I know that I have told some of you bits and prices of this story, but here is my whole story about Rey. I hope you enjoy it! Rey Hello, I have a story to tell you about a very special, sweet and strong chicken that I am very privileged to own. Her name is Rey. I received Rey along with 14 other chicks as a birthday present from my brother. I got 7 Partridge Plymouth Rocks and 8 Golden Laced Wyandottes. Two breeds very high on my wish list. Rey is a Partridge Plymouth Rock. I was determined that I would not let a single chick die as a baby as they sometimes do when they are very little. I brewed teas with Oregano and other immune boosting things like garlic. I gathered all kinds of herbs, all for different things; Peppermint was for respiratory health, Rosemary for feather growth, Violets for good circulation, so on and so forth. My efforts were not in vain. By the time they were 2 weeks old, I had not had a single fatality and I had 15 bright eyed and bushy tailed little babies. I decided to create some sort of a make shift brooder inside my existing chicken coop so that my older chickens could see the chicks and vice versa. I decided to make something that looked much like a chicken wire box. The bottom of it was stapled to the floor of my chicken coop; chicken wire is very sharp when cut. I did not think I would have any problems though; it was touching the ground how could they get hurt on it? I was wrong, one little chick tried to slip under and out. An extending piece of wire got stuck in the back of her neck. When she moved, it slashed down her back. She fought it for I do not know how long, my sister peeked in on them and found her. When I ran out there to get her out, I thought she had met her demise. I began sobbing, but carefully worked to get the wire out of her. Upon getting her out, I realized she was alive, but I did not think there was any way she could possibly live. She was 2 weeks old and had a 1 ½ inch slash down her neck and back. I felt terrible; I knew that it was my fault. But I am one of those that cannot stand to put something down when there is even a miniscule chance it will live. Thank goodness for our wonderful veterinarian friend. We took little Rey to him and he said she had a chance. He put a stitch in her where the wire had stuck into her tiny wing. (Envision, if you will, an adult male’s hands stitching up a two week old chick.) Though the wound looked terrible, day by day, it began to heal. Rey was lonely and became extremely affectionate towards humans. Her favorite thing ever was to ride around on my shoulder while I fed the rest of the chickens and pigs and various other animals. One warm morning, I was feeding the animals with Rey in tow; I was hurrying because I was going to go on a hike with my family and some of our friends that morning. Rey was NOT happy when I deposited her back in the rehabilitation brooder. As I changed from muck boots to hiking shoes, she jumped up onto the rim of her brooder and flew to the top of my head. At that moment, my mom walked out into the office and gave me the ‘’what in the world am I going to do with you’’ look. I did not think she would say yes, but I asked anyway if I could take Rey on the hike. She actually said yes! So with a paper towel for any car accidents, a Mason jar lid for water and a chicken on my head, I got in the car. The ride was mostly uneventful. Upon reaching our destination, Rey happily settled herself in on my shoulder and we began the 2 mile hike. We reached the top about an hour later. At that point, Rey had become a celebrity among my friends. I tried to set her on the highest point and take some pictures of her, but she would not let me get far away from to take her picture before she began cheeping loudly and following me. I then realized I had not brought her any food. So she got to eat sunflower seeds from trail mix and she ate 3 cherries. On the way back home she was so tired. She curled up in my lap and slept the whole way home. One week later I returned her out with the rest of the chicks. After little Rey’s unfortunate incident, I moved the remaining chicks out to a chicken tractor that we raise fryers in. We did not currently have any fryers, so it worked out perfectly. They had grass and bugs to eat, and in a safer environment. Or so I thought. I and my family have been raising chickens for 3 years. We have never had a single predator attack. The chicken tractors can be dug under, but we have put cinderblocks where the holes are and never had anything happen. 7 weeks later, the chicks were not really chicks any more. They were on the brink of being pullets at 10 weeks old. I was starting to think about putting them in with the 25 bigger chickens. I just had not gotten around to it yet. One morning, I was feeding all the animals, a little later than usual, and I walked down to the pen where they were. As I opened the door, I could not believe my eyes; five Golden Laced Wyandottes lay in a pile. Rey lay next to them, in a dead looking position. I started crying so hard. What had happened? There was no blood, no missing body parts, and just 6 dead chickens in a neat pile. They could have smothered each other (not very possible with a complete set of adult feathers in the first week of August). Did they die of a disease? (Nobody had been acting sick, and the remaining ones looked healthy). I picked up Rey, and she moved! I looked so carefully at all of them and realized they all had tiny little puncture wounds on them. How could that killed have them? I asked myself, they were just tiny little wounds, and it did not even look like any of them had bled out, chickens get worse wounds just from pecking at each other all the time and live. Rey was in a terrible state; she could not move, her legs were stiff like rigor mortis had set in even though Rey was not yet dead. Her eyes were so wide and her comb was ashen colored. ‘’Oh Rey, I said to her, you pulled through last time, but I don’t think you can do it this time.’’ But Rey has been so special to me; I decided to give her every chance I could. I set her up a spot where she could heal. She just lay there. The next day, her head was up and she ate a little bit. After 2 days, she came out of shock, but was still terribly weak. Bit by bit, Rey healed, one day she could stand, but if she tried to take a step, she would fall over, the next; she could walk if she leaned on something. It took 3 weeks, but she finally reached a point where she could fully walk without using her wings as crutches. 1 month later, she is mostly healed; she still walks a little funny, but once again, my little Rey of sunshine pulled through. I think a weasel got my chickens and sucked their blood, but for whatever miracle reason, Rey lived. She still does not have the balance to ride on my shoulder, so instead, she feeds the animals tucked under my arm. I hope soon, she will be able to go out with the rest of the chickens. Thank you for reading my book.