Hatching Project Chicks
"If you truly believe in the value of life, you care about all of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society" ~Joni Eareckson Tada
Hatching date: 26 July 2022
Arrival date: 4 August 2022
In early August of 2022, a little chick came into our care. Named Hercules, he was born into a school hatching program, and it soon became apparent that something was very wrong with his legs.
Fortunately for Herky (as he became known), the teacher found us, and we set about trying to help this little fellow. Herky had a leg condition that made it impossible for him to walk. Hercules had both legs splinted straight with his tendons in place, we made a little chair for him, and he was happy, eating and drinking and chirruping away.
Eventually, both legs healed, but having never walked in his life, Hercules couldn’t make much sense of standing or walking. We did physiotherapy with him several times daily, trying to build his weight-bearing capacity and gradually increasing his flexibility. Whilst Herky got to the point where he could stand with a bit of assistance to keep him balanced, his legs never improved enough to the point he was going to walk again, nor even stand on his own.
Still, he was a happy little fellow, so we moved him through increasingly larger homemade chairs, taking him out for therapy, some contact and to help to groom his newly emerging feathers. Whilst we knew he might never walk, we were committed to supporting him for however long it was that he was enjoying his life and not suffering.
Herky was starting to grow out his feathers, they were white and orange, and we imagined what splendid bird he might grow into. He enjoyed his food, regular treats and time in the sunshine.
When Hercules was just over a month old, something in him changed. He began struggling and flapping and found it challenging to find a comfortable position.
Tragically, Hercules took a sharp downward turn. He was no longer interested in eating or drinking and was very sleepy. We feared the worst and booked him in with our vets. Heartbreakingly, there was not a good outcome, and Hercules grew his second pair of wings. We laid him to rest under a blossoming peach tree. He will live on not only through our memories of him and advocacy for him but through this tree that provides shelter for other rescued hens, roosters and ducks.
Aside from sea creatures, Chickens are the most exploited of all animals on earth. Did you know that for every 100 animals killed for food, 98.5 are chickens? Chickens are complex and intelligent birds who are often underestimated and undervalued.
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Buys vet supplies to help treat injured birds
Buys a bag of poultry feed
Feeds the hens for a month