"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pretty Face Counts to Three

Who woulda thunk that a chicken could count.  At least to three.

You have to read the last post to understand the rest of this.  Last night, well after dark, we went out to slip the seven new chicks under Pretty Face.  It seemed like a successful insertion.

Pretty Face and her three chicks: Peep, Bo-Peep, and Blondie
If you've been keeping up with this blog, you know that I originally put three eggs under Pretty Face.  Two of them hatched.

We went down to the broody coop this morning at about 07:00, just as the sky was hinting of dawn over the southeastern  mountain ridge.  We opened the coop to find Pretty Face had huddled the two original chicks and the one blonde chick at her side and the rest of the chicks were huddled by themselves over in the corner.

I raced up to the house with the ceramic dishes in hand to quickly mix up some chick feed and get it back down to them.  When I got back and put the dish down in the coop, Pretty Face and "her" chicks began feeding, but if one of the other chicks tried to approach the dish, she would peck them hard and make a ferocious chicken noise that I can only describe as a low growl.

We knew right then that the other six chicks had been rejected.  She picked one, the "Blondie" who looks like a smaller clone of Bo-Peep.  But she only picked one.  As if to say, "I started with three eggs, and anything else just isn't working for me."

Twyla was wearing this big old winter coat and so we put three chicks in each waist pocket and walked back up to the house, brought the cage back into the warm bathroom and put them all back in.  But that wouldn't work for more than a few hours, so I cleared space on a table in the office/work room and set up the cage in there.

Moxie is really going crazy wishing she could mother them.  We've had them out, holding them and making them feel safe.  They really do act like they need some mothering.  A bottle of hot water in a towel, plenty of food and water is available, but if they hear our voices, they chirp like crazy and only settle down when we talk to them or hold them.

I really have to wonder if I'm ever going to get to eat my own home grown, free-range chicken for Channukah.

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