Some birds aren’t that scared of people and will hang out near the house. Like this cute little maya or Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
And then there are crows. I confess that I used to sit around thinking of schemes to get rid of the crows. Crows have a bad reputation. They eat other birds. They steal eggs from nests. Other birds mob them and try to drive them away. They are associated with witches and bad omens.
They are also very intelligent birds. They are part of the corvid family. There are studies that show corvids using all kinds of tools, remembering the faces of researchers at a university and then attacking them when they saw them in the campus, and solving complicated problems such as dropping pebbles into a container of water so they can get a sip of water just like the Aesop’s fable!
Now that I’m not scared of them or trying to drive them away, I can just watch them.
There’s a murder of crows that hangs out at the horse house.
What would happen if Barkley entered the horse paddock? Would they attack Barkley?
Ha! Barkley didn’t even feel threatened.
They are no match for Barkley and just leave him to do his thing in the paddock.
I thought it was so nifty when I saw a crow drinking from the horses’ water trough. I ran back to the house so I could take a photo.
And then the other day I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was the crow really standing ON Takoy’s back?
Yes, he was! And Takoy wasn’t bothered at all!
The crow stayed there for a long time. What was going on? Was he going to groom Takoy? Get a bug from Takoy’s back like those Oxpeckers and Rhinoceros in Africa? Walk behind Takoy waiting for him to unearth bugs from the grass like a Cattle Egret and carabao? Grab some feed from Takoy’s bucket? I didn’t see anything like that, the crow just flew away. But who knows what I’ll see next time!
Chiquita goes in and out of the paddock by herself now!
She even goes into the adjoining fields!
How We Did It
I really thought it would take a lot of intervention to get Chiquita to behave like a normal horse again. I was wrong! Sometimes, it’s great to be proven wrong!
The first step was to to stop bringing Chiquita cut grass. Our caretaker was worried that she wouldn’t have enough to eat if he didn’t bring her cut grass. He found out that if he brought her outside on a lead rope, she would graze for a bit. But he had to keep her on the rope because she would try to get back into the paddock. We figured that if we kept her outside, eventually she would realize that it was nice to walk around and graze! After a few days of monotonous rope-holding, he realized he could just shut the paddock door and take her off the lead rope! Once she got used to being outside, the door was kept open during the daytime so she could freely go in and out of the paddock.
We didn’t want Takoy to be an only horse for too long. After a few weeks of searching, our friend Mikeli found a horse for us!
Chiquita is an old retired school pony from Manila Polo Club. She is very old and has medical issues. We were warned that she is sometimes grouchy around other horses. She had been confined to this stall for the longest time. The people who knew her were happy to hear that she was going to be retired in a farm!
I thought she would be very excited about having a lot of space for grazing and walking around. When she first got out of the trailer, she grabbed some clumps of grass and started walking really fast. Then she ran and even got away from Ruel! Continue reading “Chiquita”
Takoy has a new friend! After months of being an only horse, Takoy has a horse buddy! We adopted Tippy, our friend Vanna’s well-mannered, beloved, retired dressage horse. Continue reading “Takoy and Tippy”