Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The natives and the domesticated

Myles painting of the Ibis
We have come to identify the native bird life, including the many ibis wandering amongst the avocado trees, the kite hawks having daily battles with the crows, the beautiful and noisy Rosella's (the only bird brave enough to venture onto our bird feeder), kookaburras calling out about the same time each morning and late afternoon, Kingfishers dropping by in the most magical of places, and a gang of the most beautiful black cockatoos enjoying the Banksia's early evening's.

So into the mix we have added our own domesticated bird life to observe, including the six geese and three 1 week old baby bantam chicks who are being loved literally to death. So firstly the geese, and I have been asked several times why I would by geese, apparently they are stroppy birds, attack and bite and the only thing they are good for is feathering our pillows and doona's. Well, I'm here to tell a different story, we have had no attacks and no unexpected stroppiness (now what animal wouldn't be stroppy after a 3 hour car ride to a new home). They have been bought purely for their grazing capabilities and after a couple of days doubting that they were even going to eat a blade of grass they are munching through the weeds so much quicker than we expected. This is fantastic as we have placed them in an area of the Avocado farm that we are going to trial with no chemicals. Our first step in setting this area up as a chemical free zone was to get something that was going to tackle the weed problem apart from just mulch. Chooks were no good as they would scratch up the surface roots of the Avo's, so geese it was. They are actually a beautiful bird and really easy to look after. Im looking forward to some goslings and writing a book on the misconceptions of geese.

Six geese are laying - three of which are boys have only been named (Leonardo, onslo and daisy)

I'm a sucker for a sign on the side of the road (very nearly bought baby goats 2 weeks ago) and when I saw "BABY BANTAM CHICKS FOR SALE" my mind instantly went into cute fluffy mode, I crossed over 2 lanes of traffic and pulled up to go and just......well... "check them out", you know, just see what they looked like, let the kids experience some actual farm wildlife, because damn it, we lived on a farm and had no farm animals (apart from 6 geese and a dog). Truly I knew full well I would be walking out of there with baby bantams and was quickly thinking up my reasoning/justification to make such a purchase. I actually pretended for some reason to the lady selling them that I was only there to look until I laid my eyes on the tiny balls of fluff, held them, the kids held them, was introduced to their mother and father and really after that, all it took was a "can we get one", please can we get one mum" .....that sealed the purchase.

So after a near death experience for the little black one under a two year old's gum boot and the near mouth to chick resuscitation that followed all is going well with the baby bantams. I have been keeping them warm with a hot water bottle in the evenings and the kids have been making sure they are loved "gently", yes "GENTLY", throughout the day to point they are taken into surgery when thought to be sick and rushed to the emergency award via the car transporter and given an oxygen mask (the plastic fake nose) when needing air. The love, the cuddles, the kisses, the "good morning Chickie's, goodnight Chickie's" and caring from the boys for these babies has made this purchase well worth it. Hopefully I can spread some of this Love with some baby bantams if one turns out to be a rooster.

Three baby bantams all in a row - Wendy, Blondie and Raphael


Poppy and Mei said...


Bird Bath said...

how cute! Bantams make lovely pets...we had a Blondie, Maddona and Prince :)