June 10, 2011

Pearl The Interactive Play-Thing

Went down to feed the animals this evening and noticed that Pearl, the friendly hen, was in the pasture with Junior, the ram. Very strange.

First of all, the chickens are relegated to the "orchard" and although George, the mean hen, frequently gets out onto the driveway, mostly the hens stay in the orchard. Both the sheep and the chickens and the pigs have access to the pole barn. So I think what must have happened is that Pearl squeezed her way through the fencing that separates the sheep's section of the pole barn from the chickens' section.

This would have been no problem if the ewes had still been on the pasture attached to the pole barn. But last weekend we moved the ladies over to Eric and Lola's pasture and put Junior where the ladies' were. Junior assumes anything in his general vicinity, that isn't grass or secured down, is a playing-thing to head-butt around. He has made short work of a non-nailed down hay trough and broke Lola's arm. So Pearl must have looked like the best interactive play-thing of all time. He'd get to chase her before smacking her across the pasture.

When we came down, she look frantic to get out. She was trying to squeeze through the fence and hopping up and down. Problem is that I can't go in to get her because then I become another interactive play-thing for Junior and I value my intact bones. The solution was that Jeremy would distract Junior with oats and attention. Then I would reach through the fence and (now imagine what this looks like) lift Pearl with one hand as I high as I can. Then reach through the fence with the other hand. Transfer to the high hand, then lift her up as high as I can and transfer again. It took 4 transfers to get her to the top. Thankfully, she seemed to understand that I was helping and didn't flap. Just as I was gingerly trying to lift Pearl over the top, Jeremy yelled "Junior's on his way Mama!" But I got her out before feeling the brunt of his blow. Pearl cuddled into my chest and cooed. Whew!

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