Friday, January 13, 2012

Another Voice Stilled

Sorry, friends! Unexpected business on the books side of things pre-empted my schedule for posts here on Animal Junkies. I'll be back with the new series of Vet Tech Tales starting next Friday, Jan 20.

As it's generally pretty quiet on the farm in winter, I'd love some guest posters to come and talk about their best beastie friends. Do you have a story to tell or know someone who does?

Meanwhile, I'm saddened to announce that my house is a little quieter today with the passing of another of my parakeets. My little flock were all of an age when I first brought them home to their outdoor aviary built on the side porch of the house where I used to live.

Over the last year-and-a-half I've lost a number of the flock, mostly to age simply catching up with them. It won't be long now before I'm down to one sweet bird, and I'm already tearing up at the thought of how that 'keet will feel being alone when all its life it's had the companionship of others. It's so clear how much they love and depend on one another.

I know the day when the last of the flock is gone will be here sooner that I can ever prepare for. The constant chatter of the 'keets has made this house feel so much more alive. I'm not looking forward to the day when the last of the chatter dies.


Wilkins MacQueen said...

Sorry to read of the vacancy on the perch. I had a parakeet as a child. Lovely happy chirps and flaps greeted us every morning.

Here people buy wild birds who have been caught and caged. The cages are far too small and the birds can never fly again. I hate to see them confined.

We have a few doves that hang out at the school, sparrows hop around looking for crumbs the kids drop and the odd heron does a fly by.

Today a student brought a pink chicken to school. It came from the market, I guess they sell well for Children's Day (tomorrow). Shudder. They come in blue as well. Can you imagine?

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Hey Mac: Here in the States, dyed chicks are popular for Easter -- at least in states where they're legal. Some states have the forethought to ban their sale.

Dye is injected directly into the eggs about a week before hatching. Most studies seem to indicate a natural food-coloring dye isn't harmful, but "novelty" chicks are only exciting while they're novel. Once their real feathers start to grow in, the colored chicks become a mundane white, and many of these pets wind up trashed once the novelty literally wears off. Of course, that happens to lots of naturally fluffy yellow chicks bought at Easter too.

Chicks are terribly messy and most folk don't plan for a 5-year commitment when they pick up a $3 chick for the kids to ooh over. The last thing ethically any breeder needs to be doing is to make their stock more enticing during certain holidays worldwide. :o(

Wilkins MacQueen said...

Dear Phoenix,
I so agree. Thanks for the info on how these chicks get colored. I had no idea. Makes me sick, like puppies and kitties for Christmas.These chicks will likely die long before their color runs out.So terrible.

Hey girl, knowing what a vet tech has to do in the course of a day (euthanasia and all) how did you manage to handle what you had to do so long ago?

A young girl with a tender heart watching these animals go, how did you cope?

Would love to hear that side of it, unattractive as it may be,knowing I had to do what I had to do at times as well in my menagerie.

When you're ready,

Wilkins MacQueen said...

I think it is time for another beautiful VKW rescue story to cheer me up.

VK, you put your stories together and you've got a wonderful anthology busting to be published. Anyone who is in it for the long haul and has had success and failure first hand, well you had me as a reader a long time ago.

I hope you'll keep penning your stories.

Wilkins MacQueen said...

I have a real live rescue story involving a puddy tat that is taking place right now. I will write it and would be very honored if you'd let me guest post it.

A calico street cat gets a Mommy. Will send it next couple of days, Thai style story of course.