Saturday, April 14, 2012

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

To get to the other side. Where the ladies were. You see, these hens were living the life of nuns. Seven of them in their little coop, laying an occasional egg, eating an occastional egg, and just hanging out. Apparently they were also making some noise.  Enough noise to get the attention of one lonely rooster. First he came around and got them all riled up. In fact, the chicken flew the coop. Quite literally. Then he tried to lead them off into the woods. I was having none of that. We repeatedly chased him away and the ladies back to their general vicinity. Eventually Kent came up with a better plan. He caught the rooser, clipped his wing and put him in the yard where we wanted the ladies to be. Over the next day or so we collected the hens as they came back to be around this handsome stranger, clipped their wings and put them back in their yard.

Then a couple days later a neighber we hadn't met stopped by. Turns out she was looking for her daughter's rooster. The handsome stranger turned out to be Bob Jr., who was living the bachelor life down the road. We fetched Bob and he was soon on his way back home. Just a couple of hours later we looked out the window to see that Bob was back in our yard. And by the time we'd finished dinner that evening, he's found his own way back into the fenced chicken yard and coop. That's one determined guy. So we took a walk down the road and let the nice neighbor know where he was and that they were welcome to fetch him any time but that we weren't going to spend time pitching him out just to have him let himself back in. In the end, the daughter came to visit and decided that "Jr." seemed so happy with the ladies here that he should just stay.

He keeps himself busy watching the ladies, keeping them safe and apparently very happy. In fact, today there were six eggs. We seem to be averaging five each day with just a rare occasional eaten egg. And I'm convinced the hens seem more content.

Bob Jr. is even a gentleman, letting the ladies get the first of the vegetable scraps before he helps himself to any.

 And I'm loving getting eggs again on a regular basis.

In fact, our remaining turkeys (2 toms, 2 hens) are now old to start laying. And we've had a couple of turkey eggs this week. Larger, naturally, than hen eggs and with a very slight difference in flavor that I don't believe can be noted without a side by side comparison.

The pigs have gotten quite large. We weren't sure how much they might weigh but a friend was by who has raised a lot of pigs and he felt pretty sure that the sow was about 300 lbs. They've gotten very tame and we scratch them every day when we feed them. I'm glad they seem very happy, since they are due to go to the butcher on the 23rd. I'll give them some extra belly rubs between now and then. It's been an overall positive experience raising them and I'm sure we'll do it again this fall. Now we just have to nail down buyers for 2 halves since we only intend to put one in our freezer. It's time for me to read up on making sausage and rendering lard.

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