Monday, August 13, 2007

Home Again

I'm home and it's back to reality around here ... at least for me, Dave is technically still on vacation. He went land lookin' today and I haven't talked to him as of this posting, so I don't know if he found his promised land yet or not.

For me, it's time to resume my occupation and my Dadnifinous duties around Pure Florida. You may remember that my favorite banty hen produced 6 chicks a few weeks ago.
You may also remember my decision to "let chickens be chickens" and give her freeranging little feathered butt a chance to raise them herself.
A few days later, there were only 4 chicks, so I reluctantly moved Mom and the survivors into the moveable chicken tractor cage and put it near the house. My thinking was the porch hounds would keep stray cats and 'coons away.
A few days later there were 2 chicks in the chicken tractor and no sign of digging into the pen, so I figured some of my ratsnake pals may have come back to visit.
So now, we have two chicks living in our living room in a large laundry basket with a cover. They are cute and noisy with unpronounceable (for me) Lord of The Rings names given by Junior and Emma.

I only brought the chicks inside, so the momma hen is back in the yard suffering from postpartum depression. Not really of course, she's back to her old carefree self and is teasing the roosters unmercifully.
She may be a reincarnation of a cheerleader I knew in highschool ...
but I digress. Now that I am a surrogate Hen, I have to take them outside and scratch around barefoot in the dirt with them to show proper technique. They've caught on quite well and seem to enjoy flinging dirt and leaves until they have a hole to nestle into.
At that point they just sit and eat every ant or other insect that walks by.

Obviously one of them is better adapted to being a chick in the wild. That's pretty good camouflage that INSERT UNPRONOUCEABLE LOTR NAME HERE is showing.

They instinctively get a little nervous when the Mississippii Kite flies overhead, but nobody panics and runs around like a chicken with it's head cut off. They just hunker down.

A little comforting and clucking from the surrogate hen (that would be me) seems to calm them down and before long they are getting snoozy in the warm sand and leaves.

Scratching for bugs and avoiding hawks is hard work and they usually end a session with a little nap.

Curiously, while I was away Emma has become the new surrogate hen and last night she couldn't wait to show me how the chicks would follow HER all around and even come running when she called.

I think I've lost them to her, but I have to admit it was pretty cute to see them running to keep up with her.

At least I still have the baby turtles.


Deb said...

We have baby (month old) chicks and baby turtles around here too. Life is interesting.

What happened to your blogroll? I'm not seeing me on there, but I'm not seeing Pablo or Thingfish on there either so I assume it's nothing personal. :)

ImagineMel said...

They're so cute! Welcome Home and welcome back to the daily grind. :)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Uh....rattlesnakes? For real? Boy that makes my blood turn yellow. Or I do; it's all the same.

pablo said...

Face it, FC. You're just never going to be successful with the chicks.

Cathy said...

Awwww . . there you go again - this is just so neat.

I like the image of living room chicks-in-a-basket :0)

I just hope the ratsnakes know the living room is off-limits.

lori said...

the chicks are sooo cute! hey i got a ratsnake now he's eating my baby frogs:( at least my husband did not kill him. LOL he does not like snakes!

Floridacracker said...

Turtles and chicks!
The blogroll was taking up too much space, so I made a blogroll post and placed a single link to it. It's not complete, I have a bunch of new folks to add to it.
I was afraid people might wonder, but deleting as I moved them helped me to keep track.

I'm in for the duration.


You are the master, dude.

They are playing around Emma's feet on the pine floor boards right now.

We have to be Loraxes for the snakes!
Sorry about the frogs.

Anonymous said...

You sure those two are related? They don't look at all alike.

rcwbiologist said...

I think I knew that same cheerleader in high school!

Stacey063 said...

I love, love love reading your blog - the kids and I were just laughing to death reading the chick outings story - they are very jealous of your children, since we can't have varying domestic and/or wildlife where we are, other than the old dog and the old cat (and they are old, so the kids want babies again!) Keep up the great writing and I love your photos - you could do your own wildlife magazine.

Sharon said...

Cute chicks :) Never a dull moment around PF, that's for sure!

Floridacracker said...

This hen hangs out with two very different roosters and I think the way chickens work, these two could have different dads.

She didn't talk to you either huh?

Thanks! Glad the kids got a kick out of it!

It's true, there's usually something odd going on.

Rurality said...

That is pretty dang cute. I love the way they just plop over and sleep.

Floridacracker said...

Not as cute as your topknot duckthing tho.

threecollie said...

Isn't it great when the kids read books and love them enough to name their critters from them! We have an Elendil in the cow barn (also from LOTR) and the Kash cat is named after the dragon, Kashette, in the Mercedes Lackey Jouster books. It delights me no end!
The chicks are cute btw, I miss chicks around the place

Juli said...

Oh how I adore chicks/chickens! I'm absolutely green right now!! :) Welcome back from slaying the dragoon. I've ridden a couple of my motorcycles on the Dragon... quite a fun ride!! :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I just get such joy in reading about things like being a surrogate hen and always get a giggle from your tremendous sense of humor.. 'running around like a chicken with it's head cut off'....very funny!! I didn't like the snakes eating the chicks so much ;(...underscores why I am a 'big city' (grin) girl at heart!

pissed off patricia said...

I sure wish I lived where I could have chickens. They were allowed here when I first moved into this area, but that time has passed. Yours are so damned cute.

kathy a. said...

cute cute cute! the photo of sleeping babes has an especially high cuteness factor.

robin andrea said...

I am amazed that they just fall asleep right where they are. I have never raised chickens, so I'm guessing that this is their normal behavior. How do they ever reach maturity? And once there, do they just take a nap wherever their sleepy butts drop?

These are very, very cute little chicks. I love that they follow Emma around. They're going to miss her when she's off to college.

JunieRose2005 said...

This was fun to read....well- fun and sad too ...more sad than fun with all those baby chicks gone!

I have been through all that here in Ocala Florida! We have had all kinds of chickens as well as ducks and geese (also-cows, pigs, and goats!)

Those little banty chickens were always my favorites...and I liked having mixed chickens and being surprised at what might hatch out!! I liked having my chickens roam free....but after awhile it became too heartbreaking to have them taken by hawks and other animals. Once a hawk swooped down 3 feet in front of me and took a baby chick as I was feeding the hen and her babies! After that I didn't want to have any more.

I have written a lot of farm stories on my blog.


SophieMae said...

Glad you made it home in one piece. I've heard tales about that tail. Mostly about over-zealous LEO's. It's been WAY too hot to do much of anything around here. I think your - er, Emma's chicks have the right idea... plop and snooze. 8-}

vicki said...

I was following you about the countryside via your posts- that was quite the road rally saga. You got awfully close to Chicago, btw. Will it be another long spell before you fly? Every step of the way it was clear you were having a blast, from the fried chicken to the Skyway.

Your little chicks are delightful. I think maybe you're more into this nuturing thing than ever because YOUR little chicks are about to fly the coop...

edifice rex said...

How cuuuuuutte! I raised a little duck like that but then it turned into a hideous demon thing later.

Floridacracker said...

Just one more parallel between our crews :)

It must be pretty interesting on a bike dodging cars that drift over the line.

Thanks! These chicks are alot of fun.

What would Fred think?

Kathy A,
I agree, less cute later, but pretty darn cute right now.

The seem to love digging a nesty spot and settling in. If you think they are going to miss Emma, just imagine me about a week from today.

You could throw a rock from Ocala and hit Pure Florida. We're neighbors!
Welcome to Pure Florida! I will be stopping by your site too.

It is pretty ovenlike around here too.

I think I need to fly a little more often just to keep up with the changes. I felt like such a rube in the airport.
Thanks for coming along on the trip!

You had me laughing out loud because I know just what you mean.
Too funny.

SwampAngel65 said...

Love reading your blog. Those chicks are so damn cute!