Thursday, August 28, 2008

Rain, Roosters, and Getting Sideways

The entire Shenandoah County can thank Bernie for the recent lack of rain. He ensured a drought by building his rain barrel a few months ago. But it seems Mother Nature has forgiven him, or started feeling bad for punishing the entire county for Bernie's actions, and as I write this, we are getting rain. Lots and lots of rain. The rain barrel is now more than half way full, taking it to just over 150 gallons of water. Woo hoo! If this keeps up much longer, we may have a completely full rain barrel - and that will come in handy when Bernie does something else to irritate Mother Nature.

Bernie's been busy taking care of things around here. Since we've taken a couple of vacations in the past couple of months, discretionary funds are a little low right now, so he hasn't started any new projects. Instead he's welding fencing on the driveway gates, using the backhoe to remove ugly stumps in the back yard, working on keeping the cabin roof from leaking, and any number of things on his never ending list of stuff to do.

We were greeted Monday morning with several little crows from Bobby Lee. They were the cutest little crows - very raspy and strained sounding. He's currently pausing on each syllable and it makes me laugh every time. It kind of sounds like "ER....ER....ER....EEEEERRRRRRR". For some reason, he will only crow in the morning while sitting on the roost. Once he comes outside into the chicken yard, no amount of begging or coaxing will convince him to crow. I want to get a video of it, but it's so dark in the coop when I let them out that it doesn't video very well. I'm not giving up though. I may just have to video the outside of the coop and hope you can hear him crowing inside of it. You will definitely hear Duke crowing inside of it. That boy has turned into a crowing machine. He crows all day, every day. And Bernie can get Duke to crow by asking him if he's a turkey. Duke really seems to take exception to that.

Speaking of Duke, we had our first little "rumble" last weekend. I was cleaning out the coop and raking the coop yard and Duke did not appreciate it at all. He was following me around and clucking up a storm and nothing I said would calm him. I turned in his direction to do something, and he fluffed up and came at me side ways. Well, I saw red! I snatched him up before he even knew what was happening. I tucked him under my arm and continued cleaning and working. He struggled and fussed for a while, but finally settled down. After about five minutes or so, I stopped and petted his chest and told him in no uncertain terms that while I appreciated him watching over the girls and taking his duties so seriously, I am in charge in the chicken yard and aggression toward me will not be tolerated. I also took the opportunity to remind him that there's not much we enjoy better than a pot of chicken noodle soup. When I finally put him down, he was quite calm and much nicer. I finished cleaning up the coop and run with no more interference from the boy. When it comes to getting sideways with someone, Duke will learn he's met his match with me.

Bernie took a picture of the chickens outside playing in the rain:


I've always heard the saying "madder than a wet hen", but I can tell you my hens love playing outside in the rain and getting wet. It makes them happy. The huge lump on the stairs to the left is Duke. Duke likes to get a lot of rest. The chicken running towards the camera in front of Duke is Bobby Lee. Bobby Lee likes to run and we seldom see him standing still.

My meal worms are multiplying like crazy. I've been waiting to make sure we had a little life cycle going before feeding the chickens many of the worms. With plenty of beetles, pupa, and larvae in the container, I think it's about time the worms can become a daily treat for the chickens. Meal worms are their favorite snack - and they are so easy to raise.

Things are going well on the homestead. Bernie and I are staying busy and wondering how it got to be the end of August already. Soon we'll be eating fresh eggs the chickens lay for us. Now THAT will be something to crow about!

Bee Free,


Lellie said...

Hi there,

Nice blog.

I hear the easiest way to get rid of stumps is to put salt on them. I gather that the wildlife with destroy the stump trying to get at the salt. I would probably make a depression or hole in the center of the stump and put a salt lick in it. (or a part of a salt lick.)

I live with a city boy so never have had the chance to try it. Let us know if it works.

Lellie said...

Hi Lellie,

Thanks for stopping by. I've never heard of the salt lick trick, but it sounds interesting. Unfortunately, we are trying to discourage wild life from coming into the fenced in portion of our yard, and THAT is where the stumps we are removing are located. Bernie is attacking them with his back hoe, and that works out pretty well - even though he then has to fill in the hole. But he's getting there - one ugly stump at a time!