Along with all the joys of animal ownership equally comes hearbreak and sadness. That is the price we pay. Sometimes it doesn't seem fair, but given all the joy that our animals give us..the sadness is worth it. Now I may have a hundred chickens out there and in the house and on the porch and everywhere...but I love each and every one of them. Over half of them have names and I remember all of them. You just have to give me a minute to run through my memory and I will tell you who is who.
The heat has finally taken its toll on some of my birds. It was inevitable I know. It happens every year. Last year it was Willie. This year it is Roseanne that has been taken. I have a trio of Sumatra. Johnny (yes, Cash, who else, the man in black), Roseanne, and June. We lost Roseanne to the heat day before yesterday. I am really pretty disheartened about it as all the babies that I hatched this past Spring I sold to people that wanted them. So, I am left with a pair of Sumatra. I really hope that I can hold on to them and not lose either of them as I do want to make more little baby Sumatras next Spring.
I also have lost Flo. Now I don't have any picture of Flo. She was out of my first hatch of Japanese Silver Phoenix. Bless her pea pickin heart she became crippled about three months into her life. Being a breeder I should have a hard heart and be able to cull the unfortunate ones with such defects. My daughter pleaded with me not to do her in. She related to that bird more than you know. You see, Shelby had a plantar wart come up on the heel of her foot. Plantar warts are very painful. We went to a foot doctor, a quack was more like it. He told me not to bother buying the over the counter freezing agents that they did not work. Like a fool I took his word for it. Shelby was only eleven years old and that man took a freezing spray and froze a part of her skin under her ankle, then proceeded to jab a needle into a nerve that was supposed to be deadened by the injection. Oh but he missed. He originally wanted to cut the wart out. Oh, no, we were in a state of hysteria by the time all this had come about, and I made the decision that Shelby had had enough, and we were leaving. He prescribed two medications to put on it that was supposed to make it go away. We went on for months with the treatments, all the while she was in pain and her way of walking was compromised. She began walking on the side of her foot to avoid the pain the wart caused with the pressure of walking on it. For so long it deformed and reshaped her heel bone. OH YES. Now we have a whole new set of problems. The X rays at the NEW foot doctor showed deformity. All this caused from a doctor that did not do what he needed to do. Now here is the clencher. I was beside myself for letting this all happen. So, I went and bought the Freeze Away for Plantar Warts. Guess what. One application and the damn thing fell off and that was the end of it. I hate doctors, I won't lie. I don't trust them. It is an experience like this that makes me leary of going to a doctor unless it is absolutely necessary. So now my daughter has to wear special inlays to hopefully correct this malformation, which will take a long time. If it does not work the doctor said surgery would be a last resort.
Now, I got way off track...but you see, because Flo was crippled, and Shelby was also, in a way, she felt sorry for the bird and wanted to keep her. Well alright then. We did. But a crippled bird can only last so long. Believe it or not she lived for about a year and a half. I had to keep her feathers near her rear trimmed short to keep down the mess, and she was on freshly changed shavings constantly. She could sit up to eat, and to drink. Never layed an egg. Her wattles and comb never fully developed, but she was a sweet bird, always one to talk to you when you walked by her. Always willing to be petted or held. Her legs and feet were just no good for her. So she is gone now, and I have to say I am a bit relieved. Keeping a handicapped chicken is a job sometimes.
I have also lost three of my golden phoenix chicks. I believe they are just not able to keep up with this heat. It has just been too hot. I have a fourth that is feeling poorly and have isolated it with medicated water and medicated food, but I don't think it will make it. So I am down to three goldens that I hatched for myself this summer. I don't know if it is an actual ailment...because it is not affecting the Polish or the Serama cockeral I have in that pen. I don't know what it is, I just know I am tired of finding dead bodies. I am tired of the heat. I want FALL. There I said it. Its out, yes, I know I will regret it, as Winter follows Fall...and Winter brings brutal temperatures with brutal wind chills here where we have no cover. But for now I wish for Fall.
Here is a couple of nice pictures of my Sumatra out enjoying the green grass and sunshine on a less broiling torturous day.