Charleston, West Virginia’s City Council has a new law governing just how many baby chicks a person can buy. The new law amends a law that had been on their books for five decades. The prior ordinance had stated it was unlawful to sell baby fowl, such as chicks, ducklings, goslings, or turkeys, in lots of fewer than six. Now businesses and breeders can sell just one young fowl. There was a time when families bought a dozen baby chicks as an Easter present. No more.
It seems that people buy the fluffy, adorable little chicks and forget that they can grow up to be big, pecking chickens or roosters. A chicken more than doubles it’s weight every two weeks until it’s full grown. The Animal Shelter in Charleston said that someone brought in a chicken that was given as an Easter gift. Sometimes people dispose of them especially if they are bought in larger quantities because they really only wanted one. It is not recommended to buy more than one since most people don’t have the space to keep them. And it saves unnecessary disposing of baby chicks.
Our dad bought us a dozen baby chicks one Easter when I was 12; it was common for families to get them for the kids’ pleasure for Easter. Our baby chicks survived the fondling and squeezing that younger kids excel in doing and the chicks more than doubled in size quickly. Dad had to erect a chicken coop in our yard to hold 12 mature roosters. We had a large wooded lot in the back and if anyone in our development minded the cock-a-doodle doos early in the morning, no one complained. At least, not to us.
I was given the task of making sure the coop was locked every night against predators such as weasels and/or foxes. Although I was conscientious about this, one night, my younger neighbor next door asked if he could play with them and he would lock the coop for me. I said OK, but unfortunately, the young 9 year old forgot to do so. At dawn, the next morning, we found that none of the chickens survived the night invasion, except for one lying motionless in the driveway and the smallest one of the group who had run away, but came back that next morning
I was devastated and guilt-ridden. My mother, who grew up with chickens herself, said the most humane thing was to ‘pull’ the chicken’s neck and put him out of his misery. I begged and pleaded as only a 12-year can do, and my mom, God bless her, said I could stay home from school and see what I could do for the fallen rooster.
The poor thing kinda flopped where he lay and had very little life in him. He could not stand, and couldn’t or wouldn’t open his eyes. Food was not even an option; he could not have eaten or even put his head up and try. I made a little bed with rags for him – and wrapped them around him as he could not be lifted; I was afraid he would die from the move. Since he couldn’t eat, I tried to find some bugs and other things like corn or bread that he liked, but he had no interest at all.
The only thing I could think of was oranges. We always had lots of oranges, and I squeezed some in a bowl. To ‘feed’ the rooster, I had to nudge his head up and put his beak into the orange juice. He had two choices: he could pick up his beak and gurgle it or he could drown in it. He gurgled. For the next few days, he was given orange juice in this manner. Again, my mom, let me stay home another day, but said I had to go back to school on Monday – that gave me 4 days in total to juice the rooster.
Mornings I would get up before school, juice the rooster, dash home and juice again and then at night. Eventually, the rooster got stronger and was standing – although wobbly – which was cause for a family celebration. When he finally walked, he was given his regular food in addition to the orange juice – and even though he walked somewhat lopsided like a crab, he could walk. He never ran as fast as his brother, but he wobbled along nicely beside him. Always – on a slant, but almost catching up.
Eventually, the two brother roosters were able to inhabit the coop again and I never forgot to lock the coop again. The greatest moment for me was one morning, as usual, the brother rooster would wake us up for school about 6:30 am with his perky doddle doo. A few minutes later, there was this very throaty, uneven, bizarre cock-a-doodle-doo which could not be made by any other animal except a once-wounded rooster. In true Walton Family Style, you could hear everyone laughing from their bedrooms and clapping and shouting that I, indeed, did fix the rooster. My mother never had to remind us to drink our orange juice after this; we learned first-hand the benefits of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is required for life. The nature of our modern diets leads to a serious lack of this essential nutrient. This situation may be a leading contributor to much of the sickness and chronic disease that the population of the earth suffers.
A study in the Journal of Epidemiology (May, 1992) was reported to show that people who have high blood levels of vitamin C live 6 years longer than those who have lower blood levels. Ref: http://www.cforyourself.com/
You don’t have to convince me. I found out first-hand at age 12 just how potent Vitamin C is. It is life sustaining and most necessary nutrient. An animal was nurtured back from imminent death; sustained until strength returned and made an almost full recovery.
© Marie Coppola March 2014