BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Update - Possible severe concussion? I hope we've stabilized...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Update - Possible severe concussion? I hope we've stabilized... - Page 2

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Excellent suggestion! She has showed zero interest in the feed (as I said a large part lentils - nutritious stuff!). I will try that trick tomorrow! She has gone for the bread soaked in vitamin/mineral/electrolyte water. So I think we're getting some good food in her and will continue to do so.

We finally got to talk with our friends, the owners, today! They got the whole story and were genuinely appreciative of our efforts. I think seemingly-cavalier attitudes were largely motivated from not wanting us to feel pressure. They are due back Sunday - late afternoon/early evening. They have said they will pick up the Babs' home care where we leave off because...

...the next steps are actually a long story. I don't know if the BYC forums support private messaging, I'm in a bit of a time crunch right now. But we run a website that chronicles the journey we're on. Message me if you want the link! The short story is we're aspiring homesteaders that have left the corporate and government careers behind. We want to build a micro farm based on permaculture, sustainability practices and an increasing sphere of ecological awareness. Out of the blue (i.e. just yesterday) doors have opened up to investigate a land purchase in the area we've been watching closely for a long time!

All that to say, we'll make sure Babs is comfortably housed late Sunday morning and our friends should arrive in the afternoon to take over. We'll be on the road by 6AM Monday (Sunday PM being spent getting ready for the trip) to drive 10 hours to the area where we will check out the parcel. We'll be gone for several days (as we investigate some other homesteading leads) and our friends have said they'll be happy to continue Babs' home care efforts while we do so.

If we could take Babs with us, we would. But we don't actually have a home for her yet. We learned she is going on three and one of the older of the flock. So it seems fitting to let her remain in her home while we gallivant for a few days chasing our dream. I would love to have a home for her. She's a strong character! We will either end up with an avenue to acquire our own land, or we won't. If we do, she is welcome to go into retirement under our care (she obviously won't lay much longer). But if we don't find land...

... then our friends' one acre parcel has actually been opened up to us as a space to build our desired tiny-house-on-a-trailer - an integral part of our micro farm ambition, If things go that way, then we'll spend each day building in the yard that is Babs' home anyway!

Life can be poetic like that sometimes :-) That you so much for your care and support!
post #12 of 14
I hope your friends take as much care of Babs as you have, and I hope your road trip turns out well for you. It sounds like a great adventure you are planning. Several BYC members have done similar things - check out the other forums and you will find all sorts of information.
Let us know how it went when you get back, and keep us updated on Babs. Finding out what happens in the long run often helps other people in similar situations.
Edited by KayTee - 3/28/16 at 3:01am
 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello, KayTee... this is LONG overdue but life laid the challenging path that made it take so long.

 

I'm very sorry to report Babs did not make it. As our friends took over her care when we left, they did everything they could. But, in spite of the early positive signs, she had increasingly stopped eating and drinking as we neared our departure. Those trends continued after we departed and it was a downward spiral leading to the inevitable end.

 

We are very sad at the turn of events. Though this is the fate of all of US - not just our chickens! Babs was a tough spirit and we are grateful for the time we shared with her. It was surprisingly all-consuming for a time, but I know we did make her as comfortable as possible, and she was better off for a short period of time. I certainly hope we can learn to care for illness and injury MUCH better...as sad as we are at losing her we know this is inevitable with all animals that come under our care. One must learn to be a compassionate caregiver, but not too caught up in the end everything (including ourselves) faces.

 

We learned so much from this experience; we are not dissuaded from our direction forward. But it does drive the seriousness of the task home.

 

I don't know if you or any other BYC folks are familiar with Buddy Wakefield. Although he is a powerful and hugely successful spoken word poet he is passionate about chickens; he (and other close collaborators) wrote about the experience of raising chickens in a publication they hilariously called Henhouse (a tongue-in-cheek parody of Penthouse). You can find it on Amazon and I'd HIGHLY recommend it. It is charming and joyous as it is honest and uncompromising. In it they had a feature section the called How NOT to Raise Chickens that concluded with the statement "Raising chickens is a commitment, not a fad!" as an injunction against flippant participation in the art of back yard chickens. We are not harboring "Pollyanna" illusions about the process, and we most definitely still want to do it...

 

Our trip ended up being terribly stressful and, ultimately, an unsuccessful outing to find land for our future mini-farm. But it pushed us so far that we began to think along new, unconventional avenues. As we followed those leads we realized our future farm might not be so "mini" (e.g. constrained to less than one acre) after all! Our new direction might least us to the other side of the country, yet we might also wind up having several acres! If we do, not only will there be intense vegetable gardening and chickens, we might have goats and be able to grow our own feed as well!

 

This is a HUGE undertaking and goats are surely are even more complex creatures to responsibly care for than chickens... we've WWOOFed a fair bit, worked with goats and LOVE them, but it's a big step to go from caring for them on someone else's farm to owning them yourself!

 

After more than a week of working like crazy in California, trying to secure a parcel of land, we ultimately failed. We only made it back to town last night. Struggling through mountains of catch-up we only learned about Babs' ultimate fate just a couple of hours ago. So this is the fastest we could give an update. I wish it had a more happy ending to report.

 

We will remember Babs always as we move forward - both out of fondness and as a cautionary tale that we are signing up to take other creatures well-being completely into our own hands. Her namesake, by the way, is from the Aardman Animation production Chicken Run. A silly, but heartwarming feature. 

 

We really did everything we could, especially considering our lives are pulling us mightily in other momentous directions. I hope no one finds fault with our actions. We really were dumped in the deep end on this one. I'm hoping we can get a more gradual transition into in- depth animal care moving forward.

 

Thank you to you (and everyone else at BYC!) for being so diligent in your help and concern! Our WWOOF hosts have delivered babies by hand, sutured up their own goats, hand-wrangled and administered shots to countless alpacas... life with animals is not always easy. But it is good. I hope will be worthy caregivers in our future endeavors.

 

Rest in peace, dear Babs. We miss you. Yet may we always be learning and improving as caregivers...

post #14 of 14

I'm sorry the land search didn't work out for you hoopyfrood - no doubt something else much better is in the pipeline, just waiting to be found.

 

You are perfectly right about our responsibility towards animals - the only thing we can do is to care for them as best we can.  Obviously we would prefer to make them well again, but if it means simply making them comfortable at the end of their life then so be it.  We are always on a learning curve - every animal we keep and care for teaches us more about how to look after them.

 

I am sorry that Babs didn't make it, but at least you know that you did the best you could for her, and you will be more prepared for when you get your own flock.

 

All the best for your future adventures. 

 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Update - Possible severe concussion? I hope we've stabilized...