Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Of Shifting Pet Chickens and Passages

We lost Elonwy, the grey Polish hen, last night. Poor girl suffered from hip displasia from when she was a chick, and her body was always twisted, with one leg sticking backward and slightly up. Undeterred, she would hop on one foot, and act otherwise normal. Hens with that sort of deformity usually don't make it more than a few months, but she made it to twoyears. She even laid eggs, which is ultimately what killed her.

She's suffered serious prolapses before, and the last one was the worst. I didn't expect her to make it, over a week ago. (No details. You don't want them.) But I managed to get her temporarily patched back together, and she had several days of being back in the yard, hopping around and socializing normally. But I figured the next egg would kill her. Andrew found her huddled in a corner yesterday, and we took her inside. We were talking about putting her down, but I checked on her this morning, and she looked natural, sitting up like always, but when I touched her, she was growing stiff. I think she went peacefully.

Interestingly, when I got home last night, Birdie (the tiny silkie whom we thought had been lost, but was found starving and stuck in the garage) was still outside, and I'd put away all the chickens and it was late. So as not to disturb the roosters and Elonwy, I put her in the living room. She usually just tucks herself into a corner and falls asleep. When I woke up this morning, she was asleep -- on me. She'd apparently slept perched on my torso, most of the night. (Andrew says she was on him, part of the night, too.) She's so light (she's very tiny--her size is all fluff-based illusion), I didn't even notice her. It was very charming. Another house chicken?

It's always the underdogs we root for, isn't it? The ones who overcome adversity. Birdie will probably always be small, having starved at a crucial point in her life, but she's here. RIP Elonwy, our "Pogo Chicken," but welcome into the world of pet-hood, Birdie. Looks like she's ending up as a member of the family.

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