Archive for the ‘Fins, Feathers and Fur’ Category

Animal Husbandry in Elementary School

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

My 4th grade boyfriend J.Z. brought a baby owl to school for me . It had fallen out of a tree in his yard that morning .   Mrs. Hart  gently set him in our classroom terrarium . I carried him home on the bus , when i got home Mom and I went to our Neighbors house , a wonderful Animal-eccentric lady whom I hung out with often . I loved to ride my horse to her house and visit her menagerie . She had Pretty boy the Peacock & his hen , King  and Mariah her horses, Cindy B. her “doghter”, Stinky a Mockingbird she had hand fed from a naked hatchling and Pidge her pigeon . She had an array of other pets too …chickens, ducks, turkeys, 2 German Shepherds, I am trying to remember their names ! I loved to go to house !!! She absolutely impacted my life in a positive way ! She raised the baby owl and  I helped then we let him go in the barnyard so that he could get fed , we put out canned dog food , until he learned to forage on his own . When I was 14 I found a fledgling owl that had fallen from a huge oak tree at church . We stayed long after to see if the parent owls would come back , they did not and we could not see the nest so we took him home .  He learned to fly in our barn and he ate kennel ration, lots of roaches and barn rats . As he grew older we left the barn door open so that he could start being out side after several months he was a free owl. He sat in the Pine tree behind our house just in front of the barn in which he was raised. He would screech down at us then fly away. We could see and hear his family living in our woods for years.


Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

I grew up near a Tropical fish farm , so the minnows we scooped up from the ditches during the Florida rainy season were very often beautiful store quality fishes.  I had dozens of jelly jars with brightly colored fish on display for all the kids in the neighborhood to buy  (my first business ) . Several of the Moms bought aquariums and I filled them for a price. I was 10 yrs. old, I was selling fish and I wanted my own aquarium. My Sister saw an aquarium stashed in my Parents closet before Christmas and showed me . Christmas morning came,  it was for my Grandmother, I stocked it .  The next Christmas I got one, when I saw it I cried, I was so happy.   The following summer we drove to N.Y.  where my Parent’s families still reside . While we were there,  my Grandmothers neighbor gave me a little yellow fish, I carried him all the way home in a bowl . From Upstate N.Y. to central Fla. my little yellow fish made it home to my aquarium.

I had a breeding program with lots of fancy Guppies and one little yellow fish, he grew up to be a beautiful yellow Sword-tail, his name was Zorro and he lived to be 5 yrs. old . Zipper an Ziggy were Chinese Algae eaters .  Shadrac, Mieshak and Abendigo were 3 babies of Zorro’s.  I can’t remember the other fish’s names. I have had aquariums ever since then, I love tropical fish but my favorite is Saltwater Reef tanks. The life that emerges from the sea is nothing short of miraculous, if you don’t want to question evolution don’t ever own a reef tank . The rock and sand are full of life , every day a new creature is there right in front of you . Reef tanks are the most interesting thing you can do in the house , I adore exploring the ever-changing community of a tiny Reef , I love Sea Creatures and Fish ! We started or first Reef tank after a weekend trip to the beach with our best friends and all our kids , the kids had a kids suite and we adults had a double room across the pool from the kids room . We had a great time at the beach , the men swam way out the kids rented a huge water bike and kayak and we , Moms collected shells along the shore enjoying our relaxed time in the sun . I saw something shiny and picked up a beautiful Moon Snail , it was alive , I fell in love with it , so we went the next day, Monday to start our own Ocean at home . About an hour after lights out you can take your flashlight and shine it into the tank along the rocks and corrals to find a whole new community alive and thriving in the darkness , most not shy of the spot light spying on them. Everyday, it seems, something new climbs out from under a rock and things you thought were immobile, a plant or a rock will get up and move in the night !

Thumper I

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

When I was 5 yr. old  Dad got me a rabbit , I named her Thumper . I remember running to the house as fast as I could , crying out for my Dad to come save Thumper ! Her cage had rats in it and they were eating her belly .  To my surprise the rats were baby bunnies ! The tiny hairless creatures grew into fuzzy little darlings . My first Maternal experience , I was hooked , I have loved caring for Animals – healthy ones , lost ones , hurt ones and orphaned ones . I love Animal Husbandry !!!  I started showing rabbits in the Fairs when I joined 4-H . I named my Californian Doe  , Thumper 2 .  Spunky was her mate , they produced many lovely bunnies , I won the Grand-Champion Trophy with them . I also had many other wonderful pet rabbits Chucky& Daisy – Checkered Giants . Sunny Rae , a Dutch . Punkin’  my Red Satin doe , I have had Lops and Rex and Angora rabbits . I  have had dozens of rabbits since Thumper #1 , I can’t remember all their names
unfortunately , because I loved them all ,I used to let them all out to play , it took hours to catch all of them but I would do it again , they looked so happy and free out running around .  I love rabbits .

Animals are my favorite people

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

A collection of “tails” from the other animals that have graced my life , from orphaned puppies to a Victoria buzzard hit by a car , I love ALL animals and have had the pleasure of interacting with several species ….In the spring of 5th grade I raised 2 baby Mocking Birds , later that school year a boy brought 2 baby Butcher Birds into school , my Teacher Mrs. Alford gave them to me to raise .She gave me her teachers manual on raising orphaned animals in the classroom , I still have it . She saw me for who I really was and I loved her for that . She sent me to the cafeteria to get something they could eat and I showed the class how to feed them . I returned to her class through out the day to feed them , I raised them too . One summer I raised a female Red-winged Blackbird , she lived in our chicken pen for a long time after we let her go and she brought all her friends , we had so many Red-winged Blackbirds , they were beautiful to watch.
Her name  was Mo , she would come very close to us when we called her , Mo is short for Mojave Desert . I have hand fed Cocktails too , I love raising baby birds !

My Sister brought me a baby Red Fox that she bought from a man at the cattle auction were she worked . He had trapped it , we called him Wiley , he was soooo cute . He ran around in the yard with the dogs . I found a tiny baby Pipistrelle Bat , My Dad found a Downy Wood Pecker ,  I had a  Meadow lark  the cat drug up and a baby Quail.  3 Buzzards, 1 that had been hit by a car  we fed him and he regained his freedom  of flight ,  another one that my son called to say , a boy was beating with a stick . She was beautiful , a Victoria Buzzard , shiny black with a white ruffle of feathers around her petite neck . I rescued her and she sat next to me in the car just like a dog looking at me while I assured her I would keep her safe , she had a broken wing but fully recovered . I’ve had 2 Armadillos , Sargent Major  and Stump Whomper . I’ve  raised and  bottle-fed  Bunnies , a pet Rat , Puppies , Kittens  and Calves , a  baby Opossum , a baby squirrel and rescued an adolescent Raccoon .

I had  Turtle named Yurtle the Turtle, she stayed in my room all night long then went to the kitchen when Mom & Dad were having breakfast . We knew she was a female Box turtle , we looked her up in our Encyclopedia , female box turtles have brown eyes and males have orange eyes . We had Yurtle for more than a year . One day , out of the woods came an orange eyed male box turtle , I put them together in our sand box to play .  Well , I learned how turtles mate , interesting and complicated ! My pet had a call of the wild and ran off with that orange eyed turtle , we never saw her again . I had an Eastern soft shell turtle for a while too ,  named Alla Ty . I had a 5 gallon bucket of earth worms they were my pets and I played with them .

We’ve had a Pink-toed Spider named Boo & a Chilean Rose-haired Spider named Nessa Rose . Angel the Prairie Dog , Sonic the Hedgehog and Leeland & Trouble the Ferrets also have enriched our lives as very interesting family members . I have always liked Reptiles, but my parents did not so it wasn’t until I was married that we got our first snake Trinity , a Yellow Rat Snake . Then later our second So , Ryan had a collection of Snakes and Lizards . Puff the Bearded Dragon , Ramses the Veiled Chameleon, an Australian Water Dragon , a Ball Python, a Nile Monitor and our oldest Son, Dan’s Iguana , Mare  E. Guana , and our youngest , Stephanie’s Sand Fire Bearded Dragon, Princess .

When I was in 4th grade my little boyfriend found a baby owl that had fallen from his nest . He knew i loved animals , so he brought it to school to me . I brought him home and our neighbor helped me raise it and set him free . That was my first rescue , I was hooked forever as Pseudo mother and nurse to those in need , I had a purpose in life , a calling from the universe a place where i fit in !!! Animals are definitely my FAVORITE people .

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