Pippi & Me
Last week, when I was going for a run, I came across an unexpected companion. I always looking the bushes along the side of the road, where I frequently spot tortoises, iguanas, lizards, or chickens and their chicks. This day, halfway through my 5k run, I came across a lone chick.
Something in me made me stop. The chick was completely alone. There was no mother chicken in sight; no other baby chicks insight. It was just standing there staring at the road, completely alone. As I stopped and looked around to see if its family was nearby, Rowena drove by, as she was on her way to Gustavia, and honked when she saw me. I asked her to pull over.
After stopping the car and giving me a confused look, she hopped out and, as I explained her the situation, helped me look for the mother chicken. After searching and searching, we didn’t see anything, and as it started to rain heavily, we hopped in the car, baby chick in my hands, and decided to drive home and find a way to get the chick to a safe space.
Once home, Mom, Rowena and I got the chick, who by now had received the name of Pippi (as in Pippi Longstock), was put in a box with some water and some grains, as we tried to calm her and warm her up.
In the meantime, I posted a post on the local animal Facebook group to see if there was anyone who knew what to do and where I could take her, as I had very little knowledge of taking care of chicks. Christiaan, who had now also returned from his run, started looking up some information online, although not all of it was helpful… One suggestion he got was how to prepare her as a meal, rather than how to take care of her.
As I got in touch with a fellow local who would take care of her, but who could pick her up only the next day, I spend the evening with Pippi sleeping in my hand – a place that provided her with the warmth she needed. Occasionally she’d chirp a little bit and then she’d go back to sleep.
For the night, I put Pippi in a box, with a warm bottle of water, some food, and water, hoping that she’d feel safe and okay for the rest of the night.
The next morning, Pippi seemed to have endured the night just fine, and I made sure she drank some extra water that morning, as well as eating some food. I wasn’t sure what she had or hadn’t eaten during the night and I wanted to make sure she was healthy. After she once again pooped on my shirt, I assumed everything inside her was working properly.
I struggled to get much work done that morning, as Pippi seemed eager to wander around the room rather than stay put in her box, meaning I had to constantly be on the look-out for where she was going. During my meeting I ended up holding her in my hands the whole time, where she slept a little bit. At least this way I could keep track of her.
By 10:30, the fellow local was able to pick her up. I said goodbye to my fuzzy little friend, knowing now she’d have the opportunity to live somewhere where people had the right tools to take care of a baby chick. The woman had also claimed that she had other chicks, meaning Pippi wouldn’t be alone.