Baby bunny that I think I bumped in the nose (not part of Emms house)
As some of you may know, Bantam (Bantee) chickens are sometimes known for their unusual habit of sleeping up in trees. But beware Bantam owners, for it can be dangerous and fatal for the tiny treetop sleepers. Trust me, I know from personal experience, and here is my story.
It was a dark and stormy night… … just kidding. Actually, it was a pretty clear and cloudless night (but it was still dark), and, as usual, my little Bantee chickens (Rocky and Ginger; who are mates) were sleeping in their tree. The very next morning, I got up bright and early to feed my chickens, ducks, and geese, but I couldn’t find Rocky anywhere! Ginger was devastated. The next day, I went out again to feed the birds. Still no Rocky! By the next morning of no Rocky, it was pretty clear that he was probably gone for good. But the next day, what are we to find but Rocky walking up the driveway!!! We were so surprised. There were a few wounds on his little comb. They looked a lot like talon marks, so we assumed that he had been taken by a big bird and had somehow wriggled free and found his way home after nearly 4 days!. Ginger was so happy to have her one true love back. And from that day on, Ginger and Rocky never slept in a tree again (because we made sure we locked them in the little chicken house!).
One morning grandpa heard the clippity clop of horse hooves outside the fence along the country road, and decided to peek over the fence to see who was riding. Low and behold it was a young girl riding bareback, holding the reins while ponying another horse, and holding a tiny bundle in her other hand. She asked him, “Is this your kitten? I just found it laying in the middle of the road in front of your property.” Of course, it was not ours, but, being grandpa, he quickly replied, “I guess it is now.” So, that is how Yoda came to Runamuck. He did not have his eyes open yet. We figured something got the mama, so we took him in and began bottle feeding him. He is now 6 years old. His name came from the fact that whenever he swallowed a gulp of milk, his ears would move back and forth… and they were pretty big ears… thus, the name “Yoda”.
During this same time, one of our goats died while giving birth, and we had to bottle feed her kid. He and Yoda slept together in the bathtub, and would play together like a couple of puppies…. but that’s another story.
What kid doesn’t like to feed and catch birds? Our youngest granddaughter adores birds of any kind. (Although, as the roosters get older they can get aggressive, as well as the geese!) She currently has two new baby ducks she swoons over. Every morning and every evening it is her chore to collect eggs, feed, and make sure they are locked in their little house by dark. We have only lost about 6 birds in nearly 14 years to wild animals. Once, in broad daylight, we watched as a bobcat ran across the open meadow and grabbed a duck. As we yelled and carried on, the duck broke lose, but she didn’t survive her wounds.
One day while working in the gardens, I heard the sound of a hen in distress and went out into the pasture to see what was the matter. There, about 8 feet away, stood a huge bald eagle with one of our hens in it’s tallon. I yelled and jumped up and down, trying to make myself bigger than life, in hopes he would release the hen and she could get to the safety of the blackberries just 3 feet away. My horse, Trubadour heard the excitement and came running over. He stopped dead in his tracks when he realized what was gong on. In all the commotion, the hen did get lose and ran to safety. The bald eagle however, was not pleased, and if looks could kill, I wouldn’t be writing this story today. He was so ominous and intimidating, but beautiful. He then lifted up into the air and flew off, followed by his “gang” of vultures and ravens. It was like something out of a Stephen King movie. All the birds stayed hidden the rest of the day (no surprise there).
Later that evening, grandpa and I went to the coop to see how the hen was, as we knew she must have been injured. There she was sitting on the perch next to another hen, and we could see she had blood on her side from the eagle’s tallon. As we approached her to get a closer look, the hen next to her actually growled at us, and opened her wing, spreading it out over the injured hen covering her up, as if to say “Leave her be, she’s had enough.” We were astounded that chickens were so protective of one another.
Recently. we found a baby skunk sleeping in the chicken house, all tucked into the straw in the corner. Ahhhh, so that’s what happened to the missing eggs!
Yes, we eat our chickens and turkeys!… but that’s another story…