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Thursday, May 22, 2014

History repeats itself.

After I lost my roo, Roquefort, I wasn't too worried about the hens' safety because I had a back-up - Little Bit.  Also known as Short Pants.  He was my "Free Exotic Chick" from Murray McMurray (I have now gotten smarter and turned down the free chick offer - it's always a cockerel and I'm not impressed with male exotic-ness.  In chickens, that is...).  After lurking in the shadows of the large-but-marshmallowy Roquefort, Short Pants came into his new, elevated position with a vengeance.  The hens were not impressed.  Nor was I.  He did have a nicer, more classic crow than Roqie - who had sort of a tin-can-against-metal-grating crow.  But there lurked something dark and insidious under Shorty's feathery countenance.

He was Ivan the Terror reincarnated.  Ivan the Terror was the meanest rooster this side of the Mississippi and he made my previous life a living hell.  While I try not to paint roosters (or people) with the same paintbrush, there are similarities that cannot be ignored.  Shorty looks to be a Dominique rooster.  Ivan was a Dominique rooster.  I raised Shorty from a chick and lavished attention on him.  Ditto Ivan.  All was peachy until the hormones kicked in.  Ditto all over again.

Luckily, the brother of Roquefort has been residing at DS Melanie's.  He will soon be taking up residence at the Little Lucky.  Shorty?  I have plans for him and they don't include retirement.  His reign will be brief.

It's been a tough year for the poultry on the homestead.  Since last fall, I have lost over six hens and my rooster.  Some loss could be traced to old age - I have some geriatric birds - some to possible heart attack (Betty & Roqie), some to hawk attack (Peanut & Nutty Ameracauna 3), and some are just unknown (Violet).  It's always a tricky business keeping the flock at a number that a) won't eat you out of house and home; and b) will be young enough to lay enough eggs to at least pay for their feed.  I am now faced with the majority being 'up there' in age.  Do I let them dwindle to a smaller, cheaper flock, or do I boost the laying power so that I don't lose the egg customers I've built up.  Dunno.  I do know that I am not going to order a bunch of fancy-pants chicks - the hens that seem to thrive are the homebirds - the mutts.  So, with that in mind, I have been putting aside a few eggs for DS Melanie to incubate.  Who knows?  I may just hatch a Son of Roquefort!  Wouldn't that be nice.

Under the category of making lemonade out of lemons, yesterday morning the tree crew arrived on my road to rape, pillage and plunder clear the trees under and around the power lines.  Apparently, they no longer trim branches.  They cut everything down to the ground.  I was very unhappy to hear this, as they will be clear-cutting 90 percent of the trees along the road that offer some protection from the noise, dust and dirt from the gravel trucks.  Apparently, I have no rights.  What a surprise.  Not.  As I sauntered over, I could see them start the nervous shuffle and start bunching together.  Since there was no reason to give them a piece of my mind, I, instead, asked for all the chipped material and some maple branches for the goats and sheep.  They were so relieved that I was not going to yell at them, that they gave me TWO truck loads of chips and a huge, nicely stacked pile of leafy branches.  Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.  Next farm, I will be someplace where I either have more rights or am far enough off the beaten track that I can feel justified putting machine guns in turrets and shooting their tires out.  Kidding.  Sort of.

14 comments:

  1. I'm betting machine guns in turrets are the more likely to happen. Kidding. Sort of.

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    1. Mama Pea - It's sounding better and better.

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  2. Enjoy the rooster stew.... ;-)

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    1. Michelle - Well, I won't, but someone will.... :)

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  3. Susan. I could have written this post. lol I have no roosters now. And hopefully won't again. I just can't take it. The violence, the meanness...bleech !! I tried over and over (I have had 5 roosters) to convince myself that it'
    s just their nature, that's it's chickenworld, that ...whatever. No more. I will buy some fertile eggs if I ever decide to try to raise chicks myself. Until then, I'll continue to buy them at the Farm Home Store. I have located a person that sells eggs ready to go under broody hens, so...

    After our harsh winter here...the blackberries that insulate me from the road i front of my house have not come back. I wondered about spraying...thought--surely not--but it seems the newest generation of county road crew did indeed come through and spray all the hillsides. I'm furious. And there's nothing I can do about it. When I walked down there to really check it out, I could smell the chemicals. Lucky for me...it's not the only place I have blackberries. They are on 3 other sides of my property too. But they were part of my wall of protection against all the things you mentioned. Grrr...

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    1. Good Heavens! How can they spray chemicals without notifying you? That would get my undies in a twist - and blackberries! Someone needs to give those numbskulls (and the numbskulls in my area, too) a course on botany. I waffle on roosters - but mine are the first line of defense, so I let them coexist - as long as it's peacefully.

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  4. I've been incubating some chicken stories too. If nothing else, roosters make good blog fodder. Total bummer about the trees.

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  5. Luckily, my wild buffer trees, shrubs, etc. are on MY land. I'd be one upset woman if I suffered such an indignity as you. Sorry about the chickens and roosters. Just how old are you hens? They ought to lay for several years.

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  6. I don't know of any roosters personally, but there are enough strutting around in nearby DC that I can empathize with your desire to stuff them in a stew pot. Clear cutting trees is just so stupid. I vote for the machine gun!

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  7. I vote for so remote you can have turrets. But honestly, I don't think that exists anymore. Hubby and I have cruised this fine nation in search of peace and quiet. Haven't found it yet. Somewhere in the distance, there's still a dog barking, barking, barking ceaselessly. Sigh........

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    1. And I do not mean to sound "anti" dog. I love dogs. Well behaved, wonderful farm dogs that are content to sit in the sun and guard the house. Somehow, we have gotten so unlucky as to have a neighbor move in down the road, hillbilly as can be--with the mutt on a chain in the yard barking from the crack of dawn to 10 pm. This guy knows the laws around here. Nothing we can do about it. The neighbors are all half nuts from listening to it. WHY do people insist on having a dog they NEVER LOOK AT??????????

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  8. You make me laugh. Sorry about the trees and the chickens but your humour still makes me laugh Thank you for that. Hug B

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  9. Land Owner rights? You would think that there are some but seem to have gone the way of the dodo! The "look" crews get when they see a Landowner is recognizable isn't it. They get to bear the brunt of the Legislators stupidity!
    Clear cutting along power lines is hideous but I have to say probably the right thing to do. After a massive straightline wind storm here the power company decided to bite the bullet and clear the lines. We have not had a power outage from windstorms since and we have had some serious high winds. Not having to deal with tree damage on downed lines does save our power bills from going even higher.
    Rooster stew.....slow simmered with a good dollop of wine added to the broth and rich hearty dumpling....YUM!

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  10. I just got 4 new chicks. I have 1 aggressive one who may be retired to craigslist. The other isn't laying, but she's a really sweet bird so I'm keeping her. I can sell all the eggs I want to, but I never planned on 5. I can have up to 8 in town, but too much on the feed bill. It's a balance. Too bad about the trees! Probably cheaper to just cut them down. But you got some freebies! Can you plant some trees somewhere???

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