Hello, Spring! I am so happy to see the robins roosting in the trees, and I noticed the first blooms on the forsythia today. I guess this means spring is finallly here.
We burned pasture/ditches/yard last weekend. Luckily, Mother Nature had cooperated, so the moisture level at the ground was high enough that only the dry grass & leaves on top burned. So the sparsely grassed and mowed areas worked well enough to keep the fire contained. Good thing – Dear Hubby has a pyromaniac gene and once he gets started burning, he just wants to make more and bigger fires! At least this year he was careful enough not to burn the cedars (which look quite impressive when they go up in flames), fruit trees and lilacs. So the only down-side was all of the soot tracked into the house, but hey, it could’ve been a lot worse!
On a sad note, a neighbor dog jumped their fence and decided to “play” with the turkeys (which means tearing out all of their feathers, chewing off their wings, tearing off the skin, and then leaving them when they aren’t fun anymore). We immediately killed my Blue Slate, he was in really bad shape. Poor guy survived the dog attack from last year. The Royal Palm was in slightly better shape, so I loaded her up on pain meds and antibiotics, then tried to treat her wounds. Unfortunately, she passed away a short time later, but at least it wasn’t a painful end. (It was difficult coming up with dosages for meds for individual turkeys, since most people eat them and don’t treat them for pain or bite wounds…only us crazy turkey ladies!) We didn’t eat these turkeys – it’s one thing to know you are going to butcher and eat one of your birds (or critters), but to have them attacked…I just couldn’t do it. Plus I don’t know where THAT TURKEY KILLIN’ DOG’s mouth has been, or what the meat would taste like after all of the stress and damage. So the carcasses just went down to the river (thank you DH) and became cat fish food (or whatever – I don’t want to know).
Now that my big turkey is gone, the Barred Rock Rooster (aka ‘Tough Guy’) thinks he really is tough, since he’s now the biggest guy around. He’s gone after the kids, so he probably will be in the stew pot soon. It’s the only thing to do with these old roosters, since they need to cook a long time so they won’t be tough. Last one we ate was “Steve & Noodles.”
Anyway, I was doing chores tonight and Tough Guy ambushed me from behind! What nerve! And when I was fixing to get him some food! Well, you don’t pick on Big Momma unless you can back it up. Tough Guy thought he could, and he kept coming at me with his head low and his neck feathers puffed out. Then he would leap and strike me with his back legs. I half-heartedly kicked at him, which he avoided and then came right back for me. OK, now this is getting serious. I can’t have a rooster who isn’t respectful, so I put my head down low, puffed out my neck feathers, and spread my wings, then started walking menacingly towards Tough Guy (well, OK, that’s a little exaggerated, but it usually is effective even if it appears like I’m crazy).
But Tough Guy wouldn’t back down. So I started trash talkin’ him and askin’ him if he thought he was tougher than me. He did. But what he didn’t count on was that I have opposable thumbs at the end of my ‘wings.’ HA! I was able to grab him and fling him a few times. A few tail feathers later, he finally got the idea – funny how good the garden looked just then – and off he went, tail between his legs, so to speak. What a ‘chicken’ – ha ha!
After dark I went out to count & check the chickens and close the chicken house door. And just to make sure that ‘Tough Guy’ knew that Big Momma still ruled the roost, I started petting him under his wings and rubbing his comb. He growled at me and eventually fell off the roost, but he was lots more respectful. As for the other roosters, they are in pretty good shape, except for my little Buttercup – he’s kind of skinny, but he has to work so much harder to get a hen.
It is nice to have fresh eggs again. Boy, do they taste good. There really aren’t any ticks yet, so it must be all of the time spent in the horse pen! I haven’t decided if I want to raise chicks, but I do want some more turkeys. Guess I’ll have to make up my mind soon.
Until next time…