My aunt Lin has a ranch on which live a large assortment of animals. She keeps ducks, chickens, horses, dogs, peacocks, cats, lovebirds, racing pigeons, and occationally pigs in her back yard. All of her birds breed like there's no tomorrow. When it got to the point where she had too many pigeons, she decided to sell all of them to Magnolia Bird Farm. During the next week they all returned. Lin took them back again and this time told them to inform all their buyers not to release the birds for at least a month. A few still found their way back to her house. This would have been a great business. Selling pigeons and re-selling them when ignorant people released them too soon. Her ducks also decided to raise clutch after clutch of babies (my own duck came out of a clutch of 17). She finally took the parents to a nearby river and released them. But the chickens are by far the worse. Lin owns several hens who go lay eggs under the house. They then emerge one day with 12-20 chicks.
Sometimes eggs laid later in the clutch aren't caught up with the others. Lin usually puts these eggs into her incubator until hatching and then places the chicks out under their mother. One day she decided to keep one of these chicks with her as a pet. I believe she named it Sophie. Sophie followed her around the house and outside as she did chores. In the evenings Lin would sit on the porch and swat flys for the chick. She would tap her finger near the squished bug and the chick would run over and eat it. She would sit on your shoulder or recline in your hand. Sophie grew fast and Lin decided to let her stay out side. She refused to associate with the other chickens and would run up to any person she saw, especially if they tapped on the ground. At night she wanted to be let in the house. It took forever for Lin to teach her to perch in a tree at night with the other chickens. By this time she was fully feathered, but still smaller than the adult chickens. Even at this size she would still perch on your shoulder. Lin said she should go down to Magnolia Bird Farm with Sophie on her shoulder and show off to all the parrot people. Alas, it was not to be... Sophie was killed by a neighbor's dog that kept getting into the yard. :( I asked Lin if she is going to raise another chick. She said she is rather busy with school and probably won't tame another until she graduates (just one more semester!).
That was my tribute to Sophie. May she rest in peace.
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