Cassandra w/the Caribbean Crew

Paperairplanepilot

In the Brooder
Sep 22, 2020
3
25
25
Hi Everyone,

This is somewhat in template order. Sorry its so long:pop I hope you don't mind. And hopefully this is what I was supposed to write?

Warning - There is a sad moment in this story
Second Warning - These are more like house cats than chickens. I don't think I'm weird....but everyone else does:wee.
Let's chat about those chicken diapers?

So this has been quite the journey. Here's our story so far....

I'm currently on St. Croix in the USVI. I've been here since March sort of unintentionally. I bought a one way flight when Covid hit New York. I was previously a manager at a restaurant in Manhattan. Well, I now have 2 roosters and 1 hen, also unintentionally. I don't think I'll be restaurant managing in Manhattan again anytime soon.:lau
*I do not plan to live here. I am departing soon (That is why I do not have a coop yet)

On St Croix the chickens run wild here, literally everywhere. I found my chicks in a busy parking lot. They were up in a courtyard of sorts that was connected to a bank. It was fenced off and about 4 ft or a little higher from the ground. I got a ride to the store (since I have no car here as a "tourist") but I was there about 45 minutes early before the store opened (my ride had an office meeting from 7:30 until 11am). I was trying to figure out something to do, so I walked through the parking lot to find an open store. Instead, I found chickens :D. May 26th, 2020

There were 4 little babies peeping away, looking for their mother. So I waited with them nervous that they had no mother. I watched and thought of what I could do to help them. I decided to give the mother a chance to come back and I went to do my shopping. I also bought some little bird seeds thinking it was better than nothing is they were stranded there with no mother.

I returned at 10:45 to see if mom had appeared. -Still no mom- So I decided to bring them with me (to my resort room :p). I really didn't have a way to get to them though (because of the fence) so I just stared at them and held the empty shoe box I brought from the store. I think the line of local people at the bank probably thought I was crazy. Some how, fate intervened and the lady from the bank came out with a trash can to collect them and find them a safe home, at the same time I was staring and willing them into my little shoe box. She was happy to give them to me.

Now to find my ride. And confess why my shoe box is peeping.

The first few days were like getting dressed in the dark. Its warm here but at night I would put a hot/warm water bottle under a towel in a box for them to snuggle up to. The days were long and difficult. I had no chicken feed for the first few days so I acted like mother hen and gathered bug after bug alllllllll day long for them. Eventually I had someone bring me starter feed but at that point they were too picky to eat it. So here starts my mother hen journey of dirty hands and sitting in the heat all day for the next 2 months.

My room was off to the back of the resort close to a part of land no one could see. After the first week and a half, they started rejecting the little bugs I was bringing to them, so I was worried about them getting enough to eat. At first I would carrying them in a box to the "buggie gold mine" but after a few days I realized they would follow me closely. They would trail behind me like they do with momma hen. *I really miss them like that* At this point I started using a stick for my bug digging, duh! The best places are under the settled leaves in the moist dirt. Roaches galore! I promise you I never was so happy to see a bug in my life! I would let them eat until their pouches (crop?) was full and then I would bring them back. We would do this several times in the day.

These were the absolute longest days that ran into weeks. I could not do anything, if I walked even 2 feet from them, they would peep like crazy. *Remember I'm on a resort. I was trying to keep them a secret* They needed to be by my side at every second:love

******** Here's the sad part. ********* This is a very difficult day for me and an extremely painful memory. I wish I had this community on that day.
It was just like all the other days but they were at the stage of just starting to use their wings. They were a little big faster and would zoom. I brought them outside and let them trail behind me up the small hill to our private spot. We had started our bug searching. I had always been mindful of where they were but I had not gotten used to them using their wings yet. I knew where they all were at that moment but I didn't expect one of my little babies to move under my foot. (I'm crying from how painful this memory is). This moment is one of the worst things I have ever experienced. I was in disbelief. And I started hysterically crying and profusely apologizing. I was panicking, so I called my mother. My 3 chicks huddled near me and knew something was wrong. As I was crying to my mom, they went back to scratching for bugs. I was watching them. But I couldn't stop crying. I was sobbing and 2 of my chicks wandered 4 or 5 feet farther from me than they normally do. When I wiped my tears and looked back at them, another one was gone. A mongoose had taken another baby. I was tortured by the instant heartbreak. My one job was to protect them and I failed. It took me a long while to feel ok again.

I continued to raise my two. We eventually left the resort and went to a new friends house. But I have never had a coop for them. The next several weeks they slept in a bathroom at night. I moved locations again (my friend left the island) and I now have a "cage" they stay in at night and they roam the bushes during the day. It took me a very, very long time and a lot of coaxing from friends here, that they will be ok outside without me constantly watching them. I let them sleep in a tree maybe 4 times and I let them sleep outside in their cage maybe 8 times. But with out a proper coop or protection from the elements, I am not comfortable leaving them outside. I couldn't sleep at all the nights they were sleeping outside. I was constantly checking on them with a flash light.

Now I mentioned having 3 chickens. I have since rescued a third dude. My new locations has a lot of roaming chickens and the local neighbors know them very well. I screaming coming from the bushes one day. It was horrible. So I rushed in and a flock of chickens ran away. It was their own fight club. I swear I thought he was just about dead. He was covered in blood and both his eyes were puffy and shut. He was still screaming when I picked him up and I'm sure the neighbors thought I was crazy. I think I thought I was out of my mind too, but what else should I do?

I cleaned him up the best I could. He resisted my touch at first. His eyes were swollen and bloodied shut for the first several days. My housemate told me he was the big-dog on the block for a long time. He had fallen from his king status. He is approximately 3 years old, give or take. These are purely wild birds here. He has never been touched, so it must have been bizarre to him at first.

He wouldn't eat for the first 3 days. Day 4 I decided to puree some foods my other two chickens would eat. I started with a very liquidy consistency and increased the thickness by the next meal and the next day I added chunks of food to it. It was a very happy success to see him eat. I switched him to solid food the evening of day 5 and voila he now eats when I tap and shake his bowl.

He is completely blind. I don't think the fight caused this blindness. His eyes are intact but grey on the inside. I need to help him eat every day but otherwise he is still doing his rooster thing. If anyone has any advice of caring for a blind chicken feel free to let me know. I was advised to put him to sleep by a local bird woman at the sanctuary here - but I am still able to provide the care for him that he needs, so I don't think that's necessary.

To end this long story - I have been trying to leave this island for months! I was desperate to find a way off the island with them. Here's a laugh for you - I was so desperate, I even got all the paperwork for an emotional support animal (to be fair, I do have anxiety and I have cried many times over the thought of leaving them. I've refused to leave this island because I won't go without them. Does that count?). Anyways, I very actually purchased a ticket to the states and submitted all of my paperwork. After some very funny phone calls filled with a lot of silence and "ma'am is this for a chicken?", I was officially denied to fly with them. Well, at least I tried:confused:.

I have since scoured the island once again for options. I spoke to the pet store owner who suggested the post office (I previously was very skeptical of this option). I now have boxes and the appropriate foods for them for travel. I've been waiting for a good weather day, and I believe that tomorrow is the day! if everything goes as planned they will be shipped to Wisconsin tomorrow and I will follow behind them. I've written a nice note on the boxes for the postal workers, I am hoping they will read them and care about their survival. I am extremely nervous about their journey and really hope they make it there safely. I love them with my whole heart.

Besides that, I will be happy to be in a new locations and ecstatic to get them out of my room and into a coop (Which smells like a farm half the time - Ewww - But I love them and what can I say, I'm a devoted mom. I'm all in or all out!)

I'm going to answer any of the things I missed from the template here:

(1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens?

1) I am "new" to chickens. I have never owned them before but I have had an odd obsession with chickens since I was little. I've held my fair share of chickens all over the world.

(2) How many chickens do you have right now?

(3) What breeds do you have?

3) These are Caribbean game chickens. If anyone knows a specific breed let me know. But I assume they are a mix of breeds from Europe and other places.

(4) What are your favorite aspects of raising backyard chickens?
4) My favorite aspects. I find it amazing that I can call to them in the bushes and they will answer me. When I call them to come, they usually do. And they always come home to me at sundown. They will jump to my arm when I put it up. And the cuddles warm my heart. My young rooster is turning into the macho man, so he doesn't love his mommy as much any more. He even walks over and nips me sometimes, for no reason. But my sweet hen comes to check for me all the time and is the best cuddler.

*Worst aspects with a positive spin - If only I could have $1 for ever time they pooped!

(5) What are some of your other hobbies?
5) I am an avid traveler. I have avoided having pets for many years because I am horrible at setting down roots. I have been to over 20 countries and always have some plan in the works to live anywhere than where I am living. I eat sleep and breath travel. Anyone who knows me finds it strange that I would allow myself to be tied down by chickens. I was on my way to living in Ecuador after Covid settled down a bit, when I strapped myself with a group of chickies. Turns out you can't bring US chickens to Ecuador. (Anyone know any different?) So here I am, not traveling and still on this island (that oddly I have been dreaming of leaving) 6 months later, all because I love my chickens too much and could never abandon them or rehome them (unless it was a temporary rehome - like summer camp:D)

(6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share.
6) I also rescued a cat with the intention of fostering her, HA! yeah right. I don't know what's going on with me, allowing these animals to tie me in place. Ahhhh:eek:. I think the universe is trying to settle me down. And now everyone keeps telling me I need a baby after watching me care for my chickens. Haha!


(7) Bonus: How did you find BYC, how long have you known about BYC, and what made you finally join our awesome community? :D
I've seen this site over the years but only recently kept coming to it for these 3 I have now. I finally joined because I wanted to ask for proper dosing instructions of pyrantel pamoate (new post coming soon). And I figure this is a great resource of knowledge and its nice to have a community of other chicken lovers close by. Everyone here tells me that all I do is talk about chickens all. the. time. Hahaha
:p


If you made it to the end, Thanks for reading. If you didn't, I'm sorry. Haha
 

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piminuse

Songster
Jul 17, 2020
362
1,499
161
Portland, OR
Hi, and welcome to the flock!

Goodness--what a tale! I started reading it and then had to restart it and read aloud to my husband...you've got us doubting on how much we actually like our birds lol! What an amazing, inspirational and entertaining story (aside from your unfortunate losses). You remind me a bit of Guirec Soudée and Monique! You could def have a blog/insta account following your chicken adventure.

Again, welcome, and keep us up-to-date with your journey!
 

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