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Friday, February 13, 2009

THE GENERAL

Here he is! in all his brilliant colors strutting around the chicken yard.
Did I ever tell you that I love chickens and have thoroughly enjoyed raising them? I don't have them now but if I didn't have to fight off the Hawks, coons, cougars and other predators, I would.
The Generals story is not exactly what one would expect of a rooster. I learned a lot from him.
It all started when a young hen, Goldie Pearl decided she was going to hatch out a light bulb that I accidentally left in one of the nests. She sat on it for days, then weeks and would not leave it. Finally out of desperation I bought three baby chicks at the feed store. Two black Sex links and one Rhode Island Red. After The the chickens were roosting for the night I went out to the chicken house and carefully lifted Goldie Pearl enough to pull the warm light bulb out from under her. Then I tucked the three little chicks under her and left, praying that she would accept them.
The next morning when I checked, they were all getting along great and mama Goldie was teaching her three babies how to scratch and peck.

This is a picture of Goldie Pearl with a different batch of chicks. The general is having himself a relaxing sunbath, confident that Goldie has everything under control, and she certainly did. She was a very protective mama.


Now here's another of the General's wive's,
Lucy Mae. Their chicks have grown to the age when they are beginning to roost. However, they still need to be kept warm and some of the chick's have not yet learned to fly up to the roosting poles, so while Lucy Mae nests down in a corner of the chicken house with her immature young tucked beneath her.......


the Gallant General roosts with their more mature chicks tucked under his breast.
When I was a girl we had a very mean rooster so I assumed they were all like that. The General taught me different.
When the chicks were old enough to be outside, the mama's would sometimes wander off, leaving the General to attend their young, and he did it like a pro, scratching and pecking, as he clucked commands to his offspring and often scratching up a piece of ground to expose treats for his young.
I can't tell you how sweet it is to watch a baby chick in it's first efforts to find food. Sometimes pulling so hard on a worm that they tumble over backwards, and the chases when one found a treat and all his little nest mates wanted it. The chase was on and was as funny to watch as a herd of clowns, as they clumsily stumbled, tumbled and rolled, all the while their spindly, twig like legs kicking to beat the band!

Here is the General again with his adopted daughters when they are older. Remember the light bulb replacements?
The General, Lucy Mae and Goldie Pearl were all banty's, which are very small.
The Adopted daughters, who I named Peep, Chicken and Colette, are much larger so when they had reached this age, they were about the same size as the General and Goldy Pearl. Now remember they are still babies and need the warmth of their parents bodies at night.
Can you imagine how funny it was to watch the three adopted daughters try to get beneath their mother? She kept toppling off them and they kept trying. I think they all passed out from sheer exhaustion.
Well now you know about the General and his family.
I hope you enjoyed reading about it.
I sure enjoyed living it!
I can't say that chickens are smart but I can say that they could teach some of the human race about maternal and paternal instincts.
God bless you all and remember to pray for our troops and the people of Australia who are being affected by the horrible fires.





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