Pet Zoo Update

Spring is around the corner, my friends! I know this because my hens have announced it. They are very clever that way. This is their announcement:

And this:

This little girl has been sitting on 8 guinea fowl eggs for the last week. She sits in a box in the donkey’s pen, which might not be the best place for little fluffbutts to be running around in. In my experience, it is very hard to move the nest of a broody hen, so I will just wait until the keets hatch and them move everyone to a safer location. How cute, the first chicks of the year are on the way!

Although these ones might hatch before the guinea keets:

Another little quail hen has made a nest and sits on 10 eggs. Bless!! The eggs take only 17 days to hatch to 28 days for the guinea fowl, so they will probably be the first! 💚💚💚

I have no idea what the ducks are up to. They seem to be so very frightened of the donkey that all egg-laying has ceased. Some of the muscovy girls have returned, but not all. I was so grateful to see Katya, our oldest muscovy female, back again, but she flies in and out as she pleases now and I am worried she is nesting somewhere outside. We have tried to find the nesting site but have not succeeded…

As long as that donkey is around here, we are not coming down from this roof.

Tiltan is still adorable and feisty. I have figured her out now – it’s really very simple: she will go wherever you want, as long as you are in possession of the most desirable food. If there is better food somewhere else, then forget it. We might have to accept that this is how her mind works! šŸ™‚ 

All this tasty green stuff outside..!!

But if the food is all finished, then sure, she’ll walk with me wherever I want, stop when I ask, turn around… I have started grooming her, which she shrank away from at first but now minds less, and I am trying to teach her to stand tied to a tree. This does not work as well as I had hoped yet. When I tie her, she starts pulling with all her weight until the halter slips off. Darn it. The only way I can make her stand still long enough to be tied and groomed, is to give her a bowl of rabbit food, which she LOVES. 

I have also started trying to lift her feet and pick her hooves. Extreme caution is necessary because understandably, she does NOT like people touching her legs – in the past, people have tied her feet together with straw twine, which left four neat scars circling each sensitive ankle. 

The first time I touched her front leg, she struck out with her hind leg, but didn’t touch me. It was a warning. The left leg seemed more sensitive than the right, so I tried again with the right. I was able to lift that foot and then gave it right back to her. In time, she accepted lifting the left foot as well. I can now lift and pick both front hooves. They are so light and small! Not like a big horse’s hoof! šŸ™‚
The hind feet are harder, and I am kind of wary. When I touch one of her hind legs, she strikes out. Not forward, but backward, which tells me she isn’t trying to hit me, only warn me. Caution and patience, I guess!! And swallowing my discomfort! What’s the worst thing she can do to me? Oh, that’s right – fracture my kneecaps. Oh well. 

She’s a sweetie anyway! šŸ˜€


About tarnegolita

Dutch expatriate, mother of 3 boys, freelance translator and pet zoo keeper in a kibbutz in Israel.
This entry was posted in Animals, poultry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Pet Zoo Update

  1. weggieboy says:

    As always, this was a fun read! It is encouraging that the “girls” are responding to the season’s change, and that we can look forward to some new life in a short time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Littlesundog says:

    I loved this update! You are right about not moving the nest of the guinea fowl. I do not know any bird species that appreciates our thoughts on what is the best place to sit and wait for hatchlings! Tilton will continue to entertain us I’m sure! šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • tarnegolita says:

      I have considered lassoing her legs after I saw a video of it, but decided against it! šŸ˜œ Yes the birds are pretty decided about where they nest!! They seem to get attached to the site itself. Even if you move the eggs, they will do everything in their power to get back to the previous nesting site. When the babies have hatched, the focus seems to be on the chicks, not the nest, and it’s easier to move them! X

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dayphoto says:

    Fractured kneecaps are NOT a good thing. But she seems to be trusting you, so in turn you can start to trust her. Love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. meadowmice says:

    I loved reading about Tiltan! She seems lovely. That run around is purely play. Our donkeys love to do that when they can. Good luck with your new friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What dainty donkey hooves šŸ™‚ horse hooves are quite..clompy. My sister was kicked on the thigh by her horse-perfect semi-circular bruise! Lovely update on the birdies too šŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. christinalfrutiger says:

    What fun having soon to be little fluff balls running around and so many different kinds! šŸ™‚ And your sweet little donkey..who still knows her own mind in spite of being mistreated. What a love! She now is going to make up for lost time by demanding only the tastiest of treats!
    I’m a little tech challenged here but is there a way to sign up to receive your blog posts in my e-mail?
    Happy Sunday~Chris

    Liked by 1 person

    • tarnegolita says:

      Well I’m not sure how well or badly she’s been treated, but the scars on the legs are a tell-tale sign… But yes she is a love!! šŸ’š How fun that you’d like to get my posts in your email! I’ll try to find out how to do this – I’m not too tech-wise either! Thank you xxx


  7. christinalfrutiger says:

    That would be nice as I’d love to be a regular follower! šŸ™‚ Two questions: What is your first name, if you don’t mind my asking and What color was Rachel? I’m getting my chicks this Friday and I think I told you, I’m naming one Rachel so I thought I might get one that looked quite like her. šŸ™‚
    Thanks again~Chris

    Liked by 1 person

  8. christinalfrutiger says:

    Greetings Iris! I don’t have a blog or anything, so no, I won’t have anywhere to post photos, although if you have a cell # I could text them to you! Not sure how that would work overseas…maybe I could e-mail them to you? If you want to send me an e-mail, then I’ll have your address. I’d love to send you a photo of Rachel, when I get her! šŸ™‚


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