Sunday, August 9, 2015
Sunday Reading - The Adventure of Three Roosters
It's no secret to anyone who reads this blog that I been kicking around the idea of chickens for years now. I almost get myself talked into it and then reality intrudes into my daydreams of collecting eggs and I realize there is no way chickens can survive here unless I build em a big pen and keep em locked up all the time. If I am going to keep chickens I want them to be out all the time eating bugs and generally adding as little extra work onto my schedule as possible.
A friend of my Mom's however has been putting a monkey wrench in my anti-chicken excuse here lately. She has my mother convinced that we can in fact free range chickens and keep them alive by only giving them a place inside the barn to roost at night.
Personally I think this friend is wrong. Further more I think she is sugar coating the thing because she had these three roosters she wanted to get rid of.
Finally I relented and agreed to let them bring the three roosters out here as a trial. If these three survive then perhaps I will admit they were right and I was wrong and we can get some hens. I actually like having the birds walking around and all that I just don't have time to keep even more critters penned in where they don't want to be.
So about two and a half minutes after I say yes this crate of chickens magically appears in the driveway. Somehow I think I was set up once again.
Of course I wasn't set up as bad as these poor roosters let me tell you. I guess at least they have a shot at survival now as the friend said it was either bring them here or she was going to do them in.
My mother had it all planned out. She would release them in the barn lot which is fenced in and they won't be able to get out without flying. She would feed em some cracked corn and they would casually get used to the big barn lot in relative safety.
It almost worked.
These three roosters were staying in the barn lot as they couldn't get through the fence. After a short while they even were kinda settling down and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Then the sheep showed up......
Ahhhh MOM. What The Hell are Those Things?
The roosters on the other hand thought they were about to be eaten by giant fuzzy dogs or something.
This is when the real flaw in the plan showed it's ugly head.
While the roosters couldn't get through the woven wire fence they could in fact squeeze through the cattle panels we have to the ram's paddock. From there is was a short run to the ram's gate and the yard. Oh and did I mention the waiting jaws of the dog?
This was about the time we discovered the old stray dog that moved in with us like 6 years ago now really wants to eat live chicken. He took off after those roosters like a Black streak and managed to pull most of the tail feathers off the one to the left in the above picture before we got him chained up.
The roosters scattered but after a few minutes I heard one clucking back behind my bee hives and that's where they spent the entire afternoon and evening. I had a theory that they would be back around sunset looking for some place indoors to roost. Sure enough just as it was getting dark they came right up to us and wanted inside somewhere. Trouble is they wouldn't go in and stay in because there was always one not in and the other two would go back out.
OMG what stupid creatures.
One then turned and ran right into the killer dog who was now tied up for only the third time in his life. Interestingly enough the dog didn't attack it now so maybe he got the message quick. I know he did with the cats.
Finally as it got really dark two of the dumb birds went to a tree in the front yard that is covered in ivy and bedded down while the third who was in the barn came out looking for them. He got scared and ran back to the bee hives and went up in one of the trees back there.
The dog is now inside, much to his displeasure and we are going to keep him controlled for a few days in hopes the dumb birds get a routine figured out and get used to the sheep. If they survive I have reluctantly agreed that we can then try adding some full grown hens to the mix and I will put in some nesting boxes.
So the rooster survival trial now begins. My son is betting they don't last a week. I am betting they don't make it three days.
We will see.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!