Following on from the previous post, the sedatives did work, but not so much that Max keeled over in a heap. No, all he did was tottered a bit on wobbly legs, then went and laid in his wallow, the same wallow that Lester had filled with water several hours previously, and snored, but woke up when spoken to, but only with a grunt. There was no gnashing of teeth as what normally happens when Lester and Max get into conversation with each other.
Taking a deep breath, and armed with a bit of cardboard and his small saw, Lester climbed over the fence into Max's paddock, the cardboard to be used as a barrier between the saw and Max's face, the errant tusk lying jammed up against the skin of his cheeks.
Not a grunt did Max do. Nothing. Just laid quite still while Lester removed a chunk of tusk. It was as if he consented to being helped, knew that what Lester was doing needed to be done.
The sun suddenly came out. Worried in case Max overheated in his drugged up state of being Lester put the hose pipe over him. With a sudden leap, Max jumped out of his wallow. Lester and I looked at each other. Obviously he had not been as drugged as we thought. He could, if he had wanted to, done quite a mischief to Lester when Lester was close beside him. But he didn't. He knew he needed help, and he accepted the help which was given, that is the conclusion we have come to.
Bit of sunshine today, which was a relief from the overcast days we have been having of late. No rain though. Could do with a drop. Could you folk in the UK send a couple of rain clouds our way please........
Am seducing the new hens into thinking that Labartere is a good place to be by introducing pasta and home made bread into their diet. They have a narrow food palate having probably been fed on just grain, but here our hens are free range so eat what they like. This morning Orpy was standing on top of a mound of soil so he could reach more easily the ripening elder fruit, then it was off round to the rabbit hutches to see what morsels were to be had there, before trundling the flock round to the sheep arbre to rake over the sheep's bedding and eat the sheep poo before chilling out in a corner of the arbre for an hour or so of preening and sleeping. At some point during the day they will hang out underneath the trailor, try to rake some manure out from underneath its protective 'chicken proof' tarpaulin, maybe lay an egg or two which may or may not be stolen by the magpies, keep an eye on what we are up to just in case we do anything associated with food. Ah the life of a chicken!
Anyway, this is the life which we need to encourage our new hens to partake of. So, to start off with, I have introduced them to some scatterings of pasta and DIY bread. Gets them used to feeding with the others. Helps them to get to trust us. Helps them come in close to us. And it is working. Today the grey orpington hen had a chat with me, and the others run towards me whenever they see me. Their eyes are starting to look gentle, and they are talking. I think they will settle down here.
It is nice to see the characters which develop in our animals once they have been here for a while. It is worth the work.