position and things like feet or wings or even legs can be so deformed that they die. Lulu could stand and her feet were ok, but she looked like a little hunchback with her droopy side. Lopsided Lulu she became and as such I am very fond of her. She is only 12 weeks old but I wouldn't want to part with her, certainly not yet.

The ducks are not fond of the chickens when they are in duck territory but they don't normally attack. Lulu might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and maybe they did have a go at her. She is timid and at the bottom of the pecking order in her own group of 12 week olds.  I am just wondering if she will survive into adulthood and whether the other adult hens will allow her to live and let live. I do hope so.

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