On the birds

The bantams, true to their reputation, are broody little birds.  Here, a Golden Sebright and a Mille Fleur d’Uccles patiently wait out their confinement in an old dog kennel.  They’re sitting on about 2 dozen chicken and wild mallard (!!) eggs.

Chicken Patty says she wants to be the first meal coming out of the masonry oven.

And who in the world could take care of 17 children?  I don’t wish it on Ruby so the majority of them are now under lights.  She gets to raise the three we intend to keep.

And this little fellow has been living in and around my garden the last two weeks.  Very shy, you gotta wonder how he got where he is.  I explained it to my daughter this way:  “Do you remember when you lost your first balloon when we were at the county fair when you were 3?  Well, that’s probably what happened to this family when their little bird flew out the window.  There’s nothing you can do but cry and watch it fly away.”

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13 responses to “On the birds

  1. Isn’t he sweet? You gonna try to catch him?

  2. I’m going to have to talk about the parakeet; I know you’re a sustenance farmer, and have no plans to eat the decorative bird. But he’s lost! He trusts you. You could have him with 1) a birdcage, and 2) a leaf of lettuce. He really wants to fly inside the cage and eat the lettuce and be your friend. Some birdseed, some gravel, a little water. His name is Blueberry.

  3. Several years ago at school we had a wildlife speaker come and talk to the kids. He talked about the dangers of “exotic” pets. Turtles live longer than we do, many pets get very large, etc. But he also talked about flocks of wild budgies because people get sick of them and let them free.

  4. what will you do with the mallards?

  5. Parrots also survive colder temps than you’d think. I’m trying to remember where but some American city (might have been NY) had a huge feral parrot population that had become a nuisance.

    I think you should try to catch it with a cage and temptation as well….not that what you do is any of my business or anything. Poor little budgie….

    • There are a couple feral green parrot populations in Chicago, actually. One’s been there since the 20s. My aunt lives on the Chgo river and there is a mated pair that nests near her side yard every year. It IS very strange to hear them, much less see these big things flying about!

  6. Maybe you could put a “Found” ad in the local paper about him. Someone out there might be looking for him and be oh so glad you have him, even thought he is loose.

  7. Wanna write a post about how to best deal with broody hens (when one doesn’t have a rooster in sight)? I’ve got two girls wanting to sit in the same spot over the daily eggs. I take full responsibility for having a few too many times where I couldn’t collect eggs one day and so waited till the next. I’d love some El-mentoring on this subject! 😉

  8. I’m throwing my vote in with CC and Paula.
    We had a parakeet for years that we took away from a cat at the barn. A few months later the cat came home as well; she’s eighteen now and sleeping on a chair in the living room….probably dreaming about parakeets.

  9. Jules, I suppose I could make quite an amusing post about how the three of us, armed with butterfly nets, fish nets, and jerry-rigged bird netting, have been running about the garden at dusk for days in a row trying to catch this little guy. But instead I just said he was “shy.”

    CC, I will take that under advisement but my stance is no more malingerers usurping the productive animals’ chow. If we ever DO catch him, we’ve got a home for him (away from ours).

    Paula, well, we’ll see! We’re still trying to catch him. And our daughter calls him “Perry” of course.

    Mama Bean, well…my mom brought them over on Mother’s Day. Seems a mallard pair had been hanging out in her rhododendron in the front yard…not good considering the raccoon population! So we shall see if they hatch. And then, well, I am thinking “duck legs confit” but then again that’s jumping the gun.

    Aastricker, I can definitely see that. People are stoopid as a general rule “oh this python won’t get longer than 5 feet” and yeah the consequences of it are the Everglades are squirming with these things. I would have no idea how long this little guy could last on his own. Seems to be hanging out with the sparrows now and they’re the chief chicken-food pilferers so he might just have a long life ahead of him.

    Jules, I thought about that too but what a tease: come see the bird you lost that I can’t catch!

    Amanda, your wish is my command. Not that I would be any help but someone else is sure to be…there’s an eddgimicated reader-base here, thankfully.

    Pamela, that’s so sweet! Do you have a bird video for her?

  10. Ah, but with the right voice and the correct name, they just might stick out their hand and it flies right to them!

    Good Luck. I’d LOVE to see the pictures of you all, running about! ;o)

  11. El,
    I am heartsick that my free ranging chickens were attacked and all killed by a dog I have never seen before. I realize it is not the dog’s fault. The dog was doing its dog thing. And perhaps I should have confined my flock. However, I am furious with the dog’s owner. We have 5 acres and an adjacent 20 acre field. How far did this dog come from home? I cannot do chickens again due to an impending move, but I am heartened that a friend’s children are wanting to do a chicken project for 4-H and they will take our coop and supplies.

  12. Jules, thanks! I hope to see him again; haven’t seen him in 3 days or so. I will let you know if we capture him for sure.

    Jen, how horrible! I have had only one marauding dog kill one free-ish ranged chicken. What made me so sick was I was outdoors at the time, 60 feet away on the other side of a building. Poor Bonnie died in my arms, so scared. And I’m with you; it’s the dumb owners’ fault but not all dogs act that way either, so it’s bad dog parenting period. I hope you can find the dog’s owner and get recompense, I would charge $20 a bird. In Michigan we’re allowed to kill dogs who do such a thing; dogs aren’t allowed to run free and terrorize livestock, period. I am glad to hear your chicken stuff will find a good use until you’re resettled and are able to get some of your own again.

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