About Me

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I am a 42 year old woman that is about as happy and content as one person can be. My husband of 21 years and our 15 year old daughter live on five and a half acres out in the country. We moved from the city four years ago and never looked back. I homeschool our daughter. We also love our animals. Our daughter has a miniature horse and two rabbits. We also have a border collie, two cats (again), two pot belly pigs, four peafowl, three emus, 2 llamas and an undetermined number of chickens, lets just say ohhh about 200. I have many breeds, from layers to fancy chickens. I love poultry shows, I love fowl in general as I have come to find out through having more than just chickens. Chickens will always be my first love though. I do show some of my birds occasionally.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Something Is Wrong

This is Mazda. I believe I talked about him a long time ago...but it was before I had made so many more friends, so I will tell his story again...and then tell you what is wrong, and you will see why I have brought up Mazda.


Mazda1 Mazda2

Nope, your eyes are not playing tricks on you...this is not Phoenix, it is Mazda. Last February I went to my first Poultry Show. I was showing my pair of Japanese Silver Phoenix. In the sale barn there was a silent auction going on of various fowl. This little man stole my heart when I saw him. He was not tame at all, but I could fix that I told myself. So, on the little index card dangling from his cage I put my bid in. The auction would be over at noon...and I had a couple of hours to kill so I went roaming about looking once again at all the show birds. I came back later to see someone had outbid me. So, I up the bid...and as I did some snot nosed teenager came over and put a higher bid. So I said okay, I am gonna take this bird home whatever it costs. So, here we go, it is like a dang Ebay auction bidding war except it was transpiring on this index card. Back and forth we stood there scribbling higher and higher...til the auction was called over. Well you guessed it...he won out. I was more upset than I thought I would be...I wanted this bird in a bad way. His father came over and saw me standing there fretting and wringing my hands in despair at my loss and says to me

"I will sell him to you for 50 cents over what we paid."

I hollered "DEAL!" and slapped the cash in his hand.

Needless to say his son was not pleased at all...no he was not. He made me nervous and kept hanging around the pen of this little bird. I was afraid he would steal him...it has happened before I have been told. That is why you really should take your win and put them in a pen and get themput away...but Ian and Shelby had come along...and they had grown weary of the show and went down the way to visit some friends of ours that lived close by. I had to call and get him to come back and get tihs bird so I could relax. He did, and I relaxed.

So you may be asking why his name is Mazda. Well, it just so happened that after the poultry show we had plans to go and look at a car for Ian. A MazdaSpeed, a performance version of the Miata. The little man went with us of course, and all the sales people were just enthralled with him and I had folks coming with their phones and taking pics with the camera feature on their phones. So, we named him after Ians car. He was already taming down by the time we were leaving with Ians car.

Got to save all this, I am so afraid I will get signed off or something...so there is more to this story, I will be back in a minute.

Four months passed..February, March, April and into May. Mazda became a great little pet. He was much more independent than Phoenix..but still friendly. Like Phoenix, he enjoyed human attention, treats, neck scratching. He spent his days out on the screen porch and came in at night to sleep on the back of the living room couch. No pillow tent or anything like Phoenix had to have...just the back of a couch would do.

In May...he began to experience a light molt. He lost little feathers and then some big feathers...a lot of his wing feathers. After a couple of weeks of this...it was apparent he was not feeling quite right. He seemed sluggish and was not eating with gusto. I started him on antibiotics, a vitamin and mineral supplement, VetRX, everything I could think of. The days passed. He got worse. He became very lethargic. I had to use a dropper and force feed him the medicated water. Nothing was working.

I had moved him to the back of the couch in our bedroom so I could stay with him and moniter him. He slept atop a bedpillow with a towel over it for cleanliness...it was layed on the back of the couch resting up against the wall for support.

One morning as I woke up to the alarm and got Ian up for work I turned on the light to check on him. He wouldn't stand up on his own anymore, he was barely alive...I started crying as I picked him up...this is even now breaking my heart when I think of it.

I carried him over to the bed and laid him down as I knelt down beside the bed. He began to convulse...it was awful, it was so traumatic...then, he was flipping around, I was crying and crying...and then it was over...he was gone.

How could I get so attached in just four months? I have no idea. It just snuck up on me and happened. He is buried out by the back step with a big red stone on the top of his grave. My daughter wrote hima good bye note and we put it in the box with him...along with a lock of my hair and her hair...he loved to preen our hair. It was all just so sad.

June and July passed and life went on. The sadness subsided and summer was on full blast with pool time and friends over...July 4th celebrations, fireworks, cookouts. He was gone but not forgotten.

Should I try to get another? I asked myself, and found myself not ready yet. The man that bred this made up breed was in Lagrange.

My long time friends mother developed cancer, and it took her in a months time. The funeral was in August. I went down to be with my friend of course.

On the way back...I had a plan already in motion. Yes, it was time. I was close...I was in Columbus...I could ride right through LaGrange in Highway 27 and pick me up a new little man. I had called ahead of course and set it all up.

Pausing to save again....I will be back in a  minute.


So, I arrived at the mans house...and we went to the back to see all his birds. WOW...he had a million little Mazdas...only three months old. (actually, they are not called Mazdas...lol...they are called Blue Wheaton Sports) Now let me tell you something. This is a made up breed. You take a brassy back blue roo and a wheaton hen, and you get a Blue Wheaton Sport. This is his own personal conglomeration. He took out three...wild and crazy guys...put them in three seperate cages for me to look at them and pick one. I stuck my hand in each cage, to see what the response would be. The one that didn't freak out won out. I took him home and he took right to us all. He was fantastic. Maybe a little too friendly for a while...he was all over us, followed any of us everywhere and wanted to held all the time! That is why he ended up with a pillow tent for a bed, so we could get him to go to sleep somewhere besides on us! LOL

So, with Mazda dying at a year and four months old ( I got him when he was a year old) I am paranoid and ever watchful of Phoenix. We never found out what was really wrong with Mazda. The breeder told me, sometimes, they just die, and thats the way it is.

I give Phoenix a bird vitamin supplement in his water every day. I want him to live a long time. Little chickens can live fifteen years. He doesn't get white bread as a treat like Mazda did, only wheat.

Now comes the news...the something wrong.

Phoenix is right over a year old now. Yesterday morning he slept too late. I got him up, he seemed bleary eyed and sleepy. Took him out onto the porch...no crowing, no dancing around...just stood there. Hmmm....I watched him throughout the day...and that evening I tried to give him his wheat bread...and he wouldn't eat it. I weighed him. He had lost 70 grams. That is alarming considering he only weighed 570 grams. I immediately started him on antibiotics, vitamins, VetRX. This morning he slept late again. He was up at 7 am. I took him outside to the porch...nothing...dazed...not waking up like a little roo should. So I dosed him...and we went and laid back down. he was shivering...cold. I pulled the blankets up onto him and me and we slept soundly for two hours. He was back up at 9...and talking some. He seemed a little more animated. We went outside to the back porch again. He got down, crowed a couple of times, went running from one side of the screens to the other to see what was going on out there in the yard...dancing. After a few minutes of this, he got tired...and went back into sleepy slow mode. I picked him up and cradled him, rocking him for a while as he closed his eyes.


Please God not again. I prayed that this was not happening again. I don't think my heart can take it. This is not like loving your dog or cat, this is different. I can't explain it, it just is. He is sitting down a lot...on the porch floor. He DID eat some this morning at 9, so that was encouraging.

I am giving him two days too get better. If there is no improvement I am taking him to an avian/exotic veterinarian. I had to use one once before for the iguana, so I will go there. I will do what I have to, I don't care if it costs...I don't want to lose him...my heart would break.





Why would I think there is a connection in Mazdas illness and Phoenixs? Because it is a made up breed. I am afraid the genetics of the two being bred have a flaw. A flaw that shortens their life terribly.



madcobug said...

I am sending up a prayer for sweet little Phoenix right now. I am just wondering if in all breeds of chickens some cross breeding takes place to get the breeds just as they want them. Don't they?. Maybe this is just an accident this happening. You may want to keep a close eye on the new chick and if things start to go wrong with it the person who is doing this breed of chicken needs to be notified as to what is happening so he can stop that particilar brand of breeding. Let us know how Phoenix gets along. Helen

mosie1944 said...

Usually, with cattle and other animals, if you cross two breeds they have what is called "hybrid vigor" and are stronger than purebreds.  Unless these two breeds of chickens share some genetic flaw in common.

geocachelinda66 said...

Awww this is so sad, I think there may be a genetic problem.  I'm so sorry and I hope Phoenix will be ok.  Linda

btmchickenlady said...

My prayers go to you for Phoenix. I myself have lost a favorite chicken for no reason. Also have lost new birds when they came round to almost yr old. Im not positive because I am no expert, but I believe it is inbreeding. People sell PAIRS. What they dont tell you is that they are brother and sister. Most people dont think of that. Thus inbred babies. Wouldn't cracked corn put weight on him? I really hope he makes it, I have enjoyed him since you got him, reading all the stories. *hugs*

plieck30 said...

I'm sitting on the edge of my chair for this one. Touching entry. Paula

wwfbison said...

Prayers out to you and Phoenix for sure.  It's so sad you are going through this ~ I truly hope he turns the corner and gets well soon.   Loving something is so intense.  It makes no difference if it is the "traditional" pet or something exotic, love is love and the heart breaks just the same.  I cried for days when my first Koi died ~ some people thought I was nuts, they just don't understand.  Please keep us posted on Phoenix, I will be Praying to hear GOOD news.

grahamfarmga said...

Hi Kelley
I'm sorry about Phoenixs. I know to well how heart breaking a lost of a pet can be.