I told you in my last blog that I feared for Flight, that I thought she was on that downward spiral to chicken heaven – or should that be an upward spiral to chicken heaven? Possibly.
For days I tempted her with the odd squashed grape, watching while she cocked her head, as if half blind, to stare drunkenly at it until Little barged in and scoffed the grape in one. I tempted and wiggled cooked spaghetti beneath her tightly closed beak …until Little barged in and scoffed it in one.
As Flight grew thinner, Little grew fatter. I will be renaming her Big at this rate.
And then – Flight pecked at, and swallowed, a grape seed. An hour later she murdered an ant and managed to eat it after 4 attempts. I left them out in the sunshine for most of the day and by roosting time she had taken a few bits of lettuce and a piece of banana. Obviously not the best diet for a chicken but I didn’t care, anything down her throat was better than nothing. The following morning she looked a bit brighter and again spent most of the day in the garden, in the sunshine, pecking at a few strands of grass and occasionally accepting my humble offerings. I breathed a deep sigh of relief and for the first time actually thought that she might not be flapping up to chicken heaven.
The following morning saw her hunched up again and refusing everything. She remained that way all day and into the following day. I went to bed that night knowing beyond doubt that she wouldn’t see the sun come up.
Weirdly, Richard was up at the crack of dawn (it’s OK to say this as long as I don’t mistakenly spell dawn with a capital D) and when I came down ten minutes later he had let the chucks out. Little was bouncing on the spot, at the gate, waiting for me and my delicacies, and Flight stood some way behind her. Amazed to see that she was alive, let alone standing, I grabbed the only thing available for their morning treat – a piece of Victoria sandwich base that I’d removed from the freezer the previous night. As I approached the gate they spotted the cake. Little continued bouncing in expectation and Flight trotted to the gate to join her. As I crumbled the cake they BOTH dived on it and devoured it. Yes! Bloody devoured it!
Was that it? Was my home-made Victoria sandwich the answer? Well, I can’t say for sure but all I will say is that Flight took some lettuce, dandelion leaves, a few grubs and more cake yesterday and this morning she snaffled more and is looking much brighter.
Of course this could all still end in tears because she has bounced back before and then deteriorated again …but I am slightly more hopeful. I also put her on garlic and cider apple vinegar as I suspected a bit of sour crop. Not sure if this is having, or has had, any effect but it’s certainly jazzed-up Little, she’s running around the place like a creature insane, tail feathers flying!
Today I shall attempt to get Flight to take something more sensible but …if cake is all she will stomach right now, and admittedly only a teaspoon at a time, then cake it will have to be. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Spring grass, vitamin D and home-made Victoria sandwich is on the menu just now …
To be continued …