For the last couple of days our hatchlings have disappeared slowly. We have looked for signs of the culprit(all predators leave signs)to no avail sadly. We went from ten to four in the last week. After all the work to hatch them out I was getting quite irked.
Well the culprit gave himself away-Scout. You see our chicken pen and pig pen are connected, separated by welded wire paneling. The whole thing is wrapped in chicken wire, this keeps smaller chicks in since they can slip through most paneling. However they can get into the pig pen. Do you see where I'm headed here?
This morning as we were choring and picking ripe vegetables out of the garden. I went to supervise the kids changing out water dishes with the chickens, and was watching the little chicks running back and forth. Then all of a sudden Scout started squealing like crazy, along with a small chirping. Looking over I see one of the half grown chicks trying to get back in the chicken pen. Trying but not succeeding, seeing as how its bum was in Scout's mouth.
This would be one of those light bulb moments-mine lit up like three hundred watts. I holler at Honeybear what's happening, and then since I don't have shoes on reach over and smack Scout's bum. He releases the ruffled but unharmed chick, and looks up at me. This does not deter him and he goes back after the chick-only to run snout first into the paneling.
Now that the chick is for the moment out of harms way, we plan what should happen. We decide to corral them in their small yard that kept them from the big chickens, until they were excepted. (Chickens are pack animals with pecking orders, not the nicest to babies at all.)By the time this plan is decided the silly things have wandered back into the pig pen. (Hey they're picking between four adults picking on them or a pig eating them if he catches them.)
So Martin is told to go herd them back to their own side for the rest of us to pen up. (He was picked seeing as how he was the only one who had some form of shoe on.) Everything is fine at first, he scratched Scout's snout and passes by him to wrangle the chicks. Now I don't know what set him off-the fact Martin was taking his treats, or the fact Martin didn't take in a treat-but when Martin had shooed the last chick to the chicken pen Scout squealed and it began.
As Martin went to leave, Scout decided he was still hungry. He grabbed Martin's shorts and pulled. Martin laughingly pulled himself from the pig. But Scout wasn't done, he squealed and ran after Martin. Now what do you think Martin did? No your wrong. He didn't head out the gate-he ran in circles, laughing and taunting Scout. Seven year olds! Oy vay! Well Scout was gaining on Martin at one point, do you think he ran to the gate then? Your right he didn't. He climbed onto Scout's house. Laughing he taunted Scout, then looked at me and his sisters laughing hysterically, and did a jig to make us laugh harder. Did I mention that Scout was trying his hardest to climb up on the house to Martin. Well while Martin was jigging Scout accomplished this feat, which in turn made Martin fall off when he nudged him.
Laughing so hard I could barely see through the tears, I tell him to get his hiney out of there before he actually gets hurt. As the gate closed the short sighted omninivore ran smack dab into the gate. So now I think it might be a good idea to slop Scout from the outside.
Don't worry no pigs, chicks, or kids were harmed in the making of this blog.