The Chicken Story

A lot of the people who know me know that my family used to keep baby chickens in a kiddie swimming pool in our apartment when I was a kid and it ended in horrific bloodshed. This is not that story.

Yesterday, my roommate came home with our two dogs Obie and Mindy after a walk in the park. Slightly flustered, this conversation ensued:

Roommate: Have you been to Cheney Lake?

Me: Yes. Wait… yes. I think so.

Roommate: You know the far side of the lake, where that woman keeps her chickens in her backyard?

Me: Oh no, I don’t know anything about that.

Roommate: Well, me and the dogs were walking and I see this EXPLOSION of feathers. I see Obie running with something in her mouth and realize that she had taken one of the chickens and had shaken it! There were feathers everywhere!

Me: Oh my gosh! Was the chicken okay?

Roommate: The chicken was fine, it was just confused! It had lost a lot of feathers but it was walking around just fine. The owner didn’t seem all that concerned about it and said she had seven other chickens so it wasn’t a big deal. I offered to replace the chicken if something happened and I gave her my number. She said that the dogs should have been on a leash, but she also said that her dog is never on a leash, so…

Me: Man, that’s so weird. What a weird thing to happen to you.

Roommate: My life!

Not long after this conversation, my roommate receives a text. The chicken owner said that she’s ordered a mobile vet to come examine the chicken. Now, I’m a huge animal lover. Every commercial with a dog will make me cry. Whether it’s for the ASPCA or IAMs, the waterworks start flowing. That beer commercial where the dog is waiting for his owner to come home and he doesn’t know why he’s been left alone all night? That commercial messed me up for weeks. But even I drew the line at this nonsense. Calling a mobile vet for your injured chicken? It’s not like Obie dug into this chicken and took out a drumstick.

So my roommate looks up the going rate for new chickens in our area. A fancy, top-of-the-line chicken is $30 from a farm out in Palmer. She decides that a reasonable contribution to this weird situation is the cost of a new chicken. My solution was a bucket of chicken from KFC. My roommate is nicer than I am.

The woman texts back over an hour later with the bill for the mobile vet: $110.00. Wait, what? On what planet are people ordering fancy home visits from veterinarians for chickens, and then proceeding to pay over ONE HUNDRED dollars to repair that chicken? Even if it were normal for a vet to see the chicken, could the lady not load the chicken into a vehicle and drive to the vets office? If I can drive myself to the E.R., this chicken can certainly ride shotgun to the nearest animal hospital.

Also, the woman made it clear to my roommate that this was not a sentimental chicken situation. The chicken didn’t have a name and wasn’t wearing a fancy bandana. There was no indication that this was a beloved family pet. I’m not trying to justify the dog shaking the chicken like a Polaroid picture, but come on. It was a work chicken. You could buy 3.5 live chickens for the cost of repairing that one.

So anyway, my roommate agreed to help pay the chicken’s luxury vet bill. I suppose the moral of the story is: If your dog attacks a chicken, pretend like you’ve never met that dog or that chicken before and keep walking or you’ll be screwed out of $110.00.

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