We started off with twenty-six baby chicks and six days later, we are left with twenty-two. One died during the flight from the hatchery and the other three passed over the last couple of days.
It’s an interesting experience, watching these little guys grow and change. Without even thinking about it, you find yourself sneaking into the guest bedroom just to ‘check in on them,’ calling them little pet names like ‘lil buddy’, laughing at the silly things they do like run around in circles, gawk at how much they poop, and then you realize fifteen minutes has passed and you’ve just been hanging out with baby chicks watching them live their little lives.
The rational side of me knows that these little guys have a purpose and honestly, that makes me respect them even more. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do this but I’m surprised by how I’ve been able to detach myself more than usual. Kind of.
Over the last couple of days we’ve had two little guys that were struggling. Saturday morning when I came downstairs, I found that one of them had left this world for someplace else. To my surprise, his counterpart was still fighting hard. David and I realized that if this guy was going to make it we would need to help him out a bit. Not the first time either one of us has played Dr. Doolittle. We both have experience tending to our poor sick or injured pets so we felt rather equipped with the necessary skills to save this little guy. Or at least do our best trying.
We took turns going into the room every hour, helping him drink so he wouldn’t get dehydrated and ironic enough, we were told to hard-boil an egg, crumble it up and feed it to him. We were rooting for this little guy and honestly, I think a little part of both of us really thought he would make it.
Last night David came out from checking on them one last time. With him he was a plastic bag, tightly closed off, holding the delicate little body of that little baby chick.
“He didn’t make it.” David said.
“Really?” I relied with a pouty lip.
“It’s just kind of sad. I mean I was really rooting for him to pull through.”
“I know, we both were. But he’s in a better place now. He fought hard and we did absolutely everything we could.”
As we cleaned out his brooder and replaced it with fresh bedding and half of the thriving chicks, David and I sat in silence. It’s possible we were both thinking the same thing.
What have we gotten ourselves into?