Do you see that handsome man? The one right below these sentences? Isn’t he gorgeous?
That handsome stud is Raphael, which means God has Healed. Some people would have told us to put him down, that it would be more humane. Well my friends, we didn’t and look at him.
Let's start at the beginning. I was up early in the morning anticipating the phone call. But it didn't come. I was bummed. I thought for sure today was the day. So I went downstairs to turn off the light. No point having it on. A number of hours passed. I was now serving lunch to my son and my niece and nephews. Just as I was about to serve myself, it happened. The phone rang! It was time! My oldest nephew and I rushed off to the post office (don't worry, my mom was with the rest of the kids!). As soon as we opened the door you could hear the screaming peeps and see the workers happy to have them out of the building. Great... we turned the heat lamp off and its still the month of February. Oh well, it is what it is.
So, with my nephew gleefully holding the chick box in the back seat, we made our way back home. We got out of the car and headed straight to the bin to let the chicks be free. And there they were, fluffy black and yellowish white beauties. They were so cute! But do you see that one. The one in the front of the bin? He's not walking around and exploring like the others. I picked him up and set him by the water. He still doesn't move. I dip his beak lightly into the water. He moves his beak in a drinking motion, but still doesn't move. We'll keep an eye on him.
Well, later that night, my dad took a look at the chicks. Yep, there was something wrong with this little boy. I noticed it at the same time. He stood on one leg kind of awkwardly with the other splayed out to the side. Great. He couldn't walk, therefore he couldn't eat or drink. He just stood propped up against the wall. None of the other chicks even noticed him. So, I jumped on the computer and did some research on splayed leg syndrome. After pouring over a few sites, we decided to treat him with a band-aid. Let's just say he was not impressed! He did, however, start to hobble around a little bit. At this point I researched a good name for him, Raphael seemed right...even if it wasn't a flower name.
We kept a clean band-aid on him for 5 days, our "expert" chicken owning friends telling us its probably not worth it. We prayed over him every day. When we took the band-aid off, his foot slid right back out to the side. Time for another band-aid and more prayer. A couple days later we took the band-aid off and his foot stayed more or less in place. But this little chick was the out cast. He was getting around the pen freely, eating and drinking, but the loner. He would try and huddle with the others at nap time and they would get up and leave him. It was sad.
Fast forward about 3 or 4 weeks. I was upstairs doing some stuff and I heard this awful sound. I ran down to see what was going on. Here out little boy was having an out and out brawl with Big Boy (Dandy). Dandy was called Big Boy at first because he was the biggest of the boys and seemed to rule the roost. They had beaks full of feathers and the sound (and sight for that matter) was horrible!
Fast forward to now. They are almost 16 weeks old. Dear, dear Raphael is the king! Every now and then Dandy will try and show him up, but Raphael puts him back in place. Raphael is usually the first in in the the evening and picks his spot on the roost. He is also our biggest boy and by far the handsomest.
The only thing about this beautiful boy, his feet. They still show the effects of his leg being forced into proper position. But, I couldn't look him by because of his difference. He sure did live up to his name, God has healed. Sometimes we need to keep persevering and hoping, even when calling quits is ssssssoooooo much easier.
|Raphael's twisted toes.|