Sunday, September 17, 2006

Red Rooster, ACEO, oil painting.

When my kids were young, I raised chickens. The kids and I loved the darn chickens. As the chickens grew up, we'd pick them up, pack them around and pet them. We had our favorite chickens of course, some of them liked us better than others as it always is with pets.

Our very favorite of all the chickens was Henny Penny. They were all Rhode Island Red hens, but for some reason, Henny Penny stood out.

One day one of the chickens got sick and it died. It happened again, and again.... I couldn't figure out for the life of me, what was happening to my chickens.

Wouldn't you know it, Henny Penny began to exhibit the symptoms the other chickens had right before they died. The kids were crying, I was crying and we loaded Henny Penny and ourselves into the car and took her to the vet.

Our vet at that time was an old practitioner who everyone loved. He was the neatest old guy. He looked Henny Penny over and treated her just like she was a million dollar horse or farmer Brown's best bull. He couldn't tell what was wrong with her. He said if she died, he could post her and let us know what killed her.

The only thing we could do, was take Henny Penny out to the car and hold her until she passed away. That was a sad day.

After she was gone, we took her back into the vet's office and he took her lifeless form away to do an autopsy on her.

You would never believe what had been killing my chickens. It was me. In my efforts to be kind to them, I'd been dumping the grass clippings from the lawn into the chicken pen. The chickens loved the clippings so much, they ate to many and it was clogging their gizzards.

Doc Reade told us that day to never feed lawn grass clippings to any animal as it was to fine and green a feed and their systems can't process it. He said don't feed it to cattle, horses, pigs, any animal. I had never knows such a thing. But he saved the rest of my chickens.

So that's my chicken story for today.