My Special Bird Dog by TazLady
It has been some time since I have put my thoughts on paper. I consider my day to day activities somewhat mundane when compared to what I imagine of most folks. I have officially retired and living my dream full time on my little Tennessee Hilltop. After working for so many years, I never dreamed I would be satisfied away from the hustle and bustle of “city life”.
At last post I recounted the adoption of a GSP (German Shorthaired Pointer) that crawled under my back porch and had a litter of nine pups. I am still not sure who rescued who in that situation as we have become best buds. She is a big girl, truly a blessing and a joy. I have finally gotten her trained to walk on a leash without pulling me all over the county. We look forward to our 2-4 mile walks daily (which I much needed).
You may or may not remember from one of our “Zoom Aerobics” that I was looking for Guinea fowl keets to raise. They are very beneficial to farm life in that they are prolific tick and insect eaters, as well as mice and small snakes. They are an excellent alarm system with very loud calls to any activity out of their ordinary realm. That being said, they are often picked off by predators because they are really stupid birds! So, if you plan on raising guineas, be sure to start with a dozen or more and hope to have two or three survive!
I raised my dozen feather babies for 12 weeks. Finally, the day arrived to set them loose to free range. I followed all the posts on how to train them to come back to the coop at night. Well, don’t believe everything you read! I let 2 out the first day as instructed. Since guineas are a tight flock bird, the two were supposed to stay near the coop where the others were. Uh…NO! My sweet GSP went into full bird dog mode and chased them into the woods. One was so afraid, he never returned. The other came around eventually but would not go back to the coop. Needless to say, she was left out for the night. To my surprise, she was alive and well the next morning.
I decided I would free the others and hope for the best. I left the door wide open for quite some time. They just stood there! It took me about an hour to get those silly birds out of the coop to freedom. It is now day four since their release and I am down to 5 birds. The first one disappeared from dog fright. The second victim became a good meal for a hawk and my first to dispose of the remains which consisted of an entire headless bird. Yuck! One totally disappeared except for a few loose feathers at the bottom of my driveway. I figure a fox probably enjoyed that one. I still have no idea what happened to the others. Maybe they just literally flew the coop.
Yesterday one was “captured” by my sweet GSP. Lulu was put in time out for that one. I suppose I shouldn’t be too angry or hard on her since she IS a BIRD DOG and catching birds is what she does. That poor bird was in shock and died in my arms after about 30 minutes which gets me to the point of the story.
I now have another bird to dispose of. I examined him and found no blood which leads me to believe internal injuries or shock. I cradled him in my arms as I carried him to the back of my property. The plan was to throw him over the fence as not to lure more predators than necessary. I knew if I buried it, Lulu would dig it up and I would have a bigger mess.
I took a firm stance, got a good grip and did a “Hail Mary” as if I was throwing a football to the end zone. As the bird was in mid-flight going over the fence, I thought “You dummy! A perfectly good fowl. You should of cleaned and dressed it and had it for dinner!” I hear they are very tasty and not as gamey as duck. However, I hope I don’t have another occasion like this to find out.
Thinking back to the Zoom Aerobic share on dumpster diving and recycling I was reminded how irresponsible I was by not putting on my table what I had painstakingly fed and raised for 12 weeks. I am sure it would have been a culinary delight with a variety of my garden fresh veggies.
I am also reminded that God has given us charge to be caretakers of the land around us. I will strive to be a better steward of my many blessings.
Tazlady is still blessed in Tennessee
Bravo Echo Out