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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Poultry Relationships

There is so much drama on a homestead when one has poultry. Or so it seems to me. I have enough room in a large fenced side-yard to give everyone their 'space'. But, as in human relationships, there are just some personalities that don't mesh. For the most part, Alfie, my Pekin drake, could care less about the chickens. They are mildly annoying when they are crowded around the waterers, and they will attempt to run him over if he stands between them and me with possible food treats. A couple of rapid quacks are the extent of his irritation. That is, until he sees Attila the Hen. Alfie HATES her. If his beady eye spies ATH in the yard, he is after her faster than a bell clapper in a goose's butt (I've been waiting to use that expression). I'm not sure if it's the fact that she's loud and puffed up all the time, or if she just exudes a certain something that he finds offensive. He chases her all over the yard, in the coop and out, and in again, until she hops back up and sits on top of Dotty. Some of the hens are drama queens and any little thing will set them off, shrieking like little girls. That sometimes will get the rest of them going and it is total cacophony until, one by one, they realize they've forgotten what all the hubbub was about. Junior is usually the last to stop - he loves a good hissy-fit.

On a more sober note, little Pearlie Mae is not making progress. I put her outside, knowing that it will be warm and sunny so she won't get chilled. The rubber flooring in the infirmary may be hampering her recovery, since she can't get purchase on the slick surface. Then, again, she seems to have lost most of her muscle tone in her legs, so it's a moot point. I will have to make a decision as to keep on trying to get her mobile, or ... not. That is a very difficult decision for me, as I find it almost impossible to take life away. I've had to do it twice before and it haunted me for weeks, even though it was the right decision in both cases. Let's hope the sunshine, green grass and nice (low) bowl of water work a miracle.

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