Thursday, January 17, 2013

In the Yard Again, I Just Can't Wait to be in the Yard Again

She's getting quite the proud stature, sweet baby
I never know what is going to happen in the adventure zone of my own yard. Which I take to include all of the property next to me, because I can, so I do.
The mission was to complete the extension of the chicken coop, despite on and off rain, and the semi-inherent danger of mixing electrical cords with water - semi because any idiot knows rain and extension cords are not the best of companions to hang out with and I'm only occasionally a complete idiot - I got 99% of it built. Of course, the one percent left will be the most difficult, creating some kind of portal for access. I left that space open until I figure it out.

The chickens were fascinated and bothered at the same time. Still gave eggs though!
Abnormally pleased with myself for taking scraps and making shinola, at least in my opinion and I'm sure the hens will agree (who else counts? CWIM lounges nearby while I work, as detached from the process as a being waiting on food and a tickle can be while still having consciousness), I went inside to collapse, shower, eat, collapse. Until I heard wild, unceasing peeping. Annoyingly unceasing.

There, in the unfinished area, were four pretty brand new baby chicks. I have no idea how they got in, but they could not get out. I got them out, tossed them to the hill next door where it seemed no Mama awaited but I hoped she'd show up. This happened two more times, the second time with five chicks. I repeated the scoop out and took them back to the hill. Oops.

You can see the chicklets in there. This was the first time.
The neighbor that keeps the horses next door was feeding them, and we were talking about the mamaless baby chicks (after the first two scoopings) I was trying to herd away from the coop. He tells me he's seen this big  bird carry off adult chickens two times lately, carrying them into the mangroves for a bayside dining experience. We're figuring that's where Mama is (remember that big bird I couldn't identify? I'll get back to him in a second). Finished with his feeding and watering chores, he headed for the street. 

I'm worried, sis. Mom went off with a big strange dude and hasn't come back and now there's this wacko who is not getting the message. HELP!
The baby chicks were about thirty feet away from me. A flash of darkness streaks through, low to the ground, faster than I could say, Hey, look! to my not quite gone neighbor. Staying low, it zoomed into the mangroves. Now there are only 4 chicks again.

Okay, as soon as she goes away, head back to that safe place. Where's Fred?
There was nothing I could do at that point. I couldn't catch them, they are very fast. Laugh if you will but I invite you to try it yourself in a wide open space. I figured they'd come back to the coop if I left them alone and indeed, after dark, they did. I scooped them out, but this time I ensconced them in the actual baby chick section of the coop with a towel and a sigh. I really wanted to just let Nature take its course, let them be served up like a canape buffet for the Spanish eagle. Oh! Yes, back to him for a moment. My neighbor says it is called a Spanish eagle, and told me its Spanish name but damned if I can reproduce that in writing. I'm on the trail though!

The upshot is, I'm keeping them for now. I couldn't stand the plaintive peeping, and I figured it wasn't really good for my chickens either; the equivalent of a woman who can't conceive hearing the wailing of children next to her. Probably it is nothing like that at all but it felt that way to me, anthropomorphisizer that I am.

On your mark...hey, pay attention. She's leaving. Get set...
So I'll go buy them some chick food and keep them long enough that they can go out on their own and then, they will be on their own. Or something. Anyone want some baby chickens? Please?

Have a non-tragicomic Thursday. Do something tough that takes time. You'll feel great!


  1. Great story. Good luck on watching them grow and then releasing them into the wild.

    1. I'm trying to hook them up with a mama with a bunch of same age chicks that wouldn't have them last night. First it looked good, then they were back, with a buddy. Took them BACK to mama and hopefully she will control them. Geeze.

  2. I've been thinking of plans for an Anti-chicken coop, to keep them out.
    workquil 5433

    1. I think that's called a dome with a fence.

  3. Okay, so I think I'm catching on here. If we find ourselves in times of trouble, for instance the Dinghy Dock already announced "last call" we should go to your place and emit sounds of distress? Possible results involve you providing a cozy blanket, food and a corner to curl up in??? You ARE the best!!!!

    1. I think you might have me confused with Mother Mary. Here are some words of wisdom, just in case you were seeking some...let it be. ;)