We made one of the biggest mistakes I can think of in raising meat birds. We named one of them. Her name is Purple Bird. I think you can probably pick her out of the flock.
See, a few days ago, she got into a tiff with another chick. I don’t know what happened. I only know that when I went to feed the chicks in the morning, she looked like this.
So I washed it, applied Neosporin and separated her, but she wouldn’t stop scratching at it. By evening, she looked like this.
Out of desperation, I taped her legs together so she couldn’t scratch. That earned her a spot in the house where we could watch her, make sure she could get to her food and water OK, and, well, so we would not feel quite so bad for the little chick. At the feed store, I purchased a bottle of antiseptic which conveniently dyes everything it touches purple, including hands, sinks, walls and birds.
And, as my husband pointed out, spent way more on the bird than it was worth. Actually, the Cornish crosses had been marked down and I could have bought nine for the price of the antiseptic. Not to mention that Super Saver just ran a special on rotisserie chicken that would have allowed me to buy two for what I just spent.
“But,” I sputtered. “Well,” I continued. “I know,” I concluded.
I felt bad taping her legs together, but every time I took off the tape, she scratched. So she sat immobilized next to her feed dish watching the children watch her for three days. When I felt too sorry for her, I went out to look at her former brood mates. All the Cornish crosses lay motionless next to the feed dish, watching the other chicks run about and play. It’s kind of what they do.
Then, it finally warmed up. I took her outside and was pleased to note that in the sun and grass, she was too busy scratching at the ground to scratch at her wound. She was starting to show signs of recovery with the swelling gone and nothing but a nasty looking scab. She followed me around, chirped at me and tried to follow me into the house when I went in for the tape and antiseptic when it was time to put her back in her pen.
That’s when I couldn’t help myself. Looking at that lost puppy dog look in a chicken’s eyes I couldn’t help but sympathize,
“Oh, Purple Bird.”
And suddenly she was named.
My husband may have to dispatch this one. I named her. She follows me around. She stops crying at the sound of my voice.
But I think it probably isn’t healthy to feel this attached to your dinner.