Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kiep and Fowl Pox - Maree

Last night I dreamed of chickens,
there were chickens everywhere,
they were standing on my stomach,
they were nesting in my hair,
they were pecking at my pillow,
they were hopping on my head,
they were ruffling up their feathers
as they raced about my bed.

They were on the chairs and tables,
they were on the chandeliers,
they were roosting in the corners,
they were clucking in my ears,
there were chickens, chickens, chickens
for as far as I could see...
when I woke today, I noticed
there were eggs on top of me!
- Jack Prelutsky

I got 2 hens from Solly, and they hatched their babies (10 clutches of eggs each!) at the beginning of this year (2011), one under a plant in my garden and the other under an old LDV canopy lying on the lawn. I hadn't had any chickens for a couple of years and I only now realised how much I missed that.

I've had my fair share of trouble with them, had an outbreak of Fowl Pox (similar to our Chicken Pox), which is caused by mosquitoes and I had to get some spray from the vet to keep the coups mosquito-free. For several weeks during that time I had teenage chicks in my make-shift "hospital" in my Studio, having to put ointment on their eye area three times a day (which is really the only place the mozzies can reach) and giving them and antibiotic prescribed by the vet. Even Kiep, one of the babies and my pet hen shown here, who spends her days sitting in a drawer in my desk in my Studio, watching me sketch and work on the computer, did not escape this onslaught, but luckily she was extremely healthy and strong and it lasted only a day or two for her.

The funniest thing was, and I actually felt like a bit of a fool, pitching up at the vet with one of the first chickens that got sick, in a basket, as I didn't know what it was - the symptoms were lack of appetite and closed and swollen eyes, resulting in chickens walking around blindly, not knowing where they are! I was beside myself! I did get some strange looks from other people visiting the vet with their cats and dogs, but the vet was VERY understanding and said I had caught it fairly early and that it was a good thing I had brought the chick in.

Kiep as a baby

You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets!
~ Nora Ephron


  1. what a lovely post and a beautiful watercolor of a real beauty!

  2. Thanks ever so much Laurie and yes, she's a real darling!

  3. Good Lord, Maree! You must have been frantic! I love your watercolor. I can see the love :) I's love to have a place where I could keep a few chickens. It's a fond childhood memory and I so love reading about yours.

  4. I really was beside myself PJ, but luckily that seems to be over now. And you're right, I certainly DO love Kiep, and she in turn is very loveable towards me, often hopping up onto my lap to just sit! Pity you can't have chickens right now, maybe one day....


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