It’s official (at least in my world it is) stress and anxiety do not kill you – because if they did I would be worm bait after the weekend that has just passed.
Richard’s mum, Betty, came for the day on Saturday. Betty is 83 and requires watching every step she takes. She vehemently denies this but it’s true. Richard picked her up and when they arrived back at the house I said I was just popping out to research chucks for sale at a nearby small holding. To cut a long story short, Betty wanted to come so we all toddled off with me rammed into the back of the car. The small holding in question was run by a very suspicious character, smoking a roll-up and looking in desperate need of a dental hygienist. Neither of these things should matter regarding the purchase of chucks but they did because frankly the chucks looked as stoned as their owner. Betty hadn’t been allowed out of the car because the tarmac was too uneven, so, feeling sorry for her, because she had missed out on the exciting viewing, I suggested going to the farm where I brought my previous chucks and frequent for straw etc. Betty was delirious with anticipation so off we went after telling the pot-smoking chicken farmer that I needed to make a few alterations to my chicken cage and then I’d be back. I’m such a bloody liar when backed into a corner.
The farm was a good few miles away and as we approached the lane leading to it the road was blocked by an accident. We then had to detour for God knows how many miles before we actually arrived at the farm. Betty struggled out and with help from Richard (I galloped off ahead to view the chucks!) managed to arrive at the viewing area in one piece. She then went into rapture of ‘ohs’ and ahs’ and ‘oh Gail you must buy some,’ – and so I did. Two of the bloody things. Well, you have to keep these elderly ladies happy, don’t you?
I should point out that this was on the hottest day of the year and as we detoured back with Betty and Richard in the front of the car and me and two boxes of chucks sliding around in the back, apprehension settled in my daft head. What had I done? Did I need more chickens? Wouldn’t Dust be fine on her own? Wasn’t she going to die anyway?
Eventually we made it home and after massive rearranging of water, feed and grit pots we had Dust in one side of shed and the two new chucks in the other. Within seconds the maran (no name yet) attacked the other chuck (no name yet, either) and the attacked chuck ran off looking for a place to hide in the outside run. Then Chea walked down the garden and they both went berserk, flying into the wire and hitting the log perches. The timid one, whom will probably be called Flight, because it is constantly running away from the other one, squawked the place down. I looked at Richard and said, ‘it’s very noisy isn’t it.’ He didn’t hear what I said because the sodding thing was so noisy and he said, ‘it’s very noisy isn’t it?’
Betty had been entertaining herself in the house all this time and so I sent Richard in to keep her company. The manic one (Flight?) was still shrieking, in between trying to leg-it away from the maran, who kept taking deathly strikes at her head. Dust had cleared off up the garden and didn’t seem to appreciate the arrival of her two new friends at all.
I stood with my hands over my ears while Flight carried on being utterly terrified of Chea, who had long since sloped off and was nowhere in sight. I knew I had to take the stupid thing back. I couldn’t cope with such a vocal chicken, let alone the neighbours! This met with a deathly stare from Richard who calmly (because his mother was here) said, ‘you want to take it BACK? Through ALL those detours? In THIS heat?’ I nodded. I know when to say the least possible!
Whilst Richard was putting on the TV for his mum and grabbing car keys and getting changed I crept back to the chuck shed. I stood looking at Flight, who had at least stopped squawking. She kinda looked at me with those startled chicken eyes and that was it. Poor thing. What were her chances if she went back and someone horrible bought her? She needed me. So I went back to the house and announced, ‘I’ve changed my mind. I’m not taking her back.’
Richard didn’t say the words, ‘Make up your bloody mind you neurotic woman!’ but I sensed the words floating through the hot air towards me!
I will calm her. Dust is still separated from them. She is in no state or condition to be set upon by the maran – in fact, I might call her that. I did have a name for her but it was the name of someone I know who is also a bitch and a bully and the person might just twig it? I currently have Dust on a seven-day worming programme. This morning she was sitting, so I think she will come back into lay any day. If necessary I will put Dust with Flight together and demoralise Maran a bit by letting her live on her own for a few days. I’ll see.
Things are calming and I’m sure, in a few days, all will be well. I’m nothing if not optimistic! I can’t imagine I’ll be at the letting-them-out-into-the-garden-stage very soon. I think baby steps are required here. At least they both took corn from my hand last night so we’re on our way…
Take care my lovelies x