Living in the country on an old property with a big barn comes with a few inherent resources- like cats. People drop their unwanted pets outside of town, and cats seem to come and go, using our big vacant barn as shelter and a smorgasbord of rodents. I knew this was going to be hard for me.
And I’ve held strong! I’ve been so good!
I haven’t snuck them dishes of warm milk. I haven’t tried to bring them in the house and cuddle them. We’ve been here three years and I have only adopted ONE cat (well… two if you count the one I pawned off on my parents, haha). But still, I should get a gold star! I have a lot of crazy cat lady potential, and I’ve managed to keep it under control.
I’ve been trying so hard not to become a crazy cat lady, that I didn’t even see this coming…
I think I’ve turned into a crazy CHICKEN lady!
How does one come to realize this?
I have more pictures of chickens on my phone than anything else.
There have been several cases of chickens living in our house, the most recent was last week.
I make my own chicken and baby chick feed, because it’s hard to source affordable high-quality stuff that I deem good enough for my precious flock.
One of my favorite past-times is sitting in the yard, under the shade of the maple tree with a chicken on my lap. Sometimes two or three chickens on my lap.
The real clincher was probably last week, when I tried to super glue the rooster’s cracked beak together. Who does that?! A crazy chicken lady, that’s who…
If you’re reading this, you’re probably full blown crazy chicken lady too, or at least right on the verge. Hello, friend!
Gluing a Broken Chicken Beak
(Becoming a Crazy Chicken Lady)
This isn’t a tutorial so much as it is a story. But if you’re considering doing this, you might want to read to the end for my now-expert advice.
I can’t imagine what on earth Bolivar did to crack his beak. The break was fairly high up and I was hoping that it wouldn’t fall off, so our plan was to reinforce it with a little super glue patch (which I read a lot of other people have done).
So, Karl and I are outside with Bolivar wrapped in a towel (to control his wings)- who is looking at us like we’ve lost our minds. Which is probably a good assumption on his part. I should add, this sweet rooster loves to be held and will let me do just about anything to him, which helped a lot in this endeavor.
I’ve got super glue, tweezers, Q-tips, empty tea bag filters… and I’m explaining to Bolivar that I am trying to help him (yes, by supergluing his beak) and that he just needs to hold still. Chickens don’t like to have their heads manhandled. And their necks are fairly delicate, so you do have to be careful with them.
I cut a small square of tea bag to use as a patch for Bolivar’s beak. Holding it with the tweezers I saturated it with glue, and attempted to place it when Karl declared, “You took too long, it’s dried. You have to be quicker.”
Fine. I cut another square, applied the glue and with my shaky hand moved it towards Bolivar’s beak. He turned his head away. I tried to follow. Then he turned it the other way. Again I tried to follow. Too late. Glue dried. Karl’s chuckling.
“Maybe I should just try to reinforce the beak with glue, no patch?” I abandoned the patch idea and put some super glue on a Q-tip. Bolivar was more content with this option… either that or he had just given up at this point.
He held pretty still, and I applied a coat of glue to his cracked beak.
It was around this moment where I stepped back and thought, “wow, so this is it.” If there were any question before, there isn’t now: Certified Crazy Chicken Lady.
And then Bolivar started doing weird things. “He’s moving his mouth funny.”
Aww crap, did I get super glue in his mouth?! Did I just super-glue his tongue to the roof of his mouth? I read that this was a risk.
There was no way I could have done that! It was a tiny amount of glue and I was so careful. So very careful!
“Oh please no. Please, please, please no no no!” And maybe a few other choice words too. Karl started to panic too, which was when I knew it wasn’t good.
Beak-gluing aborted. We unwrapped Bolivar from the towel and I sat with him on my lap for a few minutes.
“What did I do?” I felt awful. It was too late to do anything about it now. That stuff dries fast. I know…
I can barely separate my fingers when I stick them together with super glue, how was I supposed to unstick his tongue from the roof of his mouth?
There I sat in the yard, with poor Bolivar on my lap. I was almost in tears.
And then Bolivar crowed.
“Well that’s a good sign.” And then he crowed like 10 more times, because a rooster never crows just once, not a chance.
“Could a rooster crow if his tongue was glued to the top of his mouth?”
I tested the waters a little more by offering him a sunflower seed. He ate it- no problem. “Okay, that’s good.”
But I needed to see with my own eyes that his tongue wasn’t glued to the roof of his mouth. “Open up, Bolivar!”
He wasn’t having it. I waited until he let out his next crow, and just as he was about to close his mouth, I grabbed hold of his lower beak.
And there it was! His tongue- on the bottom of his mouth, right where I desperately wanted to see it. What a relief! I gave Bolivar a few more sunflower seeds and let him go on his way. Good grief.
Of course, a few days later the tip of his beak fell off anyways. He looks pretty ridiculous… it’s quite a shame that he messed up his pretty face, but he’s fine. It never bled, and I’m making sure he’s getting enough to eat. It definitely impairs his ability to pick stuff up, and I’m pretty sure that everyone is making fun of him- but he’ll live.
I’m fairly certain that I was nowhere near close to actually gluing his tongue to the roof of his mouth. Like, not even a little bit.
You can be sure that I’ll probably bring more chickens in the house, and I’ll certainly continue taking waaay more pictures of chickens than is necessary or even reasonable, but I definitely won’t be gluing any more beaks!
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