Wildlife Wednesday: Domestication of Wild Birds?

Today, we ran a lot of errands. My husband was having new tires put on his truck. I went out to lunch with a friend. And, when I was done he had me come and pick him up at the location the tire application was being done. While there, at Farm and Fleet in La Crosse, we had a chance to see the chicks they have for sale. My husband has had periodic fantasies of raising chickens and goats. For years, I’ve been the one to squash the wildlife-rearing desire.

At Farm and Fleet, there weren’t only chicks though – there were geese, ducks, quail, and turkeys – all in their infancy, under grow lights to keep them warm and happy. This brought back a ton of memories. Our sons each had baby chicks in incubators in their respective kindergarten classrooms. The youngest students were able to observe chick eggs being incubated and then hatch into the most adorable fuzzy two-legged creatures you can imagine!

It also brought back memories of being at an Emergency Room Staff picnic in Alden NY, outside of Buffalo, at the house/farm of a colleague of my husband’s from Sister’s Hospital in Buffalo. The farm had turkeys and since it was a July 4th party, they were still in their pen being fattened up for the fall.

My husband, our four-year-old son, and I decided to walk over to the turkey pen to visit the “big birds.” We told our son not to stick his fingers, hands, or face near the chain-linked fence that kept the turkeys penned in. They might look friendly, we told him, but they bite! He was a very obedient child, despite his innate curiosity, and did as he was told, keeping his hands to himself.

As we walked along, more children joined us. Specifically, another little boy who was running around without his parents. My husband spoke up and said, “don’t put your hand in the fence! The turkey will bite your fingers.”

Even back in 1998, children were defiant! He looked at my husband with an air of indifference and then, stuck his hand right through the fence! You know what happened next, don’t you? He was bitten! The child, shocked and upset, ran away from the pen shouting it bit me, it bit me, all the while he was crying.

It was a time for, “We told you so!”

And, our young son, got a very good lesson that day! Sometimes mom and dad do know what they’re talking about!

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