Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sometimes, Chckens Can Be Real Smart....

....But this ain't one of those times.....

Since this is sweet corn season, there are lots of stalks left over in everyones corn patch. It's the age old problem. What do you do with the rest of the plant, once the ears are gone?

My neighbor always plants a big patch of sweet corn. This year was no different. The only thing bad about it was - they were going to be gone when a good part of it matured. He told us that we could have it, and then chop the stalks for our goats.

We went through the patch, and got all of the ears that looked like they were going to be edible, then chopped a bunch of stalks. Usually, it will take a week of chopping to get all of the stalks cut down. I do it daily so they are nice and fresh for the goat monsters.

Of course, there are always little "mini-ears" that won't do for us, but goats and the feather bunch love them.

I put a goodly pile on the tailgate of the pickup, then drive home to the waiting tummies of several two and four footed friends. Usually, they run to the end of the pasture that borders the road to wait. I think they are playing a game to see who can spot me coming home first. They KNOW what I have on board....

As I pull into the driveway, they come running to meet me.

At this point, I like to stop and "tease" them a bit with it....It's good for their digestion...

When I've tortured them enough, I continue on to the gate where I feed them. They take off at a dead run to see if they can beat me there.

Since they just HAVE to be a part of everything, the chickens and cats come running to see what all the ruckus is about. The barn is soon devoid of it's cats, goats, and any chickens that like to hang out in the barn yard. Everyone is out by me, looking for handouts.

I toss - or more like "javelin" throw - a few stalks over the fence, which are immediately pounced upon by the goats. The chickens - and cats, oddly enough - gather round in case I toss any ears. The cats will actually fight the chickens for one. All stalks, silk, leaves, and shucks, go to the goats.

Three or four day ago, during one of these frenzies, I noticed one of the big Cornish Cross chickens in with the goats, having a good old time rummaging through everything.

This, in itself, isn't so strange. What IS odd about it is - these chickens can't get through the fence, and can only get about a foot off the ground with a down hill run, a take-off ramp, and a tail wind. He HAD to have snuck in a gate somewhere.

I really didn't give it much thought until the next day when I saw him again. He didn't have access to shelter, or even water where he was at, so I figured I would catch him and toss him over the fence.

Nope.

He hadn't been out there long enough, to be worn out enough, for me to get close enough, to catch him. He wasn't thinking straight, though. I knew something he didn't.

It was going to rain that day.

The next morning, I had forgotten about him until he came walking up to the gate with the goats. He was all bedraggled looking (like the old saying - "something the cat drug in...."). He STILL didn't want to be caught, though - although he was a few steps slower.

This morning, I found him huddled in the corner of the fence when I went out to milk. He looked REALLY worse for wear - soaked to the skin from dew, and looking just plum wore out. I went on in to finish in the barn, then left to get more corn stalks.

When I got back, he had disappeared again, so I started to unload the corn. One of the goats flushed him out of a tire feeder, so he came over and sat down in the middle of the feeding frenzy. In no time flat, he was covered with stalks, leaves and silk, with goats eating off of his back. I figured that he was either done for, or real accepting to being removed from the goat pen.

He didn't even move or squawk when I picked him up. I think he was just relieved his ordeal was over. I took him outside the pen, and put him on the ground by the barn. He got up slowly and walked to the chicken house to get a drink. This afternoon, he was his old perky self again.

It will probably be a long time before he tries it again.

On the other hand, he ain't none too bright - I might find him out there tomorrow...

Here's a "thought for the day". I learned this from a wise neighbor.

When someone waves at you, be sure to take time out from your busy day to wave back. You might think you've shunned one person, but it's those people you don't see, who ARE watching, that you've just revealed your TRUE character to.....

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