Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No More Four-Door

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my little four-legged miracle chicken. I ended up naming the bird Four-Door Dostoyevsky. I liked referring to the legs as front/rear driver side and front/rear passenger side. But since the parasitic twin (ie. the passenger) was on the bird's left side, that actually made Four-Door a right hand drive chicken. You know, like in England. The car comparison also gave me a delicate way to refer to his pipes.

The official cause of death as ruled by Spenardo del Sur's coroner (a.k.a. me) was pulmonary hypertension. In smaller words: freaky chicken had a bad ticker. It may or may not have had anything to do with the parasitic twin. Pulmonary hypertension is pretty common in factory farm refugees. They grow so big so fast and it can put a great strain on their developing hearts and lungs.

I was holding Four-Door when he died. The moment of death is pretty easily recognizable: pupils dilate, head flops over and they shit themselves. It's pretty much the same for all of us when we die (yep, you're gonna shit yourself when it happens).

My right hand was under his left wing. He didn't have many feathers there yet so my hand rested against bare skin. For almost four full minutes after Four-Door died, I could feel his parasitic twin's heart continue to beat.

It probably would've stopped beating sooner if I hadn't been giving the bird mouth-to-mouth. As long as I was getting any heartbeat, I was holding out hope. I am a crazy chicken lady and that's what crazy chicken ladies do. Me and Four-Door had big plans for this coming spring, dammit!

Of course, there was an autopsy. Of course, there were lots of photographs taken. Of course, I will post a bunch of them here - just not today. The end of the month snuck up on me again and I wanted to be sure November at least had one measly post. For now, I'll post a photo that better represents how I'd like to remember Four-Door (instead of flayed, splayed and filleted on the kitchen counter). Here he lounges on the poop deck in an old pie pan.

You are now thinking of some kind of food joke. Perhaps something about chicken pot pie. This will inevitably lead some of you to wonder if I ate Four-Door Dostoyevsky.

I did not.

Not that there was anything wrong with Four-Door's flesh (though the extra legs had absolutely no meat on them whatsoever - quite literally skin and bones). It's just that several days had passed before I was able to conduct the autopsy so I wound up feeding the meat to the cats. I saved the skeleton though. It will be an awesome souvenir of the time I had that stupid idea about homesteading in rural Alabama.