Tuesday, April 20, 2010
RIP, Gloria Steinem
We had a pretty rough winter this year. It was hard on us and the rest of the household. The heater was always on, and the snow kept falling. And we were always worried about something.
About three or four months ago, one of our chickens, Gloria Steinem, was slow to come out of the coop. She looked as if she'd lost some weight and she had some runny bowel movements. We brought her inside, gave her some antibiotics and plenty of warm food, and let her have the run of the bathroom for about three weeks. She definitely improved, so when it was warm enough, she went back outside.
Everything seemed OK for a few weeks. She was hard at work finding her place in the pecking order. She ran around the backyard with the rest of the flock and had lots of grapes.
However, she never really put the weight back on.
We did a preventative course of antibiotics with the rest of the flock to make sure that no one was infected or re-infected. Everyone else seemed fine.
Then, on Friday, Gloria couldn't stand. Dave and I worried that she didn't recover fully from her winter illness. We brought her inside, gave her a warm towel, some water, some lettuce and some cat food (they love cat food for some reason), and we went to bed.
The next morning she was still with us, but when we got done with some Saturday morning chores, and I went to check on her, she was dead. Her body was cold. She was gone.
I cried so hard, harder than I thought I ever would for the loss of a chicken. It was something for which I was completely unprepared. But it really affected me. I lost a snake about four years ago, and that was hard. During the winter, as Gloria spent time inside, we got to know her.
I didn't always like her, though. We got her from a former friend that couldn't keep her. She came with a sister and a buddy, Audrey Hepburn and Effa Manley, respectively. All three of them have attitude problems, and they picked on the three chickens we already had raised. She did win second place in her breed in the State Fair of Texas year before last, though, so she had that going for her.
But just because she was pushy, didn't mean that she couldn't be sweet. She was always the first to run up to me during treat time. And she loved eating from my hand. She was a good chicken.
And I miss her.