Tag Archives: pet

Bird Brain… Not such an insult!

Gregory Peck has learnt a game… or he’s taught me one…

I placed a fir cone on a shelf for him. The shelf is at an end of the cage with a door in it. The shelf splits the door opening, so with the door open, you can either reach in to the shelf, or the floor.

Anyway, I opened the door, placed the cone on the shelf to encourage him to investigate.

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He walked under the edge of the shelf, reached up and grabbed the fir cone and placed it on the cage floor, just under the shelf.

I opened the end door, he stood back so I could get the cone. I reached under the shelf, took the cone & placed it on the shelf again.

Once more, he hopped forward, reached up & took the cone, placing it nearer the middle of the cage floor.

I opened the door, reached under the shelf, took the cone & placed it back on the shelf. Again, Gregory hopped over, reached up and took the cone to the middle of the cage this time.

I went to get the cone again, but as Gregory had put it further inside, I had to duck down and reach in under the shelf…

…and with a flurry of wings he flew/leapt onto the shelf (shown no signs of that before) and hopped to the open door!

I stood up and blocked his way from escaping, but he just sat there… watching… then turned around and hopped down to the cone & flicked it.

Yeah, not likely Gregory! I know your plan!

I thought he was learning to play a game, but he was already one step ahead and playing me!

I tell you, these birds are astounding! I knew they were clever, but this is a step above learning to do something for reward by repetitive training! This is thinking things through, observing, testing…

Damn smart bird!

Once he’s healthy & got his feathers back, we’ll see if he wants to fly. A bit undecided, as he’s an old chap we think, and we may have rescued him on his last wild legs. Old, & with a prior respiratory infection, stiff wings, and a mostly bald head, it’s unlikely he’d survive winter in the wild.

Further checks over him show medium sized jaw teeth marks on his back, across his wings and chest, as if he has been caught & held by a dog. He’s a lucky crow.

We may end up making a large outdoor aviary for him. Protected freedom.


The name’s Peck. Gregory Peck.

The other day we lost Chicken 22 to old age. She was clucked out, but had a fun and free life after we rescued her from battery farm hell. A lovely lady and one of the oldest we had.

At the same time 22 reached her final days, a friend of a friend told Chris that she was movingĀ  house and needed someone to take on her hens. Yes, it writes itself… The hen numbers are back to where they were a few months back. Lovely pets, and these two new girls are stunners!

Sally & Mabel

Avid readers of this blog (ha!) will probably have realised by now that we are animal mad…

It just got madder.

Chris picked up a new family member at the stables the other day. An injured bird had been hanging around for a few days, so with our birdy experience, Chris decided to nurse it back to health.

Gregory Peck joined the madhouse.

Now we know chickens are clever, but this guy is worlds apart. You can see him think… he looks at one thing, then moves on, then back to the other thing…. and you see the thought process… He’s not the largest crow I’ve seen, but he’s still a big lad.

He’s been in a fight. Maybe another bird, birds, fox… car? and he has an old scar across his back under his feathers and his head is half bald. This scar may be pulling his skin when he tries to fly, as he doesn’t seem comfortable getting airborne, even though his wings are fine.

He has a mild chest infection, and is a bit bug infested, so he is going through some bird nutrients and a bathing ritual to clean him up. He already looks a lot better.

Corvids are among the most intelligent, if not the most intelligent, of birds. Peck has shown this by completely accepting us as friends. Day one and he was very wary and pecky to us. Day two, after food, bath, blow dry and mite powdering he is easy to handle and no fuss at all. It is said that crows have very good memories and facial recognition, so if you cross one or mistreat it, it won’t forget. From a shy, scared and pecky wreck, he now sits on my shoulder with out a care.

More photos HERE.

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Sad news as Chicken 11 bows out

‘Chicken Eleven’ – named by Alex because he just liked the sound of it, sadly had to be put to sleep after enjoying just over a year of free range happiness since her rescue from the chop, following the disgusting battery farm life she had been through.

The poor girl wasn’t going to get better after her problem, and although she was happy (albeit a bit quiet) it was not a way of life she could sustain.

Her last full day and we took some movie clips of her having a bath & a blow dry.

Click for videos: Chicken Eleven ~ Bath & a blow-dry.

She was one of our first hens, and although she was a bit on the quiet side, she soon had a following of friends on Facebook & Twitter who often asked after her. Strange but true.


Hens, Alex and Millie

Alex is looking after another school pet (toy) for the weekend. The kids have to keep a diary over the weekend that they have the pet. Last time it was Buster – We kind of set the bar a bit high that time .

This time we kept things a bit homelier with ‘puppy’ Millie. Alex wanted some pictures with our girls, so how could I not oblige him?

So… here’s Alex, Puppy (his toy), Millie (the school toy) and the hens… Mel, Ginger, Crispy, Terri 2, Chicken 11 and Turbo!

 


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