The last time I did a Chooks post (The Chooks: #41), I was celebrating the bringing together of all my chooks, making them one flock.
My jolly mood did not last.
For one, Soup crowed and had to be eaten; the family did not know that they had Soup on their plate, while I neither enjoyed the deceit nor the home-kill procedure. As with any trial, I was focused, and because I was trying to be like my mother, I was efficient and tidy, and the chicken curry was good, I’m sure. But I found it all awful, and I could not stomach the food. Because of my robust ideas about home kills, I may give it another try, but I hope it isn’t any time soon.
And secondly, Soup, till his last free moments, and the other chooks were cruel to the silkies. Blue being too timid, often avoided being attacked, but beautiful White was an extrovert and wanted to be part of the group, and suffered for it. She ended up with neurological damage—constant convulsions and seizures. I then separated the silkies, Blue and White, from the rest, but it was too late for White. After a couple of weeks of this, I had to put White out of her misery, and doing this was no fun, as you can imagine. I hope the lemon tree planted over her does well. Blue was now alone in the wooden coop, which was a waste because she was practically impossible to see through the mesh, because of her dark coulour.
Thirdly, Summer started deteriorating again. She hadn’t been laying ever since her ascites scare, but she had amazed us by her recovery from near death. Now six months later, she was clearly near death again, and I did not treat her this time. She hardly ate and became weaker by the day, till one evening, seeing she could not walk any more, I wrapped her around with newspaper to keep her warm, gave her some water to drink with a syringe, and left her on some soft earth. I think she knew I wished her well. By morning, she was dead.
The winter months do not encourage one to spend time in the cold with the chooks, other than the quick dash outside to feed them. They stop laying too, which gives me one less reason to bother with chickens over winter.
But with the coming of spring, I wanted to bring lonely-and-blue Blue indoors where I could see her. And infact I brought her in to live in our lounge, after giving her a bath and hair-drier treatment.
Her living quarters are very basic, comprising a simple, open cardboard box with food and water and a bit of space to move about. The cardboard box led into a cage, which is covered with a blanket for darkness, to serve as Blue’s bedroom.
Chicken activists may murmur about Blue’s cramped living quarters. But Blue doesn’t walk about much and tends to stay almost motionless wherever you place her. Food and water do interest her, but other than that she is very laid back. She even allowed my two-year-old grandson to sit on her. OK, he did not actually sit on her in the end, but he was intending to, and he could have, and Blue did not seem to care.
I have always thought that she was female. But till she either crows or lays, I cannot tell for sure, and she is kind-off over due, I thought. Surely, I could not have a chicken that does neither!
I did mention that Blue does not take the initiative to do anything for herself—so, as usual, tonight I went to send her into her dark cage to roost. That is when I saw it. A cute little egg at her feet.
How exciting! Finally, she has come of age and will earn her keep. They say silkies lay about three eggs a week. Let’s see.