Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sometimes it takes a Village........

...Even in the animal world. My two silkies that are raising two chicks each seem to be sharing parental duties. I was late collecting the two families the other night and when I went out to the chicken tractor (which they share during the day) the black Silkie had all four under her even though the white one was sitting right next to her. Now these two moms are as different as night and day and I don't mean their color. The black one is calm and talks softly to her babies showing them food, picking it up and letting the little ones eat it right out of her mouth. She also knows I will take care of the three of them and acts like she wants me to pick them up and carry them in at dusk. As a result her babies are very tame and don't mind being handled. The white one squawks and makes noise, gets between me and the babes and just lets them know that I am a monster not to be trusted. She is however more able to defend her babies against the bigger hens where the black one tries but then chooses to run as opposed to standing and fighting like the white one resulting in losing one or both of her babies in the chaos. Yesterday a huge commotion outside brought me running from the house to see geese flying and honking and the two mom's raising hell. They were in the chicken tractor and all I could see was both moms running from one end of it to the other in tandem as if they were connected at the hip. At first I couldn't tell what the heck was going on but the way everyone was acting I was sure it had something to do with a predator. Then I saw it. A grey squirrel had got into the tractor to get some food and the two moms where trying to kill it. Poor terrified thing finally found its way out and I bet he doesn't try that again. So perhaps it does take a village.

Sometimes the village reaches across specie boundaries. We were having one of those lovely relaxed days at home. The sun was shining and the kids were hanging out in the yard getting some sun. Our oldest had been working on end of school homework earlier while the geese tried to eat it and was now in the hammock with her boyfriend while the youngest and her girl friend were sunning themselves on a blanket next to the hammock. A rare, perfect, peaceful day. Looking out the kitchen window I noticed one of the geese was in the hammock with the oldest and one was on the blanket with the youngest and her friend. The other two were sleeping at the foot of the blanket. No one is going to believe this and the pictures are on the friends ipod but I will try to post them when and if I get them. I would trade a weeks worth of normal days for one of these. It was perfect.

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