Monday, July 2, 2012

# 296 - Murder or Chicken Trespassing?

Chickens in the garden are not what I want to see when I look out the window. The two new chicks that were added to our flock over Easter were given a taste of what was in the garden and now they have figured out how to expertly fly over the little fence we built so they can gobble down a feast. However, once I head outside, they usually fly back over the fence, especially Beaker because she has to be by my side. Today, she stayed so close at my feet that I nearly tripped over her.

That bird is awesome. I am hoping that this bird that I love so much doesn't suddenly disappear like the other one did. I guess I feel attached to Beaker since she had such a rough beginning due to a dog attack that really should not have happened. A Yorkie is not to be trusted with chicks...testing that theory comes at the expense of an innocent little baby creature and I could not go there, not with the vibes that I clearly felt from Belle the Yorkie. I didn't feel she was ready to be trusted; I had no illusions about it and glad I wasn't in the room during the attack.

However, I guess I could've yelled and screamed and thrown a HUGE fit about the situation, but I didn't. Was I pleased? No. Instead of wasting energy in another senseless attack, I decided to figure out how to fix it. I immediately went online to my blog buddies to make a post of inquiry about chicks with damaged beaks, then went to a few online sites for chickens that I have linked at the bottom of my Home Page.

Overall, it was a hectic night involving a bad decision that ended up getting one of the birds injured, but Beaker made it through, miraculously. That tiny chick lost a lot of blood for her size and she swooned for a while, but she survived. At the time, my at-home status came in handy because I went in and fed that bird by dropper every 10-15 minutes, starting at 6:00am the day after the attack.

So, I see Beaker in the garden and get frustrated at her trespassing, but I am also glad that she is able to peck at food in her own adapted manner so that she can eat and be content. With the top beak missing, she can't eat from a ground surface that isn't soft. The other chickens will scrape their beaks along the concrete, as if to file their own beaks down, but she has little coverage for a top beak and has no such luxury to scrape a beak she doesn't possess. So, she can eat nicely from a soft patch of ground or from a feed bowl with a few layers of feed, but she's fast and I am sure to feed her lots of treats during the week...scraps of food and last week's bread. She sure seems to be a happy bird, in spite of her being attacked while only a few days old...perhaps two weeks old.

Having compassion for the chicken is something that is a good lesson for any of us. No matter how small or seemingly insignificant a creature might seem to you, they are living beings. I had experienced extreme frustration that my warnings about Belle were not heeded; I found that my words fell upon deaf ears, yet the message still came across loud and clear, but in a different, more unpleasant manner. Yorkies and little helpless chicks do not mix well. Period. No excuses. Sometimes listening can save someone agony or better yet, it might save an innocent creature many agonies.

I guess I'm selfish like that...I'd prefer for the little creatures to be protected, even though I adore Belle, I understand and respect her hunter nature. I didn't feel as if my own sense of power could change that instinct.

My personality is to save the creatures that the others say won't have a chance at living. I've got a record for these kinds of things and it makes me even more determined to never say die until death has fully approached. So, Beaker gets the soft treatment when she's found in the garden. Usually, I give her a few extra minutes to gobble more of those leaves that she can easily feed upon. Besides, it's kind of a lost cause with those two breaching the garden boundaries.

On another note, this is the end of Monday and it's been a good day. This was the first Monday I've not had to attend a Grand Jury session since the start of April. Every Monday and Thursday, for three months, I sat in a Grand Jury room and heard near 100 cases per session for possible indictment. On some days we heard approximately 130 cases in one day and made our votes while reserving part of the day for investigations.

This morning, my alarm clock went off, as usual, then I realized that I would not have to make the drive into downtown to hear more depressing cases. Since last Thursday involved the decapitation of an 81 year old man...his head set down next to his body with the hearing aid still in place, it was a file to ruin the day. That file was the 3rd one of the day and we had over 100 to hear on that day...we were off to a very difficult start and it was the FIRST time in three months of seeing untold numbers of autopsies and crime scene photos that I lost my appetite. In fact, everyone on the Grand Jury lost their appetite. Still we moved forward to continue to hear and to vote on approximately 100 more cases. Keep moving --- that's my motto. Get it done.

Regardless, I woke up to realize that I am now Grand Jury Free. I can say that the stress that being on a Grand Jury is unlike any other are presented with a multitude of cases in one day. instead of sticking to one case for one decision. Grand Jury requires you to process a BULK amount of cases so they can either go to trial or fade into the sunset with a No Bill. This is why they only allow you to serve one term every year, it is a heavy duty that I will not likely do again. Twice is enough for me. So, for now, I'm decompressing and enjoying my chickens.

One thing is for certain, if I can handle the stress of being in a Grand Jury for months and can deal with the stress of having to make major decisions that will impact the lives of my fellow citizens, even in the face of publicized personal threats upon us as a Grand Jury in an attempt to pressure us to vote a certain way (didn't work), I can surely handle a chicken crisis. Besides, I'm a hands-on kind of gal. I guess that's why I live with nine critters...six chickens and three dogs. At the close of this Monday, I'm glad to be home to chase the chickens out of the garden; it's much more pleasant than hearing about yet another murder.


Michelle said...

Did you clip the birds wings! This will stop them from flying over the fence. Before we did this ,I had one fly up into a tree. When I walk under it to look for her ( in the Dark) She landed on my head. Scared me to death. The next day their wings were clipped. said...

Michelle, that would have terrified me as well, especially in the dark! But, your suggestion is a very good idea. We haven't had to clip wings in a long time, but to save what is left of the garden, I do believe this week that will be a task. Hopefully they will not remember their daily feasts in the garden and stay on the safe side of the fence! :-)


Karen said...

Hi Lana, oh, what a job the Grand Jury was. My, it would be hard to see the goodness in humankind after hearing all the gruesome cases.

Chickens in the garden are no fun, that I know. I feel sorry for our nine 'girls' because they are confined to their big chicken run. We really need to make chicken tractor for the months they are not allowed to roam free range.

I've clipped some wings on my little banties, too, because they figured out how to fly over the fence. Another thing you could try is bird netting used to cover raspberry patches. It's light and cheap and covers a large area really well. I have some covering the fence where the girls take off from their perches. That put an end to their flights!

I think it's so wonderful your pet hen is so devoted to you. And Belle is just like my little Pudding who thought chickens were for eating, too until I convinced her otherwise. I still see her tense up when the hens run away though she won't give chase anymore.

Glad you're done with the Jury. Have a great 4th! said...

Karen - It's true that the gruesome nature of humanity is very apparent in a Grand Jury session, but we've also seen the beauty of people who come forward as witnesses, even though they are in grave personal danger for coming forward. I've been amazed by the good-nature of some people to not idly go along with falsely accusing someone of a crime they know that person didn't commit. I've also been amazed at the people who are so willing to lie or falsify information to save their own neck, while being angry at others who are truth-seekers. It's definitely been enlightening. It makes me KNOW that speaking the truth is a virture that is critical and not always popular to do. I'd hope that anyone who witnessed a crime, even involving a family member, would do justice for the situation. As for my chicks, I think the advice of a wing clipping is in order. I LOVE that little Beaker. About ten minutes ago I had been outside gathering eggs and she flew up to my face again, clearly trying to get into my arms. I NEVER KNEW chickens could be these endearing. It's almost heart-breaking to have the dogs follow me inside and Beaker trailing right along behind us, yet I have to close the door on her. Today, I said outloud, "Damn if I ever thought a CHICKEN could provoke guilty feelings in me!" I wish I could tuck her in at bedtime, but she's with the big gals outside and will hopefully be fine. As for your chickens being penned, ours start practially howling when we must pen them. I wondered how yours react? I bet you do want a chicken run for them, you've got a good sized flock. I can't imagine all that you must do everyday for your land to be so stunning, PLUS you take care of chickens! We might have to use some netting; I believe our garden should have a bit bit of shade as well, it's in too much sun every day, which can be scorching. It's good to hear that Pudding is another convert! I'm so happy that Belle does not have it in her to attack the full-sized birds, but she is definitely ready to much on the chicks, no doubt about it. It's as if she feels BIG around the chicks and is ready to abuse her power as the head-honcho, size-wize. That dog has come a LONG way since she came into our lives. Anyway, I'll be coming over to your blog shortly for a nice visit and for some catching up. Wish I could see your beautiful gardens in person...and to be a guest photographer!! You just might be on my bucket list Karen!!!!


John Gray said...

quote away my friend xxx said...

John - You are the sweetest! XXX back at you! :-)