Back from the dead

So late yesterday afternoon I got a message from Cindy to call her ASAP which is never a good thing.  When I called her she was crying, she told me that Lucy was gone.  She said she didn’t see her come out when treats were put down.  She was looking on the cameras to see her but couldn’t see anything other than Lucy coming out for some food and water around 11.  She got on her knees and finally saw Lucy laying under the coop by one side.  She was laying in an awkward position, motionless and Cindy said she did not respond in any way.  Hearing this news immediately sent a wave of emotion over me.  I told her I would try to get out early to take care of it.  Cindy had to go teach a spin class.

So the entire drive home I was alternating between sadness and dread of the task of extracting Lucy from under the coop.  I knew it would be emotionally crushing for me.  We had tried so hard to nurse her back to health.  When I thought back to the way Lucy grabbed Cindy’s finger the night before it made me tear up to think that was maybe her way of saying goodbye.

After changing I headed outside with the pool brush in hand for the gruesome task.  I figured the  long extendable handle would allow me to reach Lucy regardless of how far under the deck she was.  After laying down some plastic I layed on my side and saw Lucy’s body laying there.  The visual burst open the emotional floodgates, I broke down crying for a minute or so.

I calmed down and focused on getting her body out.  I fished the pole past Lucy and then started bringing it in.  As it touched her body her one leg shot up in the air.  I stopped in horror, I thought it was some sort of post death muscle reaction.  When I tried to resume pulling her towards me, I heard it, she was making noise….. oh my God, she isn’t dead.   I was horrified and hopeful at the same time.

So I ran to the outside of the coop to the side she was on.  It seemed impossible that the bird was alive, her head and neck were twisted back in a very unnatural looking way but her eyes were half open.  All of a sudden I was in emergency rescue mode.  There was no way I was going to try to pull her out using the pool brush, I instead needed to get through the hardware cloth that the deck opening is covered with.  I ran up to the garage and grabbed tools.  I returned and feverishly started prying out staples and cutting the hardware cloth in two spots so I could fold it down like a flap.  Once I got access I very carefully lifted Lucy out, her neck returned to normal position and she seemed to be very weak but holding on.

I carried her into the coop and set her into one of the nesting boxes.  She was able to sit there while I went inside to get some water and yogurt, one of her favorite treats.   It took some time and patience but I eventually got her to take some water and eat some of the yogurt.  I stayed out there with her for over two hours until Cindy returned home.  By that time she had definitely perked up as she ate quite a bit of yogurt off the spoon I was holding.     She even stood up and walked unsteadily to another nesting box and plopped down there.

Cindy was amazed this is the same bird she had seen earlier laying motionless under the coop.  We agreed that we should let Lucy stay in the house overnight to see how she is.  There was no guarantee she would make it through the night so we would rather have her close to us.  We set her up in the cat carrier with a bed of shavings, water and some scratch grains.  Before bed I saw her eating some of the grains, another good sign.

So when trying to figure out what happened to put her in a near death state it was a crapshoot.  She did lose a considerable amount of blood over the last couple of days before we could get it stopped.  Maybe her blood pressure was really low as a result and she passed out.  Maybe she had a stroke, maybe she had a mini-heart attack, we will never know.  All I know is she is alive and kicking now.

This morning we took her back outside to the chicken area.  We were cautious and separated her by setting her up in the portable chicken tractor.  She appeared to be doing ok, hungrily chowing down on the piece of water melon we put in there.  I will be closely monitoring her over the weekend of course.  Who knows how much time she has left but I know I am thankful that she has more of it.  Never in my lifetime did I have a pet that I thought was dead turn out not to be so.  It was an emotional roller coaster that will not be soon forgotten.





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