Portrait Gallery 116


The Chicken with 9 Lives: The Story of Our Precious Pixie

On September 26th 2012, an order came from a reputable Hatchery for 3 white Sultan females.  We rushed to the post office, excited. They were so tiny, and soft, and precious. We brought them home and put them in the brooder which was already set up. I was worried about one of them, she seemed to stand on her tip-toes and rock back and forth all the time, so she was dubbed “Tipsy.” We also noticed she was getting weaker. The next day she died. Then, “Roxy” got sick. She died very quickly. We were all scared for Pixie, certain she would go next. Somehow, she never did. A month later we moved her out to her coop with a heat bulb to keep her warm. The next day I went out to check on her, she was very sick and laying still. We brought her in again. Pixie kept getting worse-she seemed to have seizure-like movements a lot-and I fell asleep that night with tears on my pillow, knowing she would be dead the next morning. Yet I woke up to the sound of peeping! She was perfectly fine, the little trickster! Soon she went back outside, and all was fine until one November morning. We were in a rush that morning, and her light bulb had burnt out. I scooped her up and ran to the big warmer coop, shoved her in a crate kept there for emergencies, and we left for town. “This is nice and convenient, having her next to the others. Why didn’t I think of this before?” I thought to myself. One afternoon, I went to go and check for eggs and see how Pixie was doing. Believe it or not, she was dead. DEAD. I cried so hard! But then, I noticed some movement. I ran her into the house and forced electrolytes down her throat with an old eye dropper. Mom rubbed her throat while I did this. We did this every 15 minutes or so.  She slept in a box by the fire that night. The next morning, she had gained some strength and could drink without us rubbing her throat.  Then she could stand for short periods of time, and later that day she opened her eyes. We kept up the treatment for a few days and then Pixie was back to normal…again.

That was the last incident we had with her, and we hope she uses her “nine lives” more sparingly now! She is learning how to get along with her big Polish aunts-or maybe they are learning how to get along with her, and she comes outside frequently now that it is warming up!


Ella Larson, age 12