Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peach vs. The Tarantula

It was Sunday afternoon. I had just tossed the boys some hay and was walking back to the house. The chickens were gathered at the fence, staring at my feet...or so I thought. I looked down and realized they were staring at a tarantula.

"Everybody, freeze!" I shouted. "Let me go get my camera!"

For once, the chickens listened to me, and so, I might add, did the tarantula.

When I returned with my camera, Lorena was still fixated on the tarantula and vice versa.


Then, sensing he was in mortal danger, the tarantula ran off...


...directly toward Peach.
Me: No, tarantula! Danger! Danger!
I can't believe I was rooting for the tarantula.


Me: OHMYGOD! 
No joke, I really did scream that. I'm surprised you didn't hear me.

Peach snapped up that tarantula so fast, he was blurry at 1/640th of a second.
At least Peach's self-preservation instincts were strong enough that she closed her eyes when she attacked.


Peach took off running, with me, Clara, and Lorena in hot pursuit. 
I wanted more pictures; they wanted lunch.


Around and around the yard we ran...


Lorena got close but was no match for the speedy Peach.


Once they reached the barn, Lorena finally gave up, and Peach swallowed it whole ate her lunch in peace.


Several thoughts were spinning through my head as I caught my breath and stopped taking pictures.
1. I can't believe my chicken ate a tarantula.
2. Is there nothing that chickens won't eat?
3. You guys thought it was gross when Lorena ate a bird...wait 'til you see this!

Then I went in the house to research the potential consequences of Peach's dietary indiscretion. I googled "what happens when a chicken eats a tarantula?" I learned that there are chicken-eating tarantulas, but I couldn't find anything conclusive about tarantula-eating chickens. I do know it has been almost 40 hours since the incident and Peach seems perfectly normal. And the scrambled eggs I ate for breakfast tasted just fine, though I suspect they might have been a little higher in protein than usual.

59 comments:

  1. I cannot believe what I just saw ... I had to go back and look your pictures over again, and well AGAIN! Peach sure has a strange liking for the unusual. Next thing she'll be chasing down a bull snake!

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  2. That bird is fast! No offense, but I didn't think chickens were that intelligent to hunt for their own food. Then again she ate a poisonous spider, huh? No matter what this was absolutely fantastic!

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  3. ohhh that was a bit rough to eat breakfast and read this post!

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  4. ICK!!! So much for "organic" eggs eh?
    You need to keep a broom handy!
    signed
    Theresa in Alberta

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  5. Peach must have read your entry about Lorena being your best hunter!

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  6. Ewwwwwww! But awesome camerawork :)

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  7. Sigh... there goes my appetite again... Linda are you SURE you want to keep eating the eggs from your girls?

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  8. LOL. I could just imagine all of you running around the yard chasing Miss Peach and her supper.

    This is the first time, however, that I am wondering how bugs may affect the taste of the eggs we eat! Tarantula omelets, anyone?

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  9. Wow.
    I might have taken a Pepcid with those breakfast eggs.
    Just in case.

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  10. Chickens can be hysterically funny. I was laughing through this whole encounter. Go Peach Go!!

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  11. I LOVE the picture of peach running away from you! Her fluffy pantaloons and the tarantula hanging out of her beak are such a perfect juxtaposition!

    But, ew. You are so brave.

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  12. Wonderful post! How lucky that your chicken and the tarantula waited for you to get the camera! I've always heard chickens are great at pest control, but I think this is above and beyond....Although I do feel sorry for the spider.

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  13. Until this I thought I'd seen pretty much eeveryhting.

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  14. Peach-- you are my hero! I usually dont/cant even look at your "T" pictures, but I liked these! (Perhaps I sensed the evil 8-legged's days were numbered) I can happily deal w/any snakes but not even a little spider **grimace**. Does Peach have an agent? I see Hollywood super hero potential here!

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  15. This pictures and the story are great! I´m glad not to have tarantulas around here, because I don´t own hero-chickens.
    Pia

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  16. Wow. Makes me wonder what Clara's going to eat next, to keep up with the Ladies Who Lunch.

    *gag*

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  17. OMG! I am so happy you got your camera! I really did not think a chicken would eat a spider either, but she sure seemed to enjoy it! :)

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  18. Holy crap!! Holy crap!! I am gagging also.

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  19. ewww, don't think I would be eating those eggs for a while

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  20. "You are a better man than I Gunga Din" :)!...I'm afraid I would have dispatched the tarantula...the heck with blog photos...

    Good to hear that Peach is OK! And you - after breakfast :)!

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  21. I swear, you never know what you'll find here!!! funny, funny, funny....

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  22. Goodness, I never knew that chicken would eat that big tarantula! Great pictures for obvious evidence which lead us to believe the "impossible" deed! High protein, indeed, LOL!

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  23. LOL... 'in hot pursuit'. How funny. Thanks for the hoot this morning.

    DI

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  24. Yummy! Wonder if it tickled going down, bet she needed a drink after that stunt.

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  25. I knew this was coming so I made sure breakfast was well finished before I checked in on you today :) Fantastic.

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  26. Nancy in NC11/2/10, 8:03 AM

    Hooray for Peach - killing the *evil* tarantula! I don't know how you put up w/those! They give me the hibbidee jibbidees! Your post are the best Carson - simply the best.

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  27. Good heavens they are vicious beasts!!! I had no idea they'd eat a tarantula, but now I know... wow!! Crazy!

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  28. Very odd. You'd think the tarantula would know better and stay away from things with beaks. Maybe it was a blind, deaf, and dumb tarantula.

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  29. Eewwww Gross! Every morning, I have an egg for breakfast. Every morning. This morning, I just didn't feel like it and I'm enjoying yogurt & a banana. My instincts are extremely sharp. Impressive.

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  30. Nature red in tooth and claw, well make that beak and claw.

    Good job, Peach.

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  31. ewwww, I woulda just left them alone, pretty brave to follow a trantula. ewwww again.

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  32. Holy smokes! I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes! And I thought my girls were good hunters for going after grasshoppers!

    I'll be waiting to see the mouse attack next.

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  33. Although I have had 2 cups of rather strong coffee...THAT STOREY woke me up in a hurry of laughter and a couple OMWG'S too!
    LOVED that you had eggs and decided to join her in maybe some, say spidy powers later!
    KK

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  34. Well. If I wasn't convinced before, I can now say with complete certainty that chickens are just *different* in New Mexico.
    Ewww. >>cough, cough<< Blech. ((shiver))

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  35. Chickens are strange critters anyway but bird and spider nibbling is well....hmmmmmm....must be normal but as others have said....one can only sit and wonder what the third chicken has planned...world dominiation? Wow.

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  36. Another great reason to get chickens!

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  37. I am soooo deathly afraid of spiders that I cannot believe that I actually read this post! Is it wrong that I am happy that Peach ate Mr. Furry 8 legs?

    ~The Mama Monster

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  38. BAD PEACH! Oh, poor tarantula. Even though they sort of creep me out, I do like tarantulas and will always shoo them out of harms way.
    What can ya do, nature in action..

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  39. I'm not surprised that Peach ate a tarantula, but I am surprised you were able to capture it on film. Those chickens move super fast when it comes to prey. Good shots!

    My chickens have eaten many lizards, spiders, stink bugs, baby snakes and lots of mice. They are better hunters than an outdoor cat, imo. Since we got our chickens, our pest numbers have went way down.
    As, I'm sure yours will, too.
    And now you can sit outside in your barefeet without worring about huge hairy spiders crawling across your toes. lol!


    ~Lisa

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  40. LOL Peach thought she hit the jackpot LOL! Great to have the girls around the house to clear the pests! I would hate to step barefoot out the door in the morning and step on a tarantula!!! Yikes! Although I have dont that several times with slugs!!! thats what we have up here in Washington!! LOL LOL

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  41. OK! Well done, all of you girls! Now I'll just tap my toes till the scorpion post.

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  42. take that, shelob!

    best reason for having chickens ever!!

    ~lytha in germany

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  43. Maybe they're part bullfrog! Watch this video at your own risk.
    http://www.wimp.com/bullfroghunts/

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  44. well i have a whole new respect for chickens now! who knew a chicken could be such a badass? sounds like i need a few like that around here!

    and great shots! i give you credit for getting that close - i cringe at even the little hairless non-toxic spiders :-\

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  45. One of my chickens once ate a black widow! Thought it would kill her but it didn't. None of us died from eating eggs either.

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  46. That chicken needs a cape. Clearly she's a super fowl.

    :)

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  47. O M G !!!! I really don't know what else to say!! I can't believe how quick you are with your camera and the stuff you capture! LOVE IT! Sort of... LOL GROSS but fascinating. I'm not sure I'll be eating eggs for awhile :)

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  48. It's nighttime as I read this...I will now need a nightlight to make sure there are no tarantulas in my bedroom!!! Way to go Peach!!!

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  49. I think I might be giving up my eggs for a few days after that episode! It's great to have a spider-catching chicken though! She's a brave one!

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  50. Wonder-Full Post! Cheers to peaches!

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  51. Great post! I knew she'd eat it! Chickens are PREDATORS! I think it is hilarious when they don't get enough attention, they'll run back toward their buddys to show off what they have, hoping someone will chase them. I'm surprised the other girls didn't yank parts of it off as she went by! Hilarious that her eye is closed in the picture--that's a big gulp! What a brave, brave girl. You must feel much safer now...

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  52. When we had our chickens, we never had any bugs in the yard! They ate ants, termites, worms, fruit, corn cobs with butter; and what ever else they found on their own.
    When the chicks were born, my Aussie would sneak into the hen coop and lay down to protect the babies while momma was out foraging.

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  53. Ah-ha. Now I know the REAL reason for free-range chickens!

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  54. Would Peaches like to come and stay with me for a few weeks in early October? I have plenty of 8-legged freaks for her to munch around then! :P

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  55. Whew! That was some awesome photo skills! I actually let out a little yelp when I saw the action shot. Wow.

    Kristin - The Goat

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  56. Kirby shared this post with me and I can't believe it, OMG! I would have been put in the nut house if I saw my dog Skye doing that. You captured it perfectly.

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  57. That’s IT!!! I don’t have tarantulas; but I HATE spiders!! Even the tiny ones; cause if I get a little bite; I get a BIG red itchy welt! I’ve always wanted Buff Orps based on everything I’ve read about them as an egg layer/brooder and their personalities. Now I am SOLD! Even my cats “dab” at spiders if the see one and won’t kill them. Meanwhile, I’m looking for the 10 foot pole LOL I’m getting myself a flock of Orps!

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