Sunday, 15 March 2009

Hanging in there

I fully expected to lose Delilah over night, but this morning I found her alert but sitting in the nest box. Her face is still far too pale, and she's still not able to move around properly. Good news is, it's not the dreaded Marek's disease, as she isn't paralysed at all, just very uncoordinated.

I opened the coop to examine her, and she made a determined effort to get out of the garage to freedom. I'm pleased by her spirit, but saddened to see her struggle to clear the step which Mini lightly leapt over. It took D a few attempts, and absolutely exhausted her. She stumbled off into the shrubbery, and lay there with her beak open trying to get her breath. The others came over to investigate, muttering chickenny greetings, before wandering off again to eat bugs.

Leaving her to lay in the sun for a few minutes, I came inside to prepare chicken comfort food. Chickens adore porridge, mixed with water, raisins and a bit of poultry spice. When I carried this concoction to the garage, I was mobbed by a flock of greedy birds. When they saw me put said treat in the hospital wing, they stalked off muttering chicken obscenities. I collected D from the shrubbery, and put her near the porridge. With great effort, she turned her back on it and dragged herself back into the coop. Now, she's either extremely unwell, or this is D's spirit shining through. It would be just like her to tell you to naff off, even when you've gone to lots of effort.

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