There’s a Chicken in Our Bedroom
Having a chicken in your bedroom could work out to be a problematic scene, or not. It all depends on the circumstances. Most people would find it awkward, if not downright bizarre, but when you live on a farm, you have to get used to the fact that you must be flexible.
First of all, it was not a full-grown hen but, rather, a ten-week old chick, and instead of being raucous and squawky, like the ten older coop-mates, she was quiet, docile, and thrilled to be warm and cozy, even if the rest of her age-bracket, were still out in the covered coop, snuggled up together, until the rain passed.
We have regular, run-of-the-mill, clucky hens, who are seasoned veterans of the farm, and we have around fifteen of these ten-week-old chicks, who are still too young to be mixing it up with the older hens. When I say we, I mean, of course, Casey and Amber, the directors of HappyDay Farms, which includes the chickens, and now the recent arrival of three male hogs.
When the rain, which has been very rare and sporadic this spring, arrived on Monday morning, Annie and I were still in Willits, not arriving up on the mountain until around ten in the morning. Annie has a vested interest in the chickens, as she took care of them full-time, before she took up residence in Willits, due to health issues. Now she keeps an eye out for them, and acts on their behalf, when the need arises.
Well, it was raining pretty steadily, when we pulled in across from the chicken coop, and Annie got concerned, enough so that when she took a closer look, she determined that the little chicks were not faring so well. She got on the horn to Casey, who beat a hasty path to the coop, in time to rescue one of the little peepers from out of a shallow hole, in which the water was alarmingly deep, at least for a little chick.
Annie and Courtney rounded up the rest of the little chicks, put them in their mobile cage, and brought them into our bedroom, where I had lit the big stove, now radiating heat out strongly enough to encompass the little chicks. Except for the one, all recovered quite well. However, that one poor chick, wet, bedraggled, and obviously suffering from hyperthermia, did nothing but lie there limp and all-but-dead.
Casey took the piece of flannel that Annie had provided, sat next to the fire, feeling dejected as though it were he that had been left out in the elements. He rubbed it gently, watching for any sign of life, while he made small talk with me, as I leaned over the railing, and watched with mild amusement, as he tried to coax this little, insignificant chick back to life. At one point, he said, dramatically, “Its eye just flickered.”
Eventually, the little chick let out a weak peep, and it was only a matter of time before it was up and about, even eating a little, indicating that it had survived the ordeal, and would recover nicely. However, spending the night outside, even in the midst of its sisters, was out of the question. Hence, the decision to invite it to spend the night in our bedroom, right next to that hot wood-stove.
Just don’t get the impression that if the same thing were to happen to one of those three pigs, that it would also be spending the night in our room.