The World’s Most Expensive F-ing Chicken (notes)

Ready for the Great Beyond via natural causes. Or aggravated homicide.

Ready for transition to the Great Beyond via natural causes or aggravated homicide.

6:30 a.m.: A beautiful morning. Sit by the pond with latte. Observe that one of the Garcias is looking unwell.

Diagnose Yellow Legs with inoperable cancer based on the following pathogonomic evidence:

  1. Head has been balding for awhile
  2. Pretty chicken = healthy; ugly chicken = sick with cancer
  3. Does not want to eat grapes
  4. A large mass can be seen and felt at front of chest, near crop
  5. Conclude that the mass must be a tumor based on the following:
    1. It is roundish with jaggedy edges
    2. If I were a tumor I would want to live in a chicken’s crop

Prepare myself emotionally to say good-bye to Yellow Legs while mentally composing her obituary: RIP Yellow Legs: Beloved Sister, Entertainer, Friend…

Spend 2.5 hours looking for a vet that treats chickens, just to confirm diagnosis and perhaps offer palliative care and/or euthanasia. Locate four poultry vets in the City of Albuquerque, all of whom are “off rotation” today. Conspiracy?

Find vet willing to see chicken this afternoon. Try to get some studio work done though distracted by the knowledge that the rest of the day will be spent grieving.

See vet at 2:30 p.m. Vet diagnoses Yellow Legs not with cancer, but with a common intestinal parasite.

Weep a little after I’m handed the bill.

Drive 15 mi. to feed store to buy medication which is only available in large, “calf strength” bottle.

Drive home and ponder the task of converting dosage in mg to Tsp, if solution is 9.6% and the chicken weighs 5 lbs. Refuse to admit that the math you swore you’d never needin school might be helpful here. But ah! The internet:

“It is necessary to know the density of the material being measured to convert its amount in milligrams to teaspoons. For example, the density of water is 1 gram per milliliter, and 0.2 grams of water equals 0.2 milliliters, which is 0.04 teaspoons of water…” 

Calculated dosage:

  • Put a bit in the small waterers
  • Put a bit more in the large waterer

Itemized costs:

  1. Vet exam – $65
  2. Fecal exam – $35 (? that’s extra??)
  3. “Calf strength” Amprolium – $21
  4. Gas (vehicle) – $10
  5. Missed yoga class – $25
  6. Missed studio time – $300
  7. Emotional anguish/stress/suppressed homicidal ideation (chicken) – $42,000
  8. Balance from same chicken’s 2012 vet bill ($90) – $85
  9. Lack of social life — $500

TOTAL:  $43,041. 
Eggs owed by Yellow Legs @ $5/doz (fresh, organic, parasite-free): $95,646.

8:30 p.m.: Craft the first of many martinis to be consumed in silence, accompanied only by a pile of unfinished studio work and a medicated, $43,041 chicken roosting happily in the coop; garnish with my own bitter tears.

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31 thoughts on “The World’s Most Expensive F-ing Chicken (notes)

  1. LOL!

    I think Yellow Legs has to meet Borris, our blonde King Shepherd whom we found at the shops, abandoned, frightened, and adorable… The Worlds most expensive dog. His “special” shampoo (yes, special, like it has to be made by elves or something) for skin problems is $120 (per month), his weekly professional baths (to keep skin problems in check or else he becomes a crusty, smelly mess) $50 per week, his thyroid tablets (yes, he has thyroid problems) $150 per month, his belly tablets (princess has a delicate stomach), $30 per month, and to top it all off, his super duper special hypoallergenic food, $200 per month.

    What a couple they’d make 🙂

    • WOW! John, that settles it — when I grow up, I want to be a mangy but adorable dog in your path. You definitely win the prize for most expensive rescue animal I’ve ever heard of! In fact, you really do win a prize (and you didn’t even know you’d entered a contest 😉 so if you send me your address, it will be in the mail one of these days (no promises on timeliness). Pft, this chicken thing is nothing by comparison… but then again, in exchange for his monthly subsidy, your King Shepherd gives you, I’m guessing, love, affection, and unyielding loyalty. And I receive overpriced eggs. Such is the life of the soft-hearted.

  2. There must be some way to translate Yellow Legs into a ceramic work of art. As your muse, she can work off her debt of gratitude (of which she is blissfully unaware). Have another hot beverage!

    • Good idea, Maggie! I’ve thought about making chickens but the legs present such a problem — hard to construct and fragile, so if one breaks (or even a foot) the whole piece would be ruined. Maybe I could just forget the legs and stick a chicken shape to a big dollar bill. Thanks for visiting!

    • Aw, thanks for the words of encouragement, Ruth. It would definitely be a race between filthy rich and the poor house, which is where I’m headed. Okay, where I’ve been but I guess I’d start to burrow under it.

    • Beth! This vet was a total unknown to me. They couldn’t have been nicer but man… $65 to take a look at a chicken and tell me what I already knew (except for the fecal exam so I think a microscope is now on my Christmas list). Thanks for reading and I hope you are well 🙂

  3. now we know why pros advise never cuddle your chicken!. No cuddle, no diagnosis. No diagnosis, no trip to vet for confirmation. No trip to vet, no expense. Of course Yellow legs would still have an intestinal parasite, but I have some Imodium left from our trip to El Salvador. Add that to her feed, and voila! No problem.

  4. I cannot stop laughing about your 5-pound chicken.
    Ideas for her to pay back the $42,000 she owes you?
    Take up Maggie and Ruth’s ideas. Yellow Legs has star qualities, especially with her rather unique balding pattern. However, she needs a better name if you are going to take her on the road. Maybe “Betty.” or “Ethel”.
    Offer to design appointment cards for the Poultry Vet featuring a photo of Betty er Yellow Legs.
    Have her volunteer as a Therapy Pet at various nursing homes around Albuquerque.
    Put an ad on Craig’s List: Chicken Petting $10.00 and a complimentary Latte pond-side.

    • Excellent (notice how I didn’t spell that with two g’s) suggestions! Assuming she survives the “bout” with parasites (not guaranteed), I will look into the Therapy Pet option. She is very calm that way.

    • Good one Ms Jani! See the comment below for an even more clever tag line that directly ties into we chicken keepers’ tendency to “celebrate” chicken prognoses/treatment with cocktails. Thanks so much for reading and commenting ! ❤

  5. I’m sorry (sort of), but this just jogged my memory for an awful joke: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a chicken? Answer:
    One of them clucks defiance!

    • Hi Maggi, thanks for being kind of sorry — me too! I guess I’ll be happy when Yellow Legs is all better and I’ll know my cash went to something more useful than suspected parasites. And I wish I could laugh at the joke but honestly, I don’t get it? Maybe I don’t know enough lawyers thougth (if that’s possible(?). Thanks as always for reading. xxL

    • Excellent. I wonder if dreaming about parasitic chickens would alter one’s appetite for them at all (not you because I know you don’t eat them 🙂 )

    • Oh, thanks so much Greg — how nice of you to not only stop by and read, but comment and… laugh! It’s like the frosting on the cake (or the sauce on the Cordon Bleu, if you’re into that sort of thing). Makes taking the time to write a blog post instead of murder chickens that much more satisfying. Hope you are well. xx

  6. I’m so sorry Yellow Legs doesn’t know how to make you a proper martini and can’t appreciate the subtle yet necessary life skill of being empathetic when you need to vent about your neighbors. On a more positive note, I’ve heard that intestinal parasites make great, lifelong pets.

    • Oh, Stacie, your positive “can-do” attitude even in the face of parasitical infestation and your commitment to ending the Birds With Empty Cocktail Glasses crisis are just a few of the many (many) things I love about you! Thank you so much for your support, enthusiasm and beautiful (gorgeous) gravatar ❤ ❤

    • Eeeeschwwsdhsdh, that seriously sounds like something Sigourney Weaver should tackle. Or like what Madonna was doing with that awkward stage kiss of Drake. Thanks for sharing. Yes, this poultry keeping thing is not for the faint of heart (or short of cash). Glad I’m not the only person confronting universes of unknown disease; somehow there is comfort in knowing that your sister probably has it worse. Does that sound evil?

      On the bright side, I just found the first line to my next (first) novel in that Wiki entry: “Males and females are joined together in a state of permanent copulation”. I could not love that any more.

Talk to me! I spend too much time alone in the studio.

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