Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Little Miracle


Lying in bed early this morning, I had already formulated a somewhat lively blog discussion about " email etiquette" in my head, before I had even put a dirty foot into a grubby croc shoe.
But subsequent events have put paid to all of that interesting banter.
Another one of the refugees was killed and eaten by badgers overnight. A small and pretty Araucana " forgot" to make it back to her hen house before dusk and had roosted herself away in thick undergrowth .
 I have noticed that this occasionally happens with hens that are not used to free range greenery....no matter how much you try to " imprint " them on their home coop, they seem slightly overwhelmed with the total freedom of the great outdoors and wander off like Jenny Agutter did in Walkabout.
Two casualties out of 33 hens is not a bad loss rate given the way the refugees suddenly appeared 

Unfortunately the little araucana had a newly hatched single chick with her and of course there was no sign of it when I scoured the bushes and nettles by the pond, the exit point for the badger run.
But I was sure I heard  a faint " peep peep" of a distressed chick somewhere about., though I could not be totally sure.
I was not the only one who heard something
For out of a far coop, a fat broody and over motherly Buff Orpington called Sorrel lumbered over clucking loudly to herself .
She waddled past me and pushed her way into a patch of nettles only to reappear seconds later with the lost  araucana chick in tow. 
If I had not seen it with my own eyes , I would never of believed it.
Foster mum and chick are now set up in their own house safe and sound.

A heartwarming little tale

67 comments:

  1. tears, tears and more tears. How absolutely sweet. And look at that little face peeping out from under his new foster mom...
    more tears
    Els

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  2. That's a good outcome! It's a shame that a lot of chickens don't have the innate sense to flap up into a tree if they decide to spend the night under the stars.

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    1. Mom would not roost cos she had the chick.....so it was the chicks fault mom died me thinks

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    2. Ah, the supreme sacrifice - chicken supreme.

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  3. awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww (sniff)

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  4. Let's hope the little chick makes it. I guess the odds are still stacked against it. Nice story.

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    1. It all depends on the buff.
      The distressed call allowed her mothering instinct to kick in... But she may turn on the chick if and when she realises it's not in fact hers

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  5. Interesting John - and heart warming as you say. Hens are amazing when they are broody and we have used them on more than one occasion to rear other things - ducklings, pheasants, even geese, although they rapidly outgrow their foster mum's skirts.
    I now await your blog on e mail etiquette with curiosity.

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  6. Ah, what a lovely tale to wake up to. Well done Sorrel x

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  7. Aaaahh, poor little thing. Hope the chick makes it. It sounds like its found a good home!

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  8. How lovely. Fingers and toes crossed it makes it.

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  9. What a happy bedtime tale.

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  10. What a magical moment John. Makes all the hard work worthwhile, doesn't it.

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  11. Your stories often break my heart, even though this one, all things considered, has a happy denouement. It's no good, a town life for me!

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  12. Good story! I've heard of mammals adopting young but never fowl.

    I can relate to the sad part. Late yesterday afternoon I lost 8 of my 12 young guineas. No idea what happened but the cage door was open and I found 4 of them together wandering just off in the woods. There wasn't really a latch on the cage and the door could be pulled open easily so I assume it was some wild beastie.

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    1. I adore guinea fowl
      My last three died of old age last year
      I oh so want a few more

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    2. They sure seem like happy little creatures. Always chirping and pecking. An update here. Apparently I was just careless with the door on their cage. Just a few minutes ago I went outside and the eight I could see no trace of late yesterday were out beside the house happily doing their thing. I put some food in their cage, hopefully I can herd them into it like I did the other four but if not I guess they've opted for freedom.

      Oh and if you want to visit Alabama sometime, I'll happily give you some of these. I really don't need 12.

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  13. Well done that Orpington! Orpingtons are my favourites.

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    1. Judith... They do make excellent moms

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  14. Times like this I'm so glad I'm a veggie :-)

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  15. I never knew badgers were dangerous to birds, especially fowl. Well, the chick lives and not such a bad result.

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    Replies
    1. I have lost more birds to badgers than to foxes andrew

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  16. I do love a happy ending. Let's hope they stay safe.

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  17. THat's a wonderful end to a sorry tale...will you name it?

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  18. how wonderful. i wonder if the hen will continue to mother the little one?

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    1. I have just checked on both and chick seems fine.... It all depends if mom will allow the chick to warm under her wings this evening

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  19. This truly is a beautiful story. Sorrel the foster mum :)

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  20. that is a good story to start my Tuesday with.

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  21. Although I'm not a big fan of reality TV shows (esp those here in the US, since they're all scripted and fake-drama-fueled), I think you should star in one.

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    Replies
    1. But do I play myself... Or do I. Need a body double?

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  22. Nice story John. That is a huge amount of chickens to take in one batch and you've done well so far. Good on Sorrel!

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  23. All Gods' creatures have a parenting instinct don't they?

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  24. Lovely story. It ought to be on the TV news. So much better than most what's on the news at the moment, which does nothing at all to lift the spirits or provide hope for the human race.

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  25. What a sweet little chickie it is......hope mammoa buff looks after it.

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  26. i'm rooting for that little chick and it's new mama!

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  27. I had no idea that badgers would take a chicken given half a chance. Glad we are not in a badger area and we've also been lucky avoiding foxes. Nature is a funny old thing! Our income from eggs is a big part of our frugal lifestyle so we use electric fencing powered by battery.
    Liked your poster the other day for your open day, and your begging for new followers!! We have no cockerel so I can't put cock in the top line of the blog to get more followers, unless I mention Him Outside peeing on the compost but that would involve indecent exposure so better not! Am amazed at how many comments you get. I had NONE yesterday, feeling lonely!

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    1. Awwww off to your blog to leave a comment xxx

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  28. Yes, it was a heartwarming little tale. This is why I love to start my day with your posts, John.

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  29. John,

    It's a shame the critters got the babies Mom. At least this little chick will have a foster Mom and won't be left by it's self.

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  30. Sorry about the Mother araucana, but this just proves once again how amazing nature can be. You wonder if Sorrel knew exactly what happened during the night and what her job was going to be the next day.

    Cindy Bee

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  31. Let us hope that the foster mum doesn't turn on her little chick.

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  32. Bless her little chicken heart.
    Jane x

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  33. My kind of chicken; good for Sorrel.

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  34. Atta girl Sorrel!

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  35. Obviously Sorrel has been raised by one good man. I can just see her alone in her nest that day, hearing the lost infant and thinking WWJD? (What would John Do?" The idea for rescue mission came to her just as you arrived.

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  36. Kenneth Grahame did the world's best PR job on badgers. He changed their reputation forever and now nothing can shift the public idea that they're genial, wise guardians of the forest. The truth of course is...

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  37. A heartwarming tale, John, indeed. And a tearjerker. I myself used to have rather romantic notions of having been orphaned, rescued by those people who called themselves my parents. Unfortunately, family resemblance, particularly to my father, knocked that one on the head.

    Can't wait for your musings on 'email etiquette'. Am already taking cover.

    U

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  38. I LOVE stories like that!

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  39. The heartwarming finish eased the heartbreak of the beginning. I do so hope the little chick thrives, and grows up to be just like its mum...only a bit more wise and careful where she spends the night.

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  40. Aw, bless her little feathered heart.

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  41. Such a good foster mom. *sniffle*

    Love,
    Janie

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  42. Very heartwarming! What a good "mother hen."
    Brenda

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  43. that is so sweet!

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  44. have I missed an update on the rabbit?

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    1. She's doing very well
      Apart from a Grammy leg
      I am waiting for a hutch for her

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    2. aw John. You should open a petting zoo. The village could be a tourist attraction. at least they would pay for their own keep.

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  45. Oh that's fabulous that she found the chick! Good on you, Sorrel.

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  46. Yay for Sorrel! Did you name her after your MIL? Perhaps if she decided to foster the little chick, you can call it Chris or John ;-) Well, if the chick turns out to be a hen, the name Chris could still suit, but John may have to change to Johnnie, Johanna, or Joanna.

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  47. Okay that is so sweet,

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  48. Very late to the post but what a lovely story. I loved the way she just waddled pass and found the little lost chick !
    cheers, parsnip


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  49. Oh, you have such a way with words. Hope things turn out well for this pair.

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  50. Lovely story John, we nearly bought a couple of Buff Orpingtons at the sale on Saturday, but resisted knowing how big they get. One day we have decided we will have some most likely just for the broodiness they show, I hope the little chick makes it, it must have been dreadful for him to watch the demise of his Mum. I wonder why we are all calling him HIM!!

    We have 6 chicks at the moment and their Peep, peep, bloody peeping drives me mad sometimes!!

    Pictures of them over on the Blog today, I love them really :-)

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