Tuesday, May 27, 2008

When Good Chicks Go Bad - and Bear Neccessities

Several people have told me that their chicks just love banana as a special treat. Well, being the wonderful Mother Hen that I am, I decided to treat my little precious peeps to a few chunks of banana. I sliced them up very small, sprinkled a little grit on them, put them in a little container, and slid them into the coop. You would have thought I was trying to feed them arsenic. They took off in a flurry of fuzzness to the complete opposite end of the brooder, huddled together in the corner, and glared at me. I tried putting some in my hand and coaxing them to me, but they would have nothing to do with it. Even little Lucy was suspicious. She came over and pecked around my hand, but would get no where near that banana. I'm not sure if this is a sign that I'll have picky eaters, or if I am not doing a very good job of teaching them to expand their horizons by trying new and different things.

One morning last week, I awoke to A LOT of noise coming from the spare room where the brooder is. When I opened the door to the room, I obviously surprised the peeps and they froze in place. I had caught them in the middle of a Wild Chick Party! It looked like a scene from "When Good Chicks Go Bad". Both feeders were empty and feed was scattered all over the brooder. Their waterer was filled with poop and pine shavings, and the mirror had been knocked over. The place was a mess! As I cleaned it up I scolded them and explained that this type of behavior is completely unacceptable. Any chicken under 6 months of age is not allowed to stay up all night and party in this house. It will not be tolerated! As I left the room, I swear I saw 3 of them roll their eyes at me. Honestly - chicks these days!

This morning, Bernie came in to ask me if I had looked outside at my composter today. I immediately knew something was not right. We went outside and found that the composter had obviously been attacked by a bear. He ripped the lid open and busted the clasp that locked it shut. I think he was after the shrimp shells I put in there yesterday. Shrimp shells have no fat or grease, and they compost beautifully. I've added them many times in the past and never had any issues with the bears before. I guess this bear really had a hankering for sea food. Bernie is outside building me another composter right now.

For some reason, the bear also decided to remove the cover from the box that houses the control valve for our septic system. He didn't do any damage - he just removed the cover. It weighs somewhere around 10 - 15 pounds, so he had to be fairly determined to get it off. Bernie thinks he may have found some bugs around it and was digging for them. I'm just glad he didn't mess with anything inside the box. You can see pictures of the damage to the composter on the Back to Basic Living website. Scroll down to the bottom.

When I came back in from taking pictures of the bear damage, I paused to once again remind Elvis and Priscilla how darn lucky they are to be house cats, how good they have it inside, and that they should be grateful that they aren't bear food. Elvis threw his arm in the air in a "Talk to the Paw" response:


And then he went back to sleep:


I'm at my wits end with these kids.

Bee Free,

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