Monthly Archives: March 2007

Tale of two chickens

Lucky Pierre died a couple of weeks ago. Was fine one day and started to fail the next. We found him dead in the hen house. Still miss him. He was handsome and had absolutely no interest in attacking us. This is not a good time to lose a rooster. It won’t be long till the hens will start going broody. So the search was on for a new rooster. I picked one up from a co-worker. He was handsome, with a crest of feathers on his head. He did not enjoy riding in the car. We left him in a cat carrier that night and turned him loose with the hens the next day. Jeffrey saw him that afternoon, when the hens were drifting off a bit. We haven’t seen him since. Don’t know if a hawk got him or if he’s moved over to the neighbors.

This week, Jeffrey told me that he’d seen him and that he was hanging out with the hens again. And, one morning, I did see one of the hens come in with a rooster. Only, it wasn’t the rooster I’d gotten from the co-worker. It was a rooster that I hadn’t seen before. He seems to be moving in, spending the day with the chickens but returning to the woods at night. Sort of the phantom chicken of the woods. We are waiting to see if he will finally move in with the hens.

We lost two turkeys, an old broadbreasted hen and the tom, to coocidosis. Didn’t realize what was going on. I’ve medicated the others and they are doing fine now. We’ve decided that we can’t raise turkeys up here. They don’t do well in this weather. If I can figure out how to brood chicks without electricity, we’ll add more chickens and then more geese. I think the “more goats” will happen without much aid from us. Should start to have goat kids in a month or so.

Mud Season

We’ve finally moved beyond snow to mud season. We’ve been here before. The snow cleared off and then we got hit with more. But this time, it looks like spring is here to stay. The goats are shedding. Green things are starting to grow.

We’ve been pretty busy with church stuff lately. Jeffrey was elected trustee so he is now on the board too. We are trying to come up with things we can do that will benefit the community and also bring people to the church. It takes up a bit of our weekends, but it’s something we need to do.

The chickens are laying regularly and it looks like both the geese and turkeys are ready to start. We are trying to come up with some shelters for them, as we’d like them to go broody and nest. We’ve got some building plans for this year but that will need to wait until summer. First we need to put in a garden. I think we are going to try digging up a spot next weekend and let the chickens dig through it for a bit. It’s still too early to plant, but not too early to prepare. And I think I can finally uncover the big rosemary plant and find out how it came through the winter. Some of the bulbs I transplanted are about to come into bloom too.

More snow

We had more snow this weekend. When you think you are finally in mud season and moving towards spring, a foot of snow is a disappointment in a way. Having to shovel out the driveway again is tough to deal with. You start to wonder when it will end. Back when we worked at the nursery out here, it would do this to us every February. We’d be called in for a week, then snow would set in and it would be weeks before we called back in. You’d screw up your unemployment and it was a month before you’d get your first check from the nursery. I guess you could say that we weren’t too surprised at this snow. Like I told Jeffrey that night “I guess the nursery won’t be calling us back any time soon.” (They closed out the nursery many years ago. When they closed down the woods, there was no reason to grow seedling trees to replace the ones they cut.)

The goats are disappointed. They had gotten used to going up and browsing every day. There’s too much snow for that so they are stuck in the pen. We think at least two of the goats are pregnant. The nubian, Glory, is likely three months along. We think Maddie may be pregnant too. I’ll know more when I work on their hooves this weekend.