Sunday, May 29, 2011

So Sweet!

Thanks to Kelly at Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams for this lovely award. Check out her blog-- there's a lot of wisdom there.

So.... quick 7 things about myself:

1) We are having a fox predation problem again this year-- miserable for all of us, except the dogs who LOVE being called upon to patrol the borders in the early mornings.

2) Due to the fox predation, we have 7 orphaned chicks in a brooder on our porch. I took them to work for a few weeks and now they are home-- with cool new student-given names like "Mohawk", "Oreo" and "Hawkeye"

3) I worry about these chicks much more than usual... because they have cool student-given names and I would hate to have to tell the kids that something bad happened.

4) Our 15 turkey poults are arriving on June 15th. I am trying to pony up a little enthusiasm but...

5) I hate to admit this but I am feeling a little done with farming. The responsibility feels more burden and less joy lately. Especially as the kids are involved in all sorts of other activities (baseball, hip hop dance, clarinet, science club, art and writing groups) and I too am deep in novel revisions.

6) Our above ground pool was flattened by heavy snowfall this winter. I am not much of a swimmer (The pool-- which came with the house-- seemed a lot of money and trouble and upkeep to me, but the rest of the family is bummed)

7) I have about 75 singular socks on the laundry room table. Years worth of missing socks. NO idea how this happens. Where do those matches go?

I'm passing this award on to these cool blogs:

Allie at Visualize Industrial Collapse. Allie is an ambitious farmer who many years ago took in our first two lambs. Check out her amazing yarn!

Amateur Yankee. Beautiful photos and thoughtful posts from Vermont

Razzberry Corner: Great and farmy. I don't have much love for our own gunea fowl, but I love reading about the Razzberry Corner crew

Chai Chai at Homestead...From Scratch who has been such a wonderful commenter over the years (yes, years!) and has a terrific farmy blog too

Christy of Whistling Wind Farm who started off with "Farm Dreams" and now has the whole kit n' caboodle

And Lisa who has a fabulous farm up in NH.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Three Roosters

Winter's big rooster round-up is over and done with. The daffodils are out, the mint is starting to sprout in the garden (and everywhere else it can get to) and the hens are scratching fall's last shriveled leaves to bits.

Also, the three remaining roosters are figuring out the pecking order.

Chickens really do have them. There's always a fat, glossy hen with an evil glint in her eye, not so different from those Housewives of Orange County. (Okay, I confess, I've never SEEN one of those housewives shows so this last part pure guesswork)

Anyway, there's also the timid bottom rung girls

who are lean and rangy and dart more often then they waddle.

Often there are squabbles between them, but these last a few seconds. High ranking hen says "Move it pipsqueak!" and low ranking hen, flutters off clucking apologies, that sort of thing.

But with roosters, this stuff is more like "Lock-Up" or something (Again, haven't actually seen this show, but I don't exactly live in a cave either.)

Our main man rooster, Jaguar is 3 or 4 years old now (He's the khaki fellow on the far left)

Jaguar has been king of this here castle quite a while, and he has all the swagger of John Wayne. He doesn't start fights, but he can end them.


Too bad for Jaguar, our second ranking rooster is two this year, a mature and weighty bird with a magnificent dark green tail.

And plenty swagger of his own.

He used to be "Dionysus" until he beat up his brother Apollo

Since then, he's lived with his own small harem away from Jaguar in the lower barn. We now call this dude "Vlad" or "The Black-Bottomed Rooster" after the vulture in Horton Hears a Who

Vlad had an edge, and he has been angling to displace Jaguar for a while now. Today they had a run in in the no-bird's land between the coop and the barn. But the dogs made such a fuss, they went their separate ways without resolving anything.

It's a waiting game now.

Which brings us to the last of the Maggie's Farm Roos: Blackbeard

This guy is young. He still has that gangly, goofball quality (just look at that face!)

The hens just don't take him seriously, but he hangs around the outskirts of Jaguar's flock, trying to snatch them away (Roosters are not above rape.) Of course, when he starts after one, Jaguar comes barreling to the rescue. So mostly Blackbeard runs, and watches and waits. I don't think he's eating much.

So that's our current triumvirate. But I'll keep you posted.