Sunday, 14 July 2013

Who let the chicks out!

What chicks?
The ones in the cages,
being kept safe from local predators,
by being penned up. 

It became not a good idea over time,
as the chicks grew from fluffy bundles,
into scraggy feathered half grown chicks,
who would patrol up and down
along the length of the wire mesh doors,
up and down,
up and down,
stressed,
strident,
bored,
making us feel guilty every time we passed by their runs.

Oh they were fed well enough,
although they would have argued that they weren't,
but they began disregarding all of the food,
and chose to become picky,
perhaps because they could,
perhaps because they knew of our guilt.
But we were keeping them 'safe',
at the cost of their quality of life.

And so the day came when it became too much for us,
and the cage doors were left open,
and the chicks were set free.
Better that they have one day of being free,
of being a proper little chicken,
of being who they are meant to be,
better to have that and then go own the throat of a predator,
than to stay 'safe' in, what to them, is a prison,
for days on end.

One was sent to its end by Blue,
One was sent to its end by Boolie,
Two went by natural causes,
and we are left with fourteen.

Blue and Bools are not predators as such,
they are just dogs,
not wanting to share their bones,
a quick snap being sufficient to end the life of little ones,
little ones who only wanted to share the bones.
However, the cat, magpies and crows,
well, they seem not to want to partake of chick flesh,
at the moment.

And so it was me who let the chicks out,
as I say,
better to have a life well lived, 
even if that life is not very long,
than to stay 'safe' 
in the confines of a 'cage' cell.

8 comments:

Ohiofarmgirl said...

well said!

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, I hate to tell you this but your dogs are predators. Don't make the mistake to think that they are only our pets and would not do such a thing. They will do it again and again if given the chance. So keep your eyes on the dogs and your chickens. They may even do it when you are not around.

Vera said...

Ohiofarmgirl, thanks.

Horst, what I meant was, that the dogs are 'contained' predators, in that they can be kept an eye on, whereas the cat, magpies, and crows, are sneaky and can't be. And at least the dogs know that they shouldn't attack the chickens, even if sometimes they do! The dogs and chickens will be more separated in time to come though, which make life a lot easier for me. Guarding the chickens can be quite wearing sometimes!

Horst in Edmonton said...

60 years ago when I was 5 years old we lived in southern Alberta for a short while and there we had problems with weasels killing our chickens. The weasels were very hard to get rid of, killed about 30 chickens before the weasels were terminated.

Vera said...

Horst, hi again! I think we have weasels here as well, but during the night I did see a feral cat which looked quite a size, so I think that I can add that to the list of chick predators. But 30! I bet your parents were fuming. It must have been a hard enough life for them without such loss of live stock.

Leon and Sue Sims said...

In the words of some rap song, more to the point - "who let the dogs out"

Vera said...

Leon and Sue, 'twas me, I let the dogs out! Well they did need to do pees and poos! Can that go into a rap song as well!

Kev Alviti said...

It's tricky with anything like that. Mine are getting bigger now and it wont be long till they have to leave the safety of the ark. Never mind. Survival of the fittest I guess