Monday, April 23, 2012

Farm Update


 Justin and Claui have acquired a small flock of Banty-cross chickens.  We were all enjoying watching them running free but, alas, then a fox showed up.  Bold as brass and in the daytime. 

There were no casualties but some close calls (Clover, the Jersey calf) chased the fox off once when it came into the pasture in pursuit of a bird) and now the biddies are confined in  a chicken tractor while Justin constructs a secure chicken yard.

The chicks we brought home last month have feathered out and are venturing into their electric fence protected run. We're pretty sure that the white ones are layers of some sort, not the Cornish Rock broilers we had feared they might be.
  
The white ones are supposedly all pullets (females) but the brown ones are straight run -- which means a mix . . .

It's hard to tell just yet -- the roosters tend to stand a little taller and look gawkier. But pretty soon their combs will develop and it'll become obvious. At which point, kind-hearted readers, most, if not all will go into the freezer.  

We already have a rooster with our laying flock and sad experience has shown that two roosters in an enclosed run will fight. Daily. Till one is dead. 
.
The three bottle-fed calfies --Dexter, Xena, and Clover -- are all weaned now but they still like to hang out in the barn with Ruby, our tenant's mare. 
 
Clover's ready for her close-up.
 
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19 comments:

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

The roosters "tend to stand a little taller and look gawkier." Sorta like teenage-boys?

Brian Miller said...

ha on the previous comment....fun to have so much life going on around you....i could not tell much about chickens personally but they are fun to watch...

Vicki Lane said...

Very much like teenage boys, Jim. And when they first begin to crow -- it's the same thing -- voices high and cracking.

Anonymous said...

Seeing these pix is a wonderful way to begin a week! MacDonald's farm in the flesh.

Deana the queena

L. D. Burgus said...

I hope that calf stays on duty at all time. Our cows liked to chase dogs away from the herd so a calf would do the same with a fox.

Frances said...

Vicki, I also thank you so much for these country views. I am very glad that the fox encounter was only a close call.

Your description of early rooster indications will stay with me!

xo

Martin said...

We had a chicken called 'Jeepers', when I was a kid. The dog nearly savaged it and, consequently, no feathers ever grew on the bird's neck. It looked like a mini vulture.

Deanna said...

I love chicken pictures - will have to share with my husband. He's been trying to take pictures of chickens as subjects for painting.

Cock-a-doodle-do!

We had a fox trapped in our garage once. He got in and was scared to come back out!

NCmountainwoman said...

I love the pictures of the farm. At the Biltmore Estate they use a donkey to protect the chickens from predators. Don't know if it's specially trained or not. But it looks like Clover does quite well herself.

Inger said...

Thanks for the farm update. Spring has arrived and all the critters are growing up. So sweet.

Jill said...

Beautiful photos! I love Clover. Glad the fox is on the run. My mini mules would love to have one to chase. Of course, they would probably also kill the chickens.

Ms. A said...

Having never lived on a farm, there are certain parts that I'd have a hard time dealing with... like the freezer part and what it takes to get them there.

Jean Baardsen said...

I didn't know people ate roosters. I guess I thought they'd be kind of tough or something, compared to a chicken. Love your photos!

Evalinn said...

Nice, thank you for sharing! :-)

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Thanks for the farm update. Hope that calf continues to stand guard. There must never be a dull moment at your house Vicki.
Sam

Victoria said...

Brave little Clover, good for you!

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Clover is sweet. That fox was out-foxed by your electric run -- barbara

Kath said...

All right! Guard calves!

Vicki Lane said...

The trick in eating roosters is to butcher then while they're young -- pretty much as soon as you can tell they ARE roosters. Otherwise they are indeed tough. An ols hen will be tough too.