Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Animal Management Break-down, and Reset

Can you see them?  Twenty-two chicks?  They're between the tree and the pallet teepee.  They're so tiny in that great big run!

Yesterday, i thought (without aid of a weather forecast) that it would be a great day for my 2 week chicks to spend a day in the run and get some practice scratching around and being chickens.

Silly me.

Meanwhile, i had my poor dogs on their third day of a strenuous, paranoia-based game of musical dogs, and Punkin's patience was wearing thin.

During the meanwhile, we got an invite to a family Labor Day gathering.

At the current stage of musical dogs, Bingo was in the house with us, and Jelly and Punkin were tied up ( in the shade, with plenty of water), Jelly having been found guilty of trying to dig into the chicken run.  I'm already feeling a little stressed for unknown reasons, when Punkin, sitting under a tree, separated from her brother, begins to let out the most heart wrenching howl.  It's the saddest thing.  I should have gotten you a picture, but i was too busy crying.  I couldn't handle it anymore.  I went out and let her go.  More on that in a minute.

I jumped in the shower and started making plans to rearrange my animals.  I thought i would gather my chicks back into the brooder, and Punkin would go with us to see family, which includes her sister, Jenny.

Little did i know.

I headed out the door to the chicken run, freshly showered, to see about gathering up my chicks.  As my eyes caught a glimpse of the sky, i realized there was more than one reason to gather chicks.  It was about to storm!

Twenty-two baby chicks, ill-equipped to weather the rain and wind, were out in the elements and refused to be caught.  You should have seen their surprise when water started to fall on their tiny little heads.  They were fluttering about in confusion, and they were certainly not going to let me anywhere near them.  I was at a loss.

Thankfully, that pallet teepee in the picture, includes an area which can shelter chickens from the elements, should the chickens be smart enough to discover it.  I wasn't sure if they would be.  I was standing in the rain, getting re-showered, while my chicks (in whom i have way too much emotional energy invested) hopped around in panic.  Eventually, a couple of smart little babies discovered the sheltered area and alerted the rest before they got too wet.  I was so thankful.

There was no getting them right then.  I couldn't risk scaring them and sending them back into the rain, so i carefully placed additional coverings over their area, and i had to leave them and hope for the best.  Better than hope, i prayed and asked the Lord to take care of them and keep them safe.

Let me share the emotional lesson i was getting.

I am not a controlling person.  It is not part of my personality to be controlling.  However, since i have started raising animals, from time to time, it is a temptation to try to control, for lack of a better term, fate.  It can't be done.  And when i try, i feel a suffocating hand wrap around my proverbial throat that keeps me from enjoying any of the beauty around me.  It's called fear.  Fear that something might go wrong, mixed with the misconception that i can, through my own means and ideas, keep bad things from ever happening.  I cannot.  I can do my part, but the rest must be left up to God.

Yesterday was an emotional reset and a reminder.

I also realized that i had jumped the gun on believing Punkin was in heat. My persistence in the game of musical dogs was based on paranoia, not sound thinking.

I am delighted to report, also, that all is well today.  Late last night, i returned to find my chicks, cuddled, warm, and dry, under the teepee shelter, and i was able to scoop their sleepy heads up and move them back to the safety of the brooder, where there is plentiful food, water, and heat.

And Punkin, today, free from the hands of controlling paranoia, is happily frolicking and having a wonderful playful day with Jelly and Bingo.

I think she still loves me, even.


  1. OMG Beth..... you are so funny...

    YOU taught me to chillax and allow my chickens to free range and stuff.... YOU..

    so this post was especially funny to me.

    Hey btw.... if h you know what swells up twice the size as it is now..... that is the first sign.... then the smeeeeelllll..... then the blood etc..

  2. looks like you have a couple Buff Orpingtons woo hoo

  3. Beth, love this post! Isn't it amazing how smart the chicks are and that they did find the teepee. They are to adorable for words and I am so glad it all worked out. I am guilty of that same emmotional attachment!
    Amy at Verde Farm

  4. Checking up on you!! glad all is better today!! i love you!!! will call tomorrow ~ have a drive to the other side of the world and if its not raining will call then ~ if it is raining will call earlier ~ i miss you!!!! mmp


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