Astro the Hero

So as most of you know, I have been struggling with Astro and his wild desire to be free and roam the yard…. calling at the top of his lungs during the wee hours of the morning and late into the evening.  I have to chase or coax him into the flight cage and some nights I can’t do it, so then I see him wobbling up on a high tree branch or perched on the cross bar of the tall telephone pole above my grandmother’s house.

Well after spending most of the day today crying for his lady-friend and disturbing both grandma and our friendly neighbors, I decided to up my game a bit and I walked down to the side garden where they were chillaxing and started to leave a trail of wonderfully stale sun chips.  To my wonderful surprise both Astro and Trixie followed me RIGHT into the flight cage!!  I locked the door and went up to the house to relax for a bit knowing that finally they were locked up safe and sound.  No coyote will bother them and they are in the center of the property so no matter how much noise he tries to make, he shouldnt be able to bother any of the neighboring ears.

So anyway, around dinnertime I heard Astro crying a bit… making his little sad pathetic dying cat call that he likes to make when he has lost Trixie in the yard.  Considering how hard it is to loose his lady-friend in the flight cage I knew he was just pissed at me for locking him up. … I felt guilty.

But DOGGONIT bird!! I am about to start a legitimate business and you cant go screwing that up for me because you cry about your issues too loudly!  I reassured myself his time out was well deserved and went on with my wonderful evening meal we were enjoying out at the table on the front patio.  (Summer evenings are upon us and the weather is perfect for eating out doors! )

Dusk came and as the neighbors began banging and shuffling around in their yard loading up various vehicles for a trip of some sort, Astro began honking loudly.  This honk is literally like a semi truck horn, you can almost feel the vibration through the ground when he honks and then it echoes across the canyon and over the property.  It is quite startling and powerful.  This is his warning “honk” that I have been told will be something he does when he sees a coyote OR is disturbed by a loud noise.  I thought he must just be nervous about what the neighbors were doing in their yard.  Although part of me also thought he was just mad at me, I decided to go down and give them some treats.  He continued to honk loudly even while I stood directly infront of the cage.  He continued to honk and my eardrums rang violently as I poured some black sunflower seeds and saflour seeds into their dish.  Trixie walked over immediately but Astro stayed up on his perch honking like crazy.

I backed out of the cage and as I reached to turn the light off in the chicken shed I noticed something rather silly….

Munch Munch, our daddy bunny who has taken to babysitting our baby chicks… apparently takes his job much more seriously than I first thought.  I knew he liked to play with the chicks and nibble their tail feathers and nuzzle into them during the day, but I didnt realize that he snuggled up to them at night and kept them warm like a mommy hen would. He looked so proud of himself and the babies looked so comfortable and snuggly it was too adorable to not go get my camera to take a picture.

Astro honked a few more times as I ran up to the house but as soon as I stepped into the adjacent cage with the baby chicks and Munch Munch he quieted down.  That’s when I heard a single chirp from over by the door.  I thought maybe a lone chick hopped away from their snuggly little pile bc I had turned the light on and dirsturbed her sleep, but then I heard it again….

There was a little chick trapped underneath a large flake of Alfalfa!

I lifted up the alfalfa and returned the little chick to her siblings and she cuddled right into the middle of the pile.  It suddenly occured to me that Astro was quiet now.  Could he really have been trying to get my attention because he recognized the cry for help coming from the baby chick?  Could Astro really be a hero?

I walked up to the house to tell the hubs and upload the adorable pictures I had just taken and guess what… not a PEEP or HONK out of Astro since….

DSCN3975Not the best photo ever, but you get the idea. He has four chicks total cuddled underneath him!