Chicken Chums

My friend Debbie is on vacation with her husband this week, so I am helping out on her farm.  Yesterday, Jim and I drove to her home in the country to feed her dog, refill humming-bird feeders, feed fish and harvest from her garden.  Best of all we got to TAKE CARE OF CHICKENS including my former pets, Rosie, Daisy, Violet and Scarlett.

All three ladies came running when we started calling to them.  Debbie has over 60 chickens but these girls are the only ones who jumped for grapes.

I almost missed Daisy’s awesome jump at the very beginning of this video.

Rosie and Violet were in no mood for hugging, but my sweet yellow girl let me hold her for a while.

Not so tight Mom!

After we took care of the chickens up the hill, we attended to Scarlett and Carlos who live near Debbie’s house in a roomy coop.

Frankly Scarlett my dear, I do give a damn.

She has grown into a very beautiful bird.

Rhode Island Red-head

We enjoyed seeing our former pets and were happy to see that they are healthy, beautiful and enjoying a great chicken life with all their new playmates.  We left Rowdy in charge while we were gone.

Good job Rowdy.

Neither Peep Nor Mew

It’s so quiet here.  I don’t have one single thing to write about that might interest anyone.  I’m going to take a small break from the kittybunnychicken until I get a new batch of kittens, or until something fun, weird or fascinating happens.  I had an idea that I would go back to the beginning and read all 133 posts of the CHICKENDIARY.  Would it be obnoxious of me to repost them one at a time over the next few months?  Oh well, I’m going to do it anyway.  🙂  Maybe some of you will take that walk down memory lane with me.

I’ll take my leave by showing you my little friend “Hummy”.  He/she entertains me while I’m washing dishes.  Enjoy.

Elizabeth

I took my last little foster to the shelter today.

Goodby Miss Elizabeth. Be good.

She took her little squirrel toy with her so she could smell something from home tonight.  She’ll have her surgery tomorrow and will probably be ready for adoption by Thursday or Friday.  She is beautiful and friendly, and will stay in the kitten room only a very short time.  Maybe she and Harry (he’s still there) will strike up a conversation about the Burlingame Foster home.

Harry

Elizabeth and Harry never met, but I’m sure they have lots in common.  Harry was Mulder’s BFF for a while when they were babies.

Back in the day.

I am often asked how I can give up these little ones after having them in my home for so long.  It ain’t easy, and I don’t recommend it for everyone.  My sister-in-law Beth could never do this.  When it comes to animals, her heart is made out of cotton candy and I’m sure she couldn’t stand the loss over and over again.  I will admit, I cried like a crazy blubbering idiot the very first time I took my fosters back to the shelter.   I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again, but then I realized how important the job was and how I was kinda good at it.  I have learned to steel my heart enough to make that drive and put my babies in the competent and caring hands of the staff at Montgomery Humane Shelter.  Today I waited until I was fully out of the parking lot before I squeezed out a few tears and then took a big sigh and drove home to my four cats and one bunny.

Elizabeth will be scared, sad and sore tomorrow, but soon she’ll make friends with the other kittens and wait her turn to be chosen as a beloved family pet.  I had a part in making her a very desirable kitten for some nice family and I’m proud of that.  Fostering is my way of making up for all the dumb, mean, stupid stuff I do on a daily basis.  I’m sure it doesn’t average out, but I’ll keep on making the effort just the same.   I hope you enjoyed our little queen as much as we did.  Here is a last video of Mulder and his sister doing their thing one last time.

Peace.  🙂

And Now for Some BunnyKitty

My last post focused on fowl, so today I’ll spend a bit of time with my other animal species.  Buster and Miss Elizabeth are happily co-existing.  He allows her to perch on his bunny cave and sometimes he’ll even sit with her a while.  Look carefully and you’ll see Mr. Mulder peeking out from the Bunny lair.

Buster shows his sensitive side. Don’t tell anyone!

You will often find an assortment of kitty and bunny on the bed in the morning when they all come get their morning treats.

Why is Buster eating that book?

He doesn’t seem to mind at all if a group of kittens invades his personal space and lately they are all spending a lot of time together.

But recently I captured the most unusual interaction ever to take place in the Burlingame home between Bunny and Kitty.  Buster has NEVER  allowed another animal to groom him except sweet little Boo Boo, his sister who died a few years ago.

I captured this rare occurrence with my camera and I hope to see much more of it as my two “boys” get used to living together as brothers.

I am constantly amazed at the accepting and loving nature of the animal kingdom.  I feel privileged to be a witness to it. 🙂

Miss Elizabeth met her weight goal and will leave tomorrow.  We will miss her sweet face and adorable personality.  Thank you to the Darnell family for sending her to us to take care of for a while.  We loved every minute.

Chicken Check-In

New readers of the kittybunnychicken might wonder about the “chicken” in the title.  On my home page you’ll see a little yellow chick, posing with Buster and Rowdy.  This is Scarlett, my little orphan Rhode Island Red I raised to coop age.

Scarlett meets Sammy.

I gave her to my good friend Debbie who has a beautiful chicken farm (paradise for chickens) in the country.  Debbie couldn’t integrate Scarlett into her large group of nearly 50 chickens right away because Scarlett had been raised alone, and she would have been a target for abuse from the other members of the flock.

She had never seen another chicken until I gave her to Debbie when she was 6 weeks old.

She knew about people, bunnies and kitties though!

So, she raised Scarlett in a coop by herself until she managed to socialize her with an orphan chicken of her own, Carlos.   It took a while, but Scarlett and Carlos became pals and lived in harmony for many months in the coop Jim had built for my former flock of chickens.

Rosie, Daisy & Violet’s former chicken cottage.

Well, the time had come for Scarlett and Carlos to join the gang up the hill so Debbie loaded our former coop on the truck and took it to the large fenced and “hawk cloth-covered” area where her gang roamed freely and in complete safety.  The coop would be a “buffer” for Carlos and Scarlett to retreat to if Debbie’s chickens decided to be mean and unfriendly to the newcomers.  This is what Debbie said about the moment they put the coop on the grass:

Don’t tell me chickens aren’t smart and don’t remember!!!!!!   When the coop was being
unloaded off the truck guess what three little fine feathered friends came
running as hard as they could with great big smiles on their faces????
You guessed it–Rosie Daisy and Violet!  They remembered it, and when we set it
down they ALL got inside and just looked it over and danced around with glee.
Rosie even took herself promptly up to the top floor.  I looked in the
peek hole and she had nestled down in a nest box.

And if this little story isn’t enough to make you smile, she uncovered another little surprise inside the coop.  As Rosie sat in the nest box, she got a weird look on her face.  Debbie decided to check the nest for anything out of the ordinary and guess what she found?  Ten little brown eggs.  Debbie had no idea Scarlett had even begun to lay, and for the past two weeks she had been secretly laying her eggs in the box.  What a sneaky little bird! 🙂

Debbie and her husband Walter are leaving town for a little vacation next week and I am going to be one of her chicken caretakers.  I’ll drive out to the farm July 29th, 31st and August 2nd, to care for her chickens, hummingbirds and her dog Buffy.  I’m also authorized to pick anything from her garden and take home all the eggs I can carry.  If anyone would like to come with me on any or all of these days, you are most welcome to partake of the bounty as well.  Start saving your egg cartons and set a side a basket for harvesting veggies.  I’d love to make some field trips out of my visits for any kids and/or their parents who would like to experience some farm life and chicken love.  I’ll have plenty of grapes on hand for the ladies to perform their famous “grape jumping” trick.

Daisy gets some air!

They still do it, and they are the only chickens in the whole farmyard who do.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little chicken check-in.  I’m often asked how the girls are doing at their new home.  They couldn’t have a better caretaker than my friend Debbie and I’m so grateful that she provided a home for them when they were exiled from my back yard.

Debbie and young Scarlett

Get in touch if you’d like to ride along for the chicken field trips at the end of the month.  The more the merrier. 🙂

That Boy Ain’t Right

Mr. Mulder has developed some serious behavioral oddities.  Perhaps it is because he was too young when he was weaned, or maybe he’s just one of those rare creatures who was born to be weird.  He has a serious attachment to the fuzzy pink blanket and he “nurses” on it and makes biscuits.  Jim alerted me to this extra bizarre episode I captured on camera.

We love him despite his strangeness.  Maybe more BECAUSE of it. 🙂

Meanwhile, he’s a comforting big brother to Miss Elizabeth, who continues to grow and thrive under his nurturing care.

And Rowdy does her best to be as cute as possible so that Elizabeth doesn’t eclipse her title of “Queen of Cuteness”.

I’m doing the best I can! How’s this?

We continue to be a hot spot for young visitors wishing to play with kittens, bunnies and whatever exotic creatures we happen to be hosting.

Gentlemen all.

Here’s a vase of virtual flowers from my garden.  Lean in close to smell their intoxicating perfume.

Scratch the picture to activate “smell-a-vision”.

🙂

Elizabeth’s Extended Sleepover

Miss Elizabeth has been on an adventure for three days.  The Norris family invited her to their house while Daddy was a way on a business trip.  (That Michelle is super sneaky!)  So while Nathan was bread-winning in South America, Mother and Children tried to integrate Little Elizabeth into their human and feline family.  She had a great vacation, but alas, the Norris’ kitties, Tommy and Cookie were having none of it.  After three days of trying, Michelle and Will brought Miss E home to the delight of Mr. Mulder.

Smell ya’ later Will!

The kids plan to visit their little houseguest while she remains here gaining weight.  Here are two very cute photos Catherine took of Elizabeth’s visit with her cell phone.

Although Mulder was very happy to have his little sister back, I think he was even happier to see his old friend Mr. Fuzzy Blanket!  Mulder, you are one weird dude.  Don’t ever change. 🙂