I have a chicken named Bebe and I guess she would be considered a "special needs" chicken. From way back when she was still a wee chick she spent a lot of time just sitting in the box where I kept my new flock. It wasn't super noticeable at first, I just thought maybe she was a little lazy, but then as she got older I realized there was something truly wrong. She could barely walk and spent most of her day sitting. After the initial worry that she was possibly dying wore off, I accepted that she must just have some genetic problem or something, no doubt brought on by the mass "production" of peeps which I condemn, but then hypocritically support by purchasing them from Tractor Supply. Anyway, Bebe had always been smaller than everyone else and she had some odd black feathers here and there throughout her white feathers which i felt were more indicators that something was probably not quite right with her. The day I went to get my chicks there were literally only 7 pullets left. I had originally only wanted four, but you have to get 6 at Tractor Supply and I didn't want to leave one there all by itself. So I remind her occasionally that if I had not taken her home that day she would likely have been mercilessly culled already and digested (possibly).
I let the girls roam free during the day and most days she hobbles up through the yard to sit under the lilac bush or the pine tree and she spends all day there. But I often think "What spirit that Bebe has!" It probably takes her at least a half hour to make it from the coop to where she is going to sit that day and it might only be like 50 feet or something, but she takes a few steps and then has to stop, eats some grass, and then keeps going. As summer ended and it was getting chillier, Bebe started refusing to walk back down to the coop (actually she would usually fly!), so I have started carrying her down each night. But I still think, "good for you that you even made the effort to leave the coop today!" And thinking about Bebe inevitably leads me to think about my Lu. And I think that no matter what happens in her life I hope that she can maintain the same kind of positive spirit that it seems Bebe has.
But then sometimes I have to witness how Bebe is treated for being the lowest in the peck order and then that too makes me think of Lucy. Bebe is the lowest because she is physically unable to keep up with the rest and because they know that she is "inferior" to them which I hate to even say, but it is the harsh reality. And I know that we don't know what the future holds for Lucy. She might be walking at her second birthday, but she also might not be and it's the agony of what we don't know that drives be crazy most of the time. Right now she does get left behind when she is with babies her own age because they are on the go and she can only sit and watch which breaks my heart. But if I manage to live in the present I can handle it a little easier because it's just that moment. On Tuesday we have a second appointment with the neurologist that we saw in May and last night I dreamt that he said given the time that has passed since he first saw her and the progress she has slowly made, he doesn't think that she will get any better than she is right now! It was awful and I was crying and crying in the dream and I know that she will continue making progress, I just constantly worry about how much she will or will not make in the future. And while I love my chicken Bebe, I don't want Lucy to be at the bottom of any peck orders because she can't keep up or is seen as inferior! I just don't want her to be left behind or trampled on or pitied.