Chickens die, it is a fact of life. Sometimes by our hand, other times by one of the many predators looking for a tasty meal.
So what is the value of a chicken?
You can hatch a chick in 21 days, and it takes another 4 months to for it to start laying and contributing. For one hen, about 15$ in food to get the first egg.
Hens lay (on average) 5 eggs a week, and eggs are sold for $5 a dozen. . . so lets say each chicken contributes $6 or 7$ back into the family farm each month.
So, what is the value of a chicken?
Not much. They are a prey animal, and bred to be disposable.
Except in our family, where their value lies in their personality.
She is a Japanese Bantam hen. She lays pretty little white eggs- perfect for a snack, and far too small for baking. She is a friendly hen and frustrates me to no end when she wants to dust bathe in our burn pile ashes. She waddles when she walks since her legs are so short.
Francisco has a funky cheek. We have tried looking in there to see what is happening (note: it is virtually impossible to look inside a chickens mouth) but this lump just keeps on growing.
So we took Francisco to the vet.
My hubby mumbles that under his breath by the way, “we took a chicken to the vet” ???
My husband looked at the bill after our visit and shook his head, saying we were probably the ONLY person the the island who would take a chicken to the vet and pay $90 for a “monetarily worthless” creature.
I responded saying that the vet mentioned she did eye surgery on someones chicken once. . .
We took Francisco to the vet because it is the responsible thing to do (and lord knows I am responsible. ALL THE TIME) We took her to the vet, hoping this was a quick fix, but if not, open to information that would tell us she is in pain, or it is unfixable.
We took her because even though she is “just” a chicken, she is a pet, and all our little pets deserve to be loved and cared for.
The vet checked out Francisco’s little cheek, stuck a needle in and pulled out 2cc’s of air and a bit o’chicken slime. She will test the slime and see what we are up against.
Francisco’s cheek sagged, and then promptly refilled with air as soon as we got her home.
And no, I am not taking her back to the vet.
Francisco IS a lovely chicken, and far too small for even the stock pot, but my assessment of the situation is that her cheek isn’t bothering her, and a simple fix is NOT going to make her prettier. . . so she can walk around as our little chubby cheeked chick until things change.
But my being able to sleep at night was well worth the money to take little Francisco to the vet. . . and goes hand in hand with owning any animal, even just a chicken.