12/12/2011 9:55:43 p.m.
Our Christmas present came early this year - a surprise visit from Pookie.
We raised Pookie from an egg about two summers ago. He or she (we never knew
but will refer to her as she!) was an amazing vocal, wee chick with long, gangly legs and an enquiring personality. She considered herself one of the family and felt very much at home snoozing on the arm of the sofa, watching television, following us around and being very social especially over a cuppa! When she reached those awkward teenage years and wanted more freedom and say - she gracefully moved outside, extended her territory and took up an apprenticeship as Gordons number one workshop assistant.
She was ever so keen to pick up the screws, nails and the woodwork pencils! She was good at meet and greet and would wait for our return up at the gate and race down to welcome us when the we got out the car.
About 14 months ago it must have been time to say goodbye. We thought it out of character when on dusk one evening she tapped on the glass slider and called out demanding some attention. She was very persistent and tapped many times wanting lots of head scratches and cuddles. We of course always gave them to her; she was one of the family and much loved!
The next morning she was gone never to be seen again. Having raised pukekos before we were secretly expecting her to leave our family and go out into the big wide world. That day had finally come. Over the 14 months we have often wondered what became of her
especially on sighting the occasional squashed one on the road
but to our delight one morning last week she came back to visit.
Across the lawn and up to the bedroom window she ventured. We tossed out a few crumbs of our dunked pre-breakfast gingernuts (a bad habit started when pregnant with the twins!) and she scoffed them up! This is definitely a pet pookie? Is she ours?
Next she went along the deck and up to the living room sliders, which we opened
in she came wandering around like she knew the place. I got the kids ready and on the bus and returned to the house to find her sitting like she used to on the back of the sofa. She amused herself all morning inside
up and about on my desk playing with the pencils
checking out the trays of hatching eggs (NO Pookie!) and inspecting all the feeders and drinkers we have on display. She followed us around all morning doing all the old pookie things that only pookie used to do and napping occasionally on the sofa between bursts of activity.
I eventually turfed her out into the rain when I needs to get on
she was then up at Gordons shed inspecting all the machinery and the things men keep in sheds!(say no more!) . She did call out and to our surprise 3 other pukekos appeared in the paddock - two young ones and another adult
The thought of having Pookie return to live with us daily crossed my mind briefly
would I have to hire a pookie sitter?(she is a very interactive/hypoactive bird!)
would Gordon want his workshop apprentice back again!! Fortunately the visit was fleeting. We were over the moon to see her (and her family?) and delighted to know she was well and loved. The journey from the egg to the chick to the gangly teenager had been worth it!! The only difference we noticed was that at some stage she must have broken her leg as it had mended at awkward angle other than that she was in good spirits. So three cheers for Pookie - who says birds have a birdbrain and short memories!
The 2011 season has been a busy one for us with good hatch rates and lots of chicks on the ground. The season has been a great one for the pheasants too. The goldens, yellow goldens and Lady Amherst have just started moulting and will grow out their bright new plumage. The partridge are laying but not for much longer. We have pheasant and partridge chicks on the ground so all looks good for the next season. So with new life come new challenges: where to house them, what run or flights are available, which birds do we grow on and what do we release
.and so it goes each season. Before we know it this seasons young will be maturing and getting ready for breeding and it will start all over again. Lifecycles!
With the warm, wet, humid spring and summer weather we have been experiencing the red mites are becoming very visible
so please check your perch/s and hen house/s for signs of these little critters. We have had lots of customers calling wanting a solution to these nasties we recommend using Poultry Shield in conjunction with Diatom. We have both in stock so can help with information on how to combat and control red mites in your hen house.
We have also had many enquires for the excellent reference book How to Care for your Poultry by Nadine Hall and Sue Clarke. We are delighted to be getting in more copies of the poultry book so if you missed out on the last edition please get in touch as we hope to have them back in stock soon. They will make the perfect Christmas present for all who love poultry.
We also have the Appletons Gift Voucher so if you are stuck for that useful Christmas gift for your chook mad friend or relative get in touch with us the voucher covers all our supplies from hen houses to feeders, drinkers , health care products , feed , hatching eggs and chooks!
We also now stock the fantastic Bekina gumboots. For those of us that wear gumboots much of the day (like me!) these are fantastic gumboots. They are very comfortable to wear - keep your feet warm in winter and cool in summer. They would make the perfect Christmas pressie too! Wishing everyone a safe and happy time over the Christmas season and all the best for a great 2012.
Fionna and Gordon Appleton
Appletons Hen Houses and Poultry Supplies