Monday, December 22, 2008

One Experiment Fails, One Succeeds

Yesterday seemed like a good time to experiment on the young chickens in the chicken tractor. This last batch of chicks from Laya, best hen ever, have matured and needed to leave the safety of the chicken tractor pen and become true yard birds.

So, in the morning I dropped the hatch open and left them to discover the thrill of freedom. For the longest time, they continued walking up and down the side of the cage, not seeming to notice the open door.
This is why they are chickens.

Eventually, they made it out on to the yard and began scratching beneath the oaks.

Enter the variable ... Bear.

Bear gave chase as soon as I let him out.
I waited for the young,healthy birds to fly up into the vines and low branches that surrounded them.

They ran squawking in terror.
They ran in tight little circles.
They ran to me.
They ran and jump flapped a few feet, but then ran some more.
They ran into the lattice that encloses the crawlspace beneath PFHQ ... head through the lattice holes, butt out awaiting Bear's bite.

Once trapped, they did that plaintive call that chickens who know they are going to die do.
In short, they ran around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Let's be honest here, there's not a lot of IQ difference between a whole chicken and a chicken sans head.

Ahh me ... I ran interference.

Bear ran amok.

Each chicken I pulled from his soft mouth was given a toss and an encouraging, "FLY DAMN YOU!"

Eventually, after I had tossed all three chickens up on to the roof, we all calmed down.

Later in the day, Bear and I went outside and the roof chickens were now down on the ground.
He gave chase.
I started to give chase too, but then ... they flew! Up into the live oak branches went one. Another hopped up on the garden chicken pen. And a third did a magnificent horizontal flight of 40 feet or so before touching down in the grass just in front of a Bear in hot pursuit.

Oh well, once a chicken always a chicken.

It all ended well and I think the youngsters know they are birds and can actually fly now.

Here's an experiment that did work.

Katie graduated with her AA degree from Santa Fe College this month and is now thinking hard about a degree in nursing or other related health profession.
We are just a little proud of her.

Always nice when an experiment goes as planned.


threecollie said...

Congratulations all!

Dani said...

Congrats Katie!!!

Here at my house it's a little different with urban chickens. It's always "damn it, don't you fly over that fence" LOL

Doug Taron said...

Yay Katie. I always enjoy reading posts about the typical mayhem at Pure Florida.

robin andrea said...

Congrats to Katie! And, three cheers to the three chicks for trying.

Sharon said...

No, chickens are not very bright, and your theory proved correct, at least in This Case

Your beautiful daughter, on the other hand, is extremely bright! LOL, congrats to her, I know you and Mrs. FC are very proud. ;)

Anonymous said...

Great experiment!
Cheers, Klaus

I wish you and yours a merry Christmas and a great new Year with many more great images and posts to come!

Deb said...

Congrats Katie!

And you're right about chickens. I have some that won't go inside the coop even at -20 degrees.

tsiya said...

Congratulations Katie!

Larry said...

Congratulations to Katie! My daughter is a preemie nurse and I think she made a wise choice.

I love reading about your domestic animals and wildlife in a warm climate! It's fifteen degrees here in Hannibal and most of us are just sitting inside waiting for more clement weather.

Pablo said...

Good work Katie, and good work FC!

Miz S said...

Another nurse in the family may come in handy, with all the shenanigans you got going on there at PFHQ. It'll take some of the pressure off Mrs. FC. Congrats to your beautiful daughter, and pats on the back all around.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks ThreeCollie!

Urban chickens = stealth chickens, right?

Mayhem R Us.

Thanks. I think these youngsters will get the hang of flight and evasion.

Thanks. Checkin' out the link after this post'n.

Thank you very much and a Merry Christmas to you and yours also.

The only chickens I've seen at that temperature were cut up and in a plastic bag.


Yesterday it was sleeveless t-shirt weather here and today a windchill factor of 31 degrees.
Beautiful blue skies tho.


Miz S,
Yes, you can never have too many health professionals in the family... at least in this family!
Thanks for the kind words.

LauraP said...

haha! that story literally had me laughing out loud! The imagery I had in my head of Bear chasing those chickens was amazing! YAYYYY KATIE!! CONGRATSS!!!

Floridacracker said...

He's pooped out and sleeping by the fire tonight. He looks so innocent when he is asleep.

Thunder Dave said...

I wish I could have been there to see that shinanigans going on, oh and the chicken chase would have been fun to watch too! Just kidding, congratulations Katie!

Rurality said...

It's been my experience that althought chickens *can* fly, they don't really like to!

Congrats to Katie!

Cathy S. said...

Congrats to Katie. Turning 21 and graduating all in one month is tremendous. Good work!

Kimberlee said...

Your experiment proves very well that even feather brains can learn if given a second (or third or fourth) chance. It's that IF that presents a problem! :)

Obviously Katie is no feather brain! She flew the first time out of the pen! LOL

Dumb or no, that bird on the roof is truly beautiful.

Is Bear getting enormous or what???

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Life is trial and error, but for Bear, maybe a little more of the latter, in only a way a dog knows how.

Ericka said...

did you ever see that interview with alice cooper? he was talking about being a city boy and assuming the chicken that he threw out over the audience would fly. turns out... not so much. bad day to be a chicken.

anywho, congratulations to katie!

kaylee said...

You let a really big dog frighten
helpless chickens.?
Way to be a hero.
Did the thought ever enter your
mind to teach the birds how to fly

kay lee

Dani said...

Yes, but don't tell anyone! ;)

Anonymous said...

Please give my congrats to Katie! Just a little late here in the Jing after a 8 hour "electrical" problem in Chi town! But at least I made it! Again good job to you, Mrs. FC and Katie!

Anonymous said...

Please give my congrats to Katie! Just a little late here in the Jing after a 8 hour "electrical" problem in Chi town! But at least I made it! Again good job to you, Mrs. FC and Katie!

bev said...

Congratulations, Katie! And yes, FC, it looks like that's one experiment that went very well. Congrats.

Floridacracker said...

Thunder n Lightning,
Thanks! Try and get some work done okay?

Apparently that is true.

Cathy S,
She's a busy girl!

Yes, that bird is a beauty! And YES, Bear is ginormous!
He's only about 10 months old.

The hard way is the Bear way.

No, but I kept thinking of the WKRP episode where Les Nesman tosses live turkeys out of a helicopter at Thanksgiving time.
"As God is my witness, I thought Turkey's could fly"
Too funny.

You've never been under attack by a rooster with 2 inch spurs before have you.
Makes the WWF look like fake wrestlin ... wait a minute ...

Your fowl secret is safe with me.

Every once in a while a plan comes together! Thanks!

Margaret Cloud said...

That made me tired just reading about Bears chase, That is a beautiful Katie and you should be proud, this is wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

Kimberlee said...

Roosters are definitely not helpless! I was chased down & spurred by a rooster when I was about six years old and I still have the scar. That particular rooster was a mean old thing and he ended up being gumbo by dinner time. I was too young (at the time) to actually feel vindicated, but to this day I have a healthy respect for the "hurt potential" of roosters.

Julie Zickefoose said...

I love this post, especially the subtle "chicken let out of the coop" tie-in with Katie, your successful experiment.

The image of a chicken with its head safely stuck in lattice but its butt sticking out will stay with me.

Chet Baker is allowed to chase everything but birds. From an early age I've let him sniff birds in the hand and asked him not to harm them. He's amazing, and the feeder birds don't fear him at all. His biggest Christmas present, however, was a bold gray squirrel who has been coming into the yard after Zick dough. We love letting him out a side door and watching him rocket around the house after that thing.