Saturday, April 30, 2011

Porcupine Redux

When I looked outside this morning, it was evident that the porcupine had been about.  Carefully skirting the pieces of salted apple leading up to the trap, he had walked around the trap, ignored the apples within, and taken several sizable chunks out of the garage post.

With so many trees around, what is it about the garage post that he likes so much? 

In the basement, the baby hens are prospering, sprouting real feathers at the tips of their little wings.  They have warmth, food, and water.  They are certainly not stressed.  But I cannot help thinking how much more interesting their life would be--and how much smarter they would turn out--if they could toddle around on the grass behind their mother as she pointed out a bug here, a nice weed there, and instructed them from dawn to dusk on the basics of being a chicken.

4 comments :

  1. I've always thought the same about our cats -- how we took them from the farm and all their little kitten friends and from their mother who would have loved them as much as we did. Sure, they would have been either killed on the road or eaten by coyotes or died of exposure by their first birthday, but maybe they would have been happier on the farm than being inside only house cats.

    Oh -- strange that the porcupine likes your garage post. It's probably the chemicals with which it was treated that makes him prefer that to your offered treats. Either that or he's just sly that way.

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  2. extend the wire mesh above his reach? set out a slightly less humane trap?

    will he eat the chicks if you let them out to run around and scratch?

    such a complicated world!

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  3. Dona, I'm not sure about that mama cat--I hear they often turn against their offspring after weaning. I think inside-only house cats have great lives, and long ones, too.

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  4. Laurie, it IS complicated. If not the porcupine, then raccoons, foxes, hawks, crows, and even the older hens would eat the chicks if I let them out right now. They're like marshmallows on legs. It will probably be another month before they can go outside on their own.

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