Saturday, October 29, 2022

Stop & Chat: October 28 - High Highs, Low Lows

The rest of the 27th went about as well as I expected it to. I ended up spending the day outside with the flock. That's where this adorable picture above came from. I was sitting on the Great Wall watching the flock and Kookie and Crumble came and pancaked next to me. I spent a decent portion of my time with the flock loving on these two and telling them how beautiful and adorable they are.

I still can't believe Crumble as gotten so big!!

Friday started off good. We woke up, fed and released the flock, and refilled water. I showered and started on that last load of laundry I refused to touch the day before. Kookie screeched at the door to be let in for Lap Snuggles and egg laying. I got some UO time in.

At 11:45, Kookie still hadn't laid her egg and had started screeching to be let out to explore the world. I was a bit annoyed at her, as I could feel the egg and I knew she would come right back to the door to ask to be let in. I figured she knew best, though, and let her out and went to go hang laundry.

I then started working on blog posts and commenting, in between throwing down Halloween decorations in my UO houses.

It's not anything special, but at least I have a little bit of the Halloween spirit! 

Before I get into this next part, I need to emphasize that EVERYTHING TURNED OUT OKAY. Just to preemptively save your emotions.
At about 1 pm I heard Crumble's distinctive honking sounds. This alarmed me for a few reasons. 1. they were his distressed honks, and 2. they were coming from an area of the property he has never been in before: the sheds where the wild flock roost at night.

I scurried over there and found him on a pile of hay, honking his head off. Since I've experienced this before with Coffee, I knew without seeing the cause that Crumble had decided to chase a hen over and got cut off by a protective rooster. So I grabbed him and brought him back to where I knew Kookie would be, around the caravan.

The only issue was, Kookie wasn't around. I couldn't find her. This immediately alarmed me, as Kookie is not an explorer. She is always either within sight of the caravan, dust bathing under the caravan, or chilling on the steps waiting for the door to open so she can sneak in and torment us with her love. So I started looking for her. 
There was no sign of her. I couldn't hear her. I couldn't see her. She didn't run over at the sound of my voice, or at the sight of me crouching down to check under places. Normally even if I can't see her, she will run over if she sees one of us crouching because crouching = Lap Time, whether we want it to be or not.
I roasted myself alive in the Australian sun for three hours thoroughly searching through each and every place I could think of looking for her. After about an hour and a half, I started crying. She never disappears for this long. Especially since I knew she needed to lay an egg, and she always lays her eggs inside in her bin. She should be at the door screaming at me to let her inside by now. My goal shifted from finding my chicken, to finding my chicken's body so I could at least get some closure.

As 4:00 rolled around, I tried to distract myself from my misery by going to pull down the laundry. As I opened the garage door, I noticed a face out of the corner of my eye that I would recognize anywhere peeking out from behind one of the chairs on the porch.

Poor Kookie had spent a good portion of the hot day stuck behind this chair and hidden behind the metal cart, which originally was closer to the chair and completely hid her from sight unless you happened to catch the one angle that let you see her.

She was dehydrated and seemed unsteady on her feet, so I took her over to the water container and helped her keep her balance while she drank and drank and drank. After she was done drinking, she seemed a lot more stable. I moved her inside to the bin anyway to keep an eye on her, and added some ice cubes to her water to help her cool down. When I checked on her a few minutes later, she was happily foraging around and even gave her normal happy trill at the sight of me. I was initially worried that whatever happened when she got stuck could have broken that egg inside her, and that she was in great danger. I ended up finding the egg where she was stuck, though, and she's had normal bowel movements since then, so those fears have been abated.

The rest of the day was a wash. I had intended to mop the floors and do some more Spring cleaning before the incident happened, but I was too emotionally and physically exhausted. Partner got home from work relieved to see a happy, healthy Kookie (I had kept him up to date throughout the whole ordeal), and he helped me put the chickens to bed when their bedtime came. After that, I laid in bed with extreme nausea and a migraine that kept me from falling asleep to escape my body's response to the day. Instead of that 'oh no I'm falling!' feeling some people experience as they fall asleep, I was hit with 'I hear a chicken screaming in fear and terror!' When I could fall asleep, I was plagued with nightmares about those I love being hurt or dying in various horrible ways. 

So today I'm planning for an easy day in bed. Kookie is perfectly fine today, as is the rest of the flock. I did make a point to come here and write what I could about yesterday while the memories are fresh, but I'm still nauseous and my head is screaming so I'm sure I haven't said everything I wanted to say about the situation. 

Here's hoping your Friday & Saturday go better than mine!

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