I lost Bird last night.
She had been showing some signs of weakness,
having more frequent seizures and stumbling.
She stopped eating sometime late Saturday night
and I knew it was nearing the end Sunday morning.
I held her the early part of Sunday night
and then handed her off to my husband
while I took a shower.
When I returned, she was gone.
I found Bird in a farm supply store in town, we didn't hatch her.
She was cross beaked and missing an eye-
it wasn't an injury, she just didn't have one.
We found out later, when she grew larger,
that there was a lid, just no eye.
Occasionally, it would open- after a seizure.
The young girl who was the clerk had been trying
to keep Bird alive but she wasn't always at the store.
They told her she would have to kill Bird
so I took offered to take her home instead.
They thought she had only a matter of weeks to live.
That was back in May. This is November.
She had six months.
She was not only one eyed, but the other was blind,
or extremely impaired.
I had to feed her a slurry of chick food until she was
able to scoop it up in a deep tub.
I provided water by eye dropper
until I discovered I could put her in the shop sink
and let her scoop it up.
Being crossed beak was not nearly as bad
as being totally blind.
While she may have looked a little different
than most chicks, when you got to know her,
she was beautiful. We were her flock,
she would either stand by our feet or sit in our laps
as we would pet her until she purred with contentment
and whistled sleepy little chicken tunes.
She lived inside and had to learn our floor plan.
She couldn't be introduced to the flock,
once they grew up, they tried to poke out her only existing eye.
We upgraded the tubby as she grew,
she would shake her head and send bits of feed
all over the floor so we had to sweep frequently.
So bigger and bigger feeding tubbies arrived.
Bird managed to get along with a little help.
I had a very knowledgeable vet teach me to trim her beak.
He is experienced with all sorts of exotics and
has worked with universities and zoos.
When the temperatures started to cool,
or the air conditioning was on, Bird seemed cold
so I would wrap her in a towel and pet her until
she fell asleep.
Then we started taking trips to the deck so
she could stand in the sun.
I would get the rooster to crow back at me
and told Bird that he was really trying to get her
attention since she was such a beauty.
I think she started looking forward to
hearing that rooster crow and the song birds
fly back and forth to the feeders.
A few times a day we would have a utility sink drink.
I'd pick her up and ask her if she wanted a drink.
She knew "drink" and "food" and probably "sun".
I'd tell her we were going to get a drink
"just me and you"
then tell her she was my BFF- Best Feathered Friend.
The last couple of days all she did was sleep.
Then she would lose the strength in her leg and fall over.
So I propped her in her original small feeding tubby
until she could get her footing again.
But the seizures were just too much for her.
There won't be any more sleepy little bird tunes.
Her tubby stands empty.