You know what’s worse than administering an enema to a sick chicken? Homeschooling my three children today. I’d rather forget all about today, but in the interest of keeping things real, here’s how the day went down:

We woke up to find Izzy still hunched up on the perch. She would not come down. I gave the kids eggs and fruit for breakfast and asked them to eat outside so Atwood could free range while I figured out what to do with Izzy. They spilled their cups. They argued over who had more eggs. They decided they wanted oatmeal.

pigAfter talking to Mari, I decided to drive to her house to pick up some chicken antibiotics. When I told the kids, they whined non-stop, couldn’t find their hairbrush, acted like it was the first time in their lives that they were required to brush their teeth, etc. But when we pulled up in front of Maris’ house, they smiled again because they suddenly remembered that this was the house with all the chickens, the dogs and the pot-bellied pig.

So the whining stopped…until we had to leave. Back at home, I was determined to get a bunch of schoolwork done. We’d lost our rhythm over the past week, and that rhythm can be so good for everyone in our family. They complained that they were hungry. I made them tea and told them to finish their work, and then we would have lunch. Noah thought his grammar work was the impossible task; Zahra was the Queen of Snide Comments; and Leila decided to make sure we were all paying attention to her by writing on the table, stealing Zahra’s pencil, singing loudly, spilling her tea, etc. I was losing it. I sent Zahra upstairs to work and Leila to her room. Even with her inside my bedroom with the door closed, I could still hear Zahra whining about the unfairness of it all. Why did Noah get to stay downstairs with me? Because unless I stood over him, repeating the questions ten times, he was unable to stay in his seat. His pencil was so slippery.

IMG_7793After lunch, I sent them outside to play while I worked on a couple things for the Nook. But even the great outdoors wasn’t going to do it today. They were constantly fighting. Meanwhile, poor Izzy was not looking good. It was the chicken who finally got everyone to settle down for a while. Her eyes were closing and she was panting. I was pretty sure she was near death. I wrapped her in some towels and we held her. We attempted to syringe some of the antibiotics into her mouth since she didn’t seem to be drinking much from her bowl.

During all this, I was keeping Mari posted on Izzy’s status, and so Mari suggested that we intubate her. I’m thinking that, at this point, we just let the poor chicken die in peace; but Mari says it’s worth a shot, and if there’s even the smallest chance of saving this chicken, we’ve got to do it. You don’t all know Izzy’s history, but this is the chicken who, as a chick, loved humans more than other chickens. She would seek us out to sit in our laps. She would perch on our shoulders while we ate dinner on the deck. She eventually grew closer to her flock mates, but she remains the most easygoing, sweetest, cuddliest chicken ever.


Mari came over. If I get a badge for doing the chicken enema, Mari should get a thousand of them for the intubation. It is not easy to intubate a chicken. But she did it, and we got antibiotics, warm water and a bit of honey into Izzy that way. I was so happy how the kids rallied. They were fascinated by the procedure and were quiet and calm. Leila couldn’t stop hugging Mari when she was done.

IMG_7801We put Izzy back in the cage to rest. I was happy that we were leaving the house and going to help celebrate a special little boy’s first birthday. We had pizza and ice cream cake and rode bikes in their neighbourhood before piling back into the car and going home.

Before going to bed, we checked on Izzy. She still looks down, but she’s alive. All we can do at this point is wait and see how she looks in the morning. Mari asked me if I thought I could intubate Izzy myself tomorrow if need be, and I said…no. With any luck, Izzy won’t need it; but if she does, I know I can count on Mari to come help me out again!