About Me

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I am a 42 year old woman that is about as happy and content as one person can be. My husband of 21 years and our 15 year old daughter live on five and a half acres out in the country. We moved from the city four years ago and never looked back. I homeschool our daughter. We also love our animals. Our daughter has a miniature horse and two rabbits. We also have a border collie, two cats (again), two pot belly pigs, four peafowl, three emus, 2 llamas and an undetermined number of chickens, lets just say ohhh about 200. I have many breeds, from layers to fancy chickens. I love poultry shows, I love fowl in general as I have come to find out through having more than just chickens. Chickens will always be my first love though. I do show some of my birds occasionally.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Finally...Rain

Yes, we finally got some rain. We had quite a downpour yesterday afternoon and it kept on raining into the evening. I know the vegetables out in the garden would smile if they had mouths to smile with...I can almost hear a sigh of satisfaction from them.

The chickens on the other hand were not happy about the rain. Everyone took shelter. Some were caught unaware and when the bottom dropped out suddenly there were chickens hauling it fast as they could back from the pasture. Meanwhile my little escapee Phoenix saw his opportunity as the wind picked up and blew on the screen door, opening and closing it, he slipped out the door and into the rain. Ian was just a few minutes from getting home and when he arrived he couldn't get into the porch. He still doesn't believe me, but I swear if that door comes open from the wind and slams shut over and over, sometimes the latch catches...I swear it does. He believes I had locked it. I often do if the wind is picking up and there is a chance the doors may begin to blow open. Phoenix will watch that door, and soon as the opportunity presents itself, he is out. He thinks he is a big chicken and thinks he needs to be out there with the big chickens. This time the big chickens were under the deck and in the chicken house...and he was left wandering in the rain by himself.

The door latched shut, Ian was banging on the door to be let in. I didn't hear him as I was engaged in prying the stupid dog out from behind the computer desk all the while pulling wires out of the wall and the computer as she tried to avoid me. I was so mad I couldn't see straight. The storms had her all riled up and in a panic. I didn't give her her chill pill because I thought from the looks of the radar it was going to be a light rain and pass on.

So Ian is trudging through the back yard to go to the other side of the porch and let himself in that door and sees little man soaked and running around like a ninnybehind the pool deck. He scoops him up and brings him back around and they end up entering the front door.

WHAM...the door slams shut.

"Didn't you hear me? I was banging and banging on the screen door for you to let me in!"

"NOoooo I was busy trying to get the stupid dog out from behind the computer desk"

Handing me one small wet chicken..."Well look what I found out there in the rain!" Looking at me scoldingly. "I couldnt get in the damn door was locked!"

"I didn't lock it, the wind must have slammed it enough that it locked itself"

"Yeah right, you locked it."

"No I didnt"

"Yes you did, Phoenix didnt lock it behind him when he went out!"

"No I didnt"

"Yes...you did"

"Whatever, I am not going to argue about this"

Getting a towel I dried Phoenix off and he was no worse for the wear.

The dog is cowering, trying to get around Ian at the computer to wedge her big self back behind the desk again.

"What is WRONG with this DOG??"

"I told you, she is freaking because it is raining and thundering."

"What a stupid dog."

"Yep"

So we were in agreement on that. LOL

Meanwhile, I hear a cheeping and a chirping coming from one of the brooders. It is frantic. One of the several day old Serama chicks had decided to try and wedge itself between the side of the brooder and a box I had in the brooder for younger just hatched chicks to get on their feet. Its wing was bent back, it was weak. I scooped it up, got it to drink water. It was wobbly and not feeling like doing too much. I put it in with the newborns in the box and it slept. This morning it is much much better and stronger.

So what the heck was going on??? All the animals decided to lose thier minds at once yesterday! The only thing that didnt happen was Derby didnt break out. But he was still acting unreasonable. He was standing out in the downpour, mad as a wet hen, backing up and eating grass all the while. Getting soaked. He has a new shelter...he almost went in it, but decided he would rather stand out in the downpour and be miserable.

I don't know what gets into these animals sometimes, but it all tends to happen at once. Crazy weather brings craziness I guess!

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Today I will be going out and haying the pens...they are all muddy now and need some dry hay to go down, including the pigs pen. I am sure some feeders got soaked and need to have the food replaced too...so I will be going out soon before the day heats up.

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I was asked a very good question this morning, and I would like to expand on my answer here...in case someone else wondered the same. I am, however going to save what I have so far in fear of AOL cutting me off as they so often do...brb...

I was asked how do I know what the people buying the chicks are going to use them for. A very good question, seeing as y'all know I don't really want them to go for eating. So, to keep that from being an issue, I breed ornamental, exotic type breeds. They would be of no use really for meat. It wouldn't be worth the time and effort. Once I had a hispanic couple come by and wanted to buy some chickens...I had raised up some of the Silver Phoenix to sell as adults. They barely spoke any English, but when they looked them over...his wife told him something in Spanish and then he looked at me and says

"My wife says they are too small"

I asked, " Too small for what?"

He says, "For eating."

I was like NO, and I told him I do not breed that type ofchicken. That these were strictly ornamental.

They saw Hank, and wanted him BAD. I told them there was NO way he was going to be sold. He is my big old puppy dog rooster and I love him very much. They told me he was big and would be good to eat. :( Guess they didnt get it.

Anyway, the longer I keep them, the harder it is to sell them. Because I know they will end up dead more than likely. Maybe not eaten by humans, but run over in the road, or eatne by predators. I found out really quick that out here in the country, EVERYTHING likes chicken. You have to go to some trouble to keep them safe, and even then, it doesn't always work.

So, I sell them as chicks, and I think I actually make more money this way. No feed costs to speak of if they are sold sooner than later. I am not attached to them. I sell them knowing full well most people will turn them out as soon as they are grown with no fence, no pen to go into at night to be locked up and safe. Maybe I am being cynical...but I know people. Most people will not go to a lot of trouble for chickens. I do because it is my hobby. Most folks coming by, but not all, are not fanatical about it, they just want to throw some chickens out in the yard. I hate that thought, because I know eventually they will be killed, but I can only hope that these people will learn from it, and either do what it takes the next time around to keep them safe, or just not get anymore.

Its their money, you would think if they were going to make the trip out here, and some come from over a hundred miles away...they would make sure their money went a long way by keeping the birds safe.

I was taking some back roads to the flea market last Saturday morning and I saw a prime example. There was a house, surrounded by woods, and very close to the road. There were a couple of roosters and a few hens...one hen had chicks following her around. Picturesque? Yes, but in reality, if a predator catches wind, they will come back for the buffet every night until they are all gone, chicks, mother, everybody.

Then there were the abundance of loose dogs, and in one gravel driveway that led back to somewhere I could not see...there must have been a dozen young dogs packed together, all sitting there in a clump, scratching and itching...full of fleas and ticks I am sure. That is what you see out here...and although I love the country and would never go back to the city, there are things here that are somewhat an ugly truth as much as in the city.

Well, I hav rambled on long enough I guess...I better close for now...I am gonna go out and play for a while. :)

7 comments:

madcobug said...

Glad that you got some rain up your way. We got a nice shower here but not nearly enough. LOL on Ian getting locked out accidentally. That Phoenix is a smart bird. Guess he was shocked at all that rain getting him wet LOL. Your poor dog being so afraid of storms. Makes me sorry for it. Hope you get the clean hay where it needs to go really easy. Helen

wwfbison said...

We had some pretty wild storms yesterday as well.  When we first had chickens they were allowed to roam everywhere. After losing half of them to owls & fox and my mom & I feeling sooooo guilty about it ~ we built them a huge enclosed coop.  Now they are never out, it is the only way we can have them stay alive.  I have to sedate one of my dogs during storms as well or he will shake to the point he vomits.  Sounds like Phoenix is feeling alot better, that's great.
Lisa

plieck30 said...

I want to come back later and read all this about wet hens. Its about to rain here and I have to get back to the hospital. Paula

geocachelinda66 said...

Great entry as usual, you take good care of your animals, and I'm glad.  I'm also happy you got rain!  Silly animals!  There are a couple farms around here with loose chickens, not many though.  Linda

ally123130585918 said...

Kelly you have a lot going on at the moment enjoyed reading all about it ~ glad you got some of that much needed rain ~ glad Hubby brought Phoenix in out of the rain ~ and really felt sorry for your dog ~ hope everything has calmed down and you are back to normal today :o) ~ Ally

fmgruber said...

http://journals.aol.com/fmgruber/FernansShorthornFarmLife
OMG! This entry cracked Frieda and myself up. W@ell writen girl. I like the part about your locking Ian out and denying it. ROFLMAO Wind will catch a door around here just right now`n'then locking me out, witch of course I insist she did onpurpose! };?D Fernan and Frieda.

jayveerhapsody said...

Kelly, your journal is fascinating and I thoroughly envy your rustic way of life. I presently live in a rural area of Texas (I've had it with big cities!) but I don't have the luxury of being on five acres! And I don't have any chickens!        Jon (the faux cowboy)

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