Friday, June 20, 2008

Life Goes on Without "My Girls" at The Lazy Vegan

With my Weegie on our walk!
I really missed "my girls" today...it was odd not seeing or hearing them or going to check up on them, refill their waterer, feed them, gather eggs, etc.! I had quite the chicken routine for the past year & I had become pretty fast at cleaning out their coop every evening and doing the other various chores. So it is still a sad feeling mixed with relief here at The Lazy Vegan. Today I took over all the chicken supplies to Camille & Tim's house and got what Camille calls some "healing puppy love" from the World's Cutest Puppy, Baron...we would have given them the hens, too, but with a fox den right near by it seemed better and easier that they just go back to their original home (and where they were born!). Randy perked me up later in the day by suggesting we take the donkeys for a walk- and we took them for the longest walk ever- first down to see Barney & the horses (they all ignored us because it was dinner time- not once did they look up from their hay feeder!) and then all the way back UP Ellen lane, up that big hill- a first!! The boys did great. Going back was a big hairy for me because it is so steep and Luigi decided to try to take off- he is VERY strong and hard to hold back. But all in all it was very encouraging to see how well they are both doing on walks, especially around cars- as Randy told them, they're "big boys now" (oh, if only the blog reader could hear the conversations that really go on between the donkeys and their "parents"!). I made a little promise to Sophia & Bella- that I would continue to work hard to help free their peers from all those battery cages in factory farms everywhere- starting with the 20 million in California alone! The blog reader may notice there are new icons appearing on this blog- feel free to donate to the cause at any time- I love the one that shows us how much we're earning for the animals! The opposition to the campaign is waging an expensive counterattack, hence the need for our side to raise as much money as possible.

I heard two hee-haws from Paco today- he was impatient waiting for his dinner!

Found Boulder seeking some relief from the heat underneath the truck.
Heading down the drive for the walk.
The foreman of The Lazy Vegan gets the donkeys under control!

Heading UP Ellen Lane- very steep, very long.
Paco had such a good time on his walk that he didn't want to go back into the pasture!

This was a first: sponge baths for the boys! Typical- Paco LOVED it, Luigi LOATHED it.

Some nice shade by the time dinner rolled around.

World's Cutest Puppy (I can say that now that mine aren't puppies any longer!), Baron!
Camille & Baron.
Baron's fancy new car seat. Now I'm not the only person I know who owns one- I like Baron's better than the one I bought for our dogs!

Goodbye, Sophia & Bella ...and God Bless Isabella (her feathers are still around here!)...glad we got rid of the girls before another tragedy!

How intelligent are chickens anyway?
Chickens are much more intelligent than you might think. For example, because they are social animals, they need to be able to communicate easily with each other. Chickens have over 20 different calls, including two distinct alarm calls to warn their flock about approaching predators. Aerial (flying) predators such as hawks and eagles will cause hens to give a different alarm call than ground predators, and the birds react differently to each call. When hens hear an aerial alarm call they run for cover, crouch down and look upwards; when they hear a ground alarm call they actively look around them for signs of danger. Chickens also use calls to communicate with each other about food. Studies of chickens have indicated that they can interpret the meaning of individual calls and can use calls to show their intention when communicating with each other.
Chickens have a complex nervous system that includes a prodigious memory and the ability to make complex decisions. Researchers who have studied the behaviour of chickens are clear that battery cages can in no way meet the demands of such remarkable animals. Caged chickens have little opportunity for decision making or control over their own lives. They have no access to materials for foraging, dust bathing or nesting. In the absence of these opportunities, chickens are forced to find abnormal ways of coping without them. What the science tells us is that layer hens deserve much better than to be forced to endure their lifetime in a barren battery cage.