Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tor at Work

Tor continues to gain confidence and trust. He pretty much believes I will feed him daily, not ever punish him, and perhaps will even protect him. With his improved self-confidence he is less aggressive to the other dogs. He's terribly afraid of gunshots; target practicing or fireworks setting in the neighborhood still provokes him into climbing the fence.

Here Tor is in his second stint in the sheep pastures. He lasted 2 weeks the first time, then had to climb out. I'm hoping he'll last longer this time before he appears at the front porch.

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Growing Up Feathered

Mom peahen and her three growing chicks looking for bugs in the garden. These three fly quite well now. They also have their topknots, although you can't see them in this pic. Posted by Picasa

Resting on their favorite stump after a busy morning hunting down food. Dad and Sis are sunbathing nearby.

Anybody Home?

I often get the feeling I'm being watched, and look up to see a peafowl looking in. This hen is last year's chick. She spends much of her time helping care for her mother's latest clutch. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hawk Attack!

This story is about the free red rooster I mentioned in a previous post. The one some kindly neighbor dropped off while I was gone. **

Red Tail hawks are really very large.

I heard a chicken screaming out front and opened the door in time to see a red tailed hawk in the road, getting ready to make a meal out of my red rooster. The hawk was huge, and looked magnificant as he tried to subdue his prey.

This rooster had appeared one day, guarding the carport from me when I got home from work. He and I came to an understanding - he wouldn't attack me as long as I didn't turn my back on him. He was a feisty guy and attacked nearly everyone else. I could understand why someone didn't want him, I'm not so sure about why they thought he belonged with me. He was good at watching after the hens, so of course he stayed.

The hawk gave me a glare and reluctantly flew off when I came out, and the rooster disappered. The dogs went nuts, running into the bamboo. The duck was quacking loudly by the road. My red hen came flailing out of the bamboo, practically into my arms. I put her outside the fence, but the dogs were still intensely hunting in the bamboo. Then I heard a chicken moan. Following the sound, I found my red rooster lying in a thicket, looking mostly dead. I burrowed in and was about to grab him when Hannah the border collie darted in, snatched him up by the neck and took off, feathers flying everywhere. I caught her and retrieved the rooster, who was a bit shocky but surprisingly unhurt, considering he'd just been nabbed by a hawk and then a dog.

My very nasty red rooster ended up wrapped in a blanket in my bathroom, the only warm and dog-free zone. The rest of my feathered crew spent the day hiding under plants. It didn't take long for the rooster to regain his dignity, and go back to strutting up and down by the road. He and the duck and the red hen (the duck's best friend) liked to hang out where the water ran down off the road. My delightful duck was the only one of my critters who was totally and completely thrilled that it was winter.

From that day the rooster gave me more warning signs and attacked less frequently; his concession, I suppose, for having his life saved.