Friday, August 7, 2009

Don't Count Your Chickens

I have not kept you properly updated on Chicken H's flock. I might have mentioned that he brought home some chickens from the auction, that one of them 'had a cough', and killed all but one of our Leghorns with the spread of this disease. Yep. Those 8-eggs-a-day layin' Leghorns are now deceased. They didn't all die at once, but lingered, getting weaker and weaker, a hen or two at a time, until finally the plague had run its course. The Pony had a tough time, what with Chicken H commanding him every day to check on the chickens three times, and report their symptoms.

Once all but one of the Leghorns died, The Pony snapped out of it. There was more joy in Hillbillyville, as The Pony skipped to the chicken house to check for eggs. Imagine his glee when one of those black hens started setting. Chicken H decreed that she should be left alone, and that The Pony was not to collect the eggs from that nest. The total eventually reached 5, and Chicken H announced that we would hear the pitter patter of little yellow feet in about three weeks. I told The Pony that was about the time school would be starting. He was quite excited about the impending bundles of joy.

We went to school this morning around 9:45, and returned home at 1:30. When he got up this morning, The Pony checked on his chickens. He reported, "No eggs, and that brown hen is still fighting with the black hen." This has gone on for several days. The black hen would get up for a few minutes, and the brown hen would take over the nest. Then the black hen would resume her throne. The first thing The Pony did when we got home was grab his little Easter basket and take off for the chicken pen. When he came back, he was crushed.

"Mom, the black hen and the brown hen had a fight. I know, because the black hen is out in the pen with a bunch of feathers missing and some just hanging on, and the brown hen is on the nest. And all the eggs are broken and the chicks are dead in the nest." There were tears in his eyes, and he was trying not to let them leak out. I felt SO bad for him that it made me cry. All this time, he had faithfully checked on those chickens, waiting for the stork to bring him some baby chicks, and now he was the one to discover the massacre. He called his dad and told him. Chicken H was full of questions, but I told him that I was NOT sending The Pony out there to check again, and that I was not going, either.

Chicken H left work 30 minutes early.

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