I have been away from my blog for so long.
First, I will ask you to excuse any typos or strange wording, as my computer is kaput and I am posting by phone. Hopefully, my posts are understandable.
There is a lot to catch up on. Too much, actually. Our “family” grew larger this year with the addition of three more dogs that quickly became ten total when the abandoned stray we took in gave birth. We also have heritage turkeys, laying hens, and more cattle. Of course, that also means a lot of mouths to feed, vet bills to pay, and mucho muck in all sorts of vintages!
I started raising chickens last February in the house, where our wood stove could keep them and us warm during what we thought was winter’s last hurrah. Yes, the chicks were in the house caged, litter changed frequently, and in my estimation no difference from parakeets, parrots, and cockatoos. When the little balls of fuzz grew their real feathers in, they got a place of honor in the cow shed. By July ten beautiful little red and gold hens began laying elegant brown eggs and the two roosters, Dot and Not (named for the
Dot on top of their heads as tiny black Barred Rock chicks) split the flock between them. Nearly the size of the Royal Palm toms, they easily kept a tight rein on their respective portion.
Two nights ago, however, something made dinner out of two of Not’s girls and broke his neck in the melee. Mike found him, barely alive, in the middle of the pasture. There was no hope to save him. (Spoiler alert! Skip the next few paragraphs if you get queasy.)
Such is life on a farm with animals. You take care of them, treat them well, and give them the best possible life, but eventually a decision must be made regarding their welfare. Not (I now call him Naught) was doomed and we will enjoy our chicken and dumplings for tonight’s dinner.
He will also be part of dinner for the dogs for the next few days, either as protein or broth poured over their dry food. We will all be thankful for that brave little roo that saved the lives of most of his flock. Even traumatized, the girls all laid beautiful eggs this morning and were fed ground up shells from yesterday’s egg gathering. I deliberately marked and left two in the nest… Maybe there will be a Not, Jr.