Friday, 29 April 2011

Charlie, Kiepie and Lola

My three chickens, named Charlie, Kiepie and Lola. In Afrikaans you call them ‘kapok hoenders’. Kiepie is the brother; Charlie and Lola are his sisters.

Some people think it is cruel to take chicks away from their mother, and it is, but this was meant to be. I’ll tell you why.

About two weeks after I got my new pets, I noticed the one chick named Charlie couldn’t walk properly anymore. It was as if the joints in her legs and feet bent to every side, preventing her from standing or walking. (She really looked like a drunken chicken trying to dance). I was devastated and thought she was going to die. I phoned my father in tears asking him what to do, as I wanted to take her to the vet. My father told me there is nothing I can do, as they had a farm when he was a young boy. He said sometimes chickens get born that way or develop a problem later where they can’t walk, so they can’t get to food or water, and then they die.

I refused to let that happen to Charlie. From that very moment I put the phone down I started rubbing her legs and helped her to stand. I put her feet firmly on the ground and moved her body up and down as if she was doing push up’s with her legs. I called it physiotherapy. I fed her every single day as much as I could and gave her water. When I had to leave, I placed the food and water bowl directly next to her so that she can lean over to eat and drink. It got so bad that later she couldn’t move at all, but I didn’t give up. I went on with the physiotherapy. I even caught snails for her as she was incapable of doing so…and as if her brother and sister would give her any.

I used to carry her around in my pocket, and in the evening she slept (and pooped) on my chest while I was watching T.V.  Ha-ha. Kiepie and Lola normally joined as they got use to me holding their baby sister. Sometimes I fell asleep; I woke up with them sitting next to my head staring at my face waiting to give them snails.

As time went bye, Charlie got bigger and her legs much stronger. I was already exercising her legs for weeks, as well as feeding her and taking really good care of her.

I can’t remember when and how, but I left my house, with the food and water right next to her as always. When I got home she was not in the same place I left her. I got numb, thinking that a cat or something must have eaten her. Then I spotted something moving in the bushes. It was Charlie!! She walked!!! The walk in her step was a little wobbly, but at least she was walking. Believe me; she was all over the place.

If I didn’t take Charlie away from her mother, she would have died when she was only a little chick.

All three of them are now living on my friend’s farm where they have a lot of friends. I had to take them there, because Kiepie grew up and started crowing all over the place. I was afraid my neighbors may get mad because of the noise. I go to visit them sometimes. They don’t remember me L, but at least they are happy. J

FYI: I am happy to report that Charlie is still walking on her own!

From left: Kiepie, Charlie, Lola


  1. WOW Marquerite! You are surely in the wrong industry but who cares, your passion comes from within and you can do it in your own time, from now on sweetypy, YOU ARE A VETERINARIAN to me.

  2. This blog post almost had me in tears!Maar jy is cool Marquerite!