Kitty is my “handicapable” pet chicken. She was attacked by a cat before she came to stay with me, and has a little difficulty getting around. She can do her chicken thing just fine, although she isn’t very graceful about it, but she tries. We had some bad downpours a week or so back, and well, poor Kitty somehow managed to get stuck in a brush pile overnight in the rain. When I finally found her the following day, she was soaked, on her back in a puddle, and couldn’t walk or stand up. She would instantly tip over and her head would point skyward. I thought she had some type of stroke on top of her old injury flaring up, or maybe her little chicken brain just can’t work when it’s upside down.
Anyways, she was quite pathetic and unable to fend for herself. The other hens started picking on her too. Knowing that she was going downhill, I placed her in a chick brooder with a heat lamp and hand fed her chick mash, corn and suet, hoping she would turn around. The next day she developed an audible pneumonia and could only lay on her side with her wings stretched out. I began to see she was suffering, and I started making preparations to euthanize her, but had a bit of a moral dilema in regards to how it should be done.
She is a pet afterall, doesn’t lay, and I have always made special efforts to keep her safe and fed above the others, or lend her a little helping hand if she couldn’t quite make it to a perch. It didn’t seem morally “right” to slaughter her, so I opted on humane euthanasia at the vet the following morning, giving her one more night to turn around.
Imagine my suprise when I walked into the coop the following morning, and saw Kitty standing upright at the feeder and waterer drinking and eating on her own. Even when she was near death, she never gave up. She wouldn’t just lay there waiting for death and quietly slip away. She made every effort to cling to life even if it ment dragging her body across the coop floor to peck my feet so I would pick her up. She is the embodiment of the term “plucky,” and has safely secured a permanent place in my heart, not the table.
|Kitty, the morning of her miraculous recovery.|