Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Day of Animals

Yesterday was quite some day.  I usually have Mondays off from work, and yesterday was no exception.  We planned to get Hubby up to have an x-ray of his neck the doctor had wanted.  But he slept in late and I piddled away time, afraid to get into anything too involved, for he'd just wake up and be in a rush to get away.
Finally, he did start his day and we made the necessary arrangements.  While I was phoning and doing this, Pete went out to check the live traps he had set near the woods where eggs and chickens had been disappearing.  He had baited them up with old eggs the night before. 
To his surprise and mine, we had a small but full grown red fox in one of the traps!!  He was one frightened and vicious little animal.  Pete was pondering what to do with him.  He looked much like Todd from the Fox and the Hound.  He finally decided we'd simply load the cage in the trunk and drop him in the woods many miles from here on our hour journey to the hospital.
Pete found a good dirt road to go down.  Nothing but woods, no sign of houses.  He set the cage on the ground pointed into the woods and lifted the door.  That fox shot right out of there!!!  Obviously happy to be free once more.  Yet, somewhat confused as to which side of the road to enter the woods on.  He darted back and forth while he loped away from us in indecision.  Just as he almost disappeared from sight he darted in the brush. 
So, hopefully his story has a happy ending.
The other big event of the day, didn't end so well. 
When we returned home it was late and the school bus had already ran.  The kids were in the yard doing chores.  Hubby was walking around checking his garden.  He noticed our quarter horse, Blaze, was acting oddly and stopped to watch her.  She was turning round.  Laying down.  Getting right back up.  Then next thing he knew, water came out and she presented a birth sac just emerging!!  He had no idea this mare was bred!  He is calculating how long it had been since she was last known to be in.  The math wasn't adding up.  We were immediately worried.
I came in and found a great online sight about horses:  Horsetalk.  They had a full article on the birthing process.  You see, in the past, every time the mares have given birth when we were asleep or gone from home.  We had never been such a part of it before.  Although, Pete has come upon them immediately afterward.  
I run out to tell him if the front hooves didn't appear within 15 minutes or so, he'd better get ready to help her.  But they did.  And then the head.  All still covered by the sac, which is normal.  Time passes.  And on schedule she finally delivers her whole bundle.  But the bundle appears way too small.  And the bundle does not start to kick free of the sac in the required time.  So, Pete enters the pen and burst the sac.  But the poor thing is stillborn.  No sign of life.  Fully developed but no way near the size it should be yet.  He figures a month to two months too early.  
Would have been our first filly.  White stocking legs, line back paint.  Blaze is still down.  She keeps checking behind her to see if the little one will stand.  Pete pulls a wagon over and puts the baby in it.  As he pulls the wagon away, Blaze finally stands with some coaxing.  That is a relief!  As Pete pulls the wagon on out of the pen, Blaze stretches her neck to nuzzle the head one time.  May be just dumb animals, but there was a definite disappointment in her eyes. 
Pete thinks she may have been kicked by another horse to have caused this.  Or it may have just been one of those some unknown thing not right situations.  He and the kids buried it down the hill by Bug's mare that died.
Now we just wait expectantly for Emmy (Immaculate Conception) his Tennessee Walking horse, who we know is bred, to give birth in May or June.  (One month difference in the gestation between male and female.)  The hope is for a mare.  Bug wants to raise and train one by her own hand. 


  1. Interesting stories but sorry you lost that baby. That is one of the sad things of farm and ranch life. John was seeing a fox near our house when he walked early in the morning but guess something happened to it. They are so pretty. Paula

  2. Sorry about the filly Barbara.  It would have been amazing to watch the whole process and have it turn out happy~  I feel bad for Blaze, but glad she's OK.  Animals do have a knowing when they're missing their young one.  As for the fox- I'm glad you guys let him go!  Just hopefully he won't make it back to your chickens!  Have a blessed rest of the week:)  Carolyn

  3. So sorry to hear about the filly.  The fox is beautiful but if he's been stealing the chickens... well that is another matter.  What a beautiful entry.  I didn't know much about the birth of horses til I read this entry.  Hugs,

  4. So sorry about the filly... and don't want the fox eating the chickens but hope he is not too lost...
    Linda :)

  5. Dear Barb
    is the mother horse ok

  6. I'm so sorry to hear about the foal.  What a shame.  I hope Blaze is ok.  The fox sure consider himself grateful that he found a good place to trespass.  Others would of just shot him!  Linda

  7. I am so sorry that the foal didn't make it. I hope Blaze will be alright. I would think that you have some more fox around other than that one if it was barely grown. The parents are probably lurking around somewhere. Hope Pete will be ok. Helen

  8. So sorry about the filly....how sad...

    Glad you got the fox and not someone who would of hurt or killed it...Glad he got another chance sometimes that is all we (it) needs....


  9. Love the fox story.  So sad for the stillborn filly.  I found you through the carnivaol.  I've helped deliver a few foals.  Fortunately none turned out that way.

  10. awww that is so sad about the still born filly.  I can just imagin the sadness and loose in Blaze's eyes and my heart breaks for her.  Hope she will recover soon and be blessed with a viable live birth with the time is right.

    Much Love,

  11. Sorry to hear of the stillborn foal, Barbara. At least the fox had a happy ending :-\

  12. I think foxes are beautiful, even though they are nusiances if you have chickens!  I am so very, very sorry about the little filly.  I hope Blaze does well, and I hope the other mare foals with no problem.  Hopefully you'll get a filly that Bug can raise and train.

  13. Foxes can't afford to be so casual in this country.

  14. so sorry to hear of the stillborn its sad when they dont make it
    i hope you are well

  15. I am so sorry. I imagine that animals feel the pain of loss also. I have seen it with my cats.

  16. Sorry to hear about the foal, it is always sad when something like this happens.  The last fox i saw was strolling round the shop where i work when i opened up, it had broke in and fallen through the ceiling.  It just strolled out the front door and joined all the people going to work.
    Jenny <><

  17. Sorry about the little one!  

  18. Sorry to hear about the little newborn pony... Keep the faith. Hopefully, the other delivery will be much smoother and more successful... As for the fox, I'm not much of a fox guy. Fox news, yes. Fox animal... uh, no... :)

  19. What a beautiful fox and I am so glad you were able to let it go into the woods, long life to it.  How sad about the foal, must have been upsetting for you all, I know how sad I would have been but hope all goes well for the next birth!!! Obviously we want pictures of the newcomer

  20. What an incredible story.  I can only imagine how that poor horse must feel.  Dumb animal?  I don't think so.  No matter how ignorant a animal may appear to be, when it comes to the instincts of a mother, the need to love and nuerture and protect their baby, nothing changes that.  Even mentally handicapped people, even though our ability to undersand them, does not change their profound, deep emotions over their babies.
    I will pray for this horse.  Feel sad for it already.  Will be hard when the other horse is born.  Something in my heart just tells me so.
    Awesome story Barbara.  Poor little horse.


So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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