Category Archives: Pets

Meet Our Rollers

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Keeping Pigeons

Last fall, my husband decided to try raising some pigeons. We now have four roller pigeons, and our newest aquisition, two homing pigeons. One of our pairs of rollers is brooding and has two eggs. The male has become quite protective and has chased the other pigeons out of the coop. He tolerates the chicken and her chicks, but I think he would prefer that they were not there either. It has been fun to watch the whole process. Zee brought the pigeon’s first egg in the house along with the chicken’s egg the day it was laid and I had him take it back out. I put it in a shoebox with some sawdust and wood shavings to keep the chicken and chicks from stepping on it, but at the same time thinking that she would probably abandon it because it had been touched. The next time I went out to check on them I was pleasantly surprised to see her sitting on it. She has been sitting on it for a little over a week now, and from what I have read, it takes 18 days for a pigeon egg to hatch. My husband took a peek in the nest the other day when she was off of her eggs and verified that there was a second egg. I don’t know if the first egg will hatch or not, since it was cold for a day before she started brooding, but from what I have read, that may not matter. I am thinking that we will probably need to get a second coop if we want to keep our birds all happy . . .

Poor Harriet! Poor Zee!

My son has learned a sad thing that no 6-year-old should ever have to know. Chickens do not need baths, and they cannot swim. And that the life of a pet is a delicate thing.

When my 11-yr-old went to take care of our hens Harriet and Gertie this morning, Only Gertie was anywhere to be found. As I was hunting for Harriet in the yard, Zee came and said that he had given her a bath, and then he burst into tears and ran around the house and hid in the bush. Apparently, he had put the chickens into a five gallon bucket filled with water for a bath, and Gertie was standing on top of Harriet to avoid drowning. Good for Gertie, very unfortunate for Harriet.

When she stopped kicking and then closed her eyes, my poor little boy realized that something was wrong and he pulled her out of the bucket, but by then it was too late. He buried her in the back yard with grass, and didn’t tell me because he was afraid of getting into trouble, so by the time I found out, he had been carrying the weight of her death on his shoulders for a whole day.

I pulled my son out of the bushes and took him in the house where I held him and he sobbed in my lap for half an hour, and I realized that this was the reason that I had needed to have the experience of accidentally killing a pet as a child.

When I was about 6, our cat had kittens, and when the kittens were about 6 weeks old, I had taken my favorite outside to play with me. My sister wanted to play with the kitten too, but I was selfish and would not share. When my mother called me into the house, I hid the kitten from my sister in a camping cooler, and then went into the house to do my chores. And I completely forgot that the kitten was out in the cooler.  When I remembered the next morning, I ran to let her out, but she had already suffocated.

To this day I still feel guilt over the death of my poor kitty, and I imagine that it will be the same for my son, poor thing!