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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Monday, April 4, 2016

It does NOT take a village ...

Yesterday I went outside with my camera to take pictures of our handsome rooster, Fowler.  Unfortunately, this rooster is getting too big for his britches (feathers!).  He likes to chase and attack young boys, namely Solomon and Hunter, which has led to them being afraid to go outside.  And boys that won't go outside?  Well that just doesn't work.  (Hunter tried using a big stick to beat off Fowler but Fowler just flew up to Hunter's hands to peck him.)

After behaving perfectly for his photo shoot, I walked away and Fowler suddenly attacked MY legs.  Lovely.  Add to all the bloody scratches from Tabby's roosters.  My legs look like I've been running through the briar patch.

So yes Fowler, I'm sorry.  It's time for you to go, since I'm too big a wimp to wring your neck and pluck you and cook you myself.

So - Fowler is now listed on CraigsList at the bargain price of only $0.00.

I find it fascinating watching animal mothers.  I've written before about some of my observations of our mama dog and a mama chicken.

I've been doing some mama chicken observations again as we currently have two hens that are raising chicks.  The first is our experienced mama, My Precious.

Precious and her dozen chicks
The other is our hen Beru, who is well ... psychotic. 

Beru and her brood of 8 chicks
Both of these mamas are attentive to their fuzzy babies and pretty much do the same things.  Talk to them, keep them warm, teach them things like scratching and pecking, call them for food and water, and keep them close by. 

However, the way in which they do it isn't just the same.  Precious is so easy going and patient.  She keeps her clucking even and her behavior is very consistent.  She keeps a careful eye on her dozen and the only time she raises her voice is when one strays too far.  She is kind yet firm when necessary. 

Beru on the other hand, leads, clucks, and teaches, but she is just so erratic in her personal behavior.  She will suddenly just shriek and act psycho for a moment, then is OK.  She loses her temper easily if Precious or any other chicken gets too near.  If we are trying to give her food, water, or even her chicks - she has no hesitation in pecking us.  It's just bizarre to watch her pecking and eating with the chicks, and then suddenly have what looks like a little tantrum, and then fluff up and carefully allow the biddies to snuggle up under her.

Another thing I've noticed, is that in general, mama hens do NOT want help with their babies.  Neither Precious nor Beru want any other hen to get near them or their babies.  And they do not even like to get close to each other.  One day Precious and Beru faced off in a fight where they acted like roosters - jumping at each other.  So in the world of chickens, their little brains do not think that it "takes a village" to raise their chicks.

Bingo is the little grey chick - it had some physical issues the first few days (which made me love it instantly of course) but it seems just fine now
After taking pictures of our fine feathered friends, it was so nice outside, I walked around and took a few more pictures.

Here is Lilly's garden.  I had transplanted a bunch of daffodils in her garden last year and even though you can see all the green, not one flower opened up.  I was so disappointed!  Maybe it was the weird winter weather of unseasonably warm mixed with cold days.

If you are reading this and live local to us, and you have an Easter lily in your home, when it dies, instead of throwing it away - I would love to have it.  I plant the bulbs along the fence behind Lilly's garden.

The boys and I have enjoyed finding wildflowers in our yard or along the road, picking them, and identifying them with the help of our NC wildflower guide.  Then we put the flowers in vases around the house to brighten things up.  Here are some that are blooming now (hopefully we've got the names right):

Trailing Phlox (pink)
Trailing Phlox (white)

Downy False Foxglove
Exhaust Pipe barking up the wrong tree?:


  1. I don't know many (or any) wildflower names! And maybe Fowler will go to a good home where he can rule the roost. When my girls were pre-school, their daddy brought home a puppy doberman. He wanted it sooooo badly. But the girls, especially Crystal, was deathly scared of him and I just couldn't have a child that didn't want to go outside. I am sure with you on that. Hugs to those poor boys! I'd be afraid of getting pecked too!

    1. Aw, it's awful when kids are really scared of animals.
      The boys keep praying that none of the chicks will turn out to be roosters. I saw two of them fighting yesterday though, so we just may be giving away more roosters. (Though maybe we'll actually get one that likes kids!)

  2. Have you found a home for Fowler yet? Part of me would love to raise chickens, but after all your stories of death by predators, disease, and etc., I don't think I'm cut out for it. I'd probably want to keep them in the house. Ha!

    1. No - Fowler is still in the yard terrorizing the boys. And attacking ME now! Tabby says people do keep chickens as pets in the house. They wear specially made chicken diapers! LOL I just don't know about that though - chickens do so love to scratch and peck. Best answer is probably to use a chicken tractor to keep them safe!