There are lots of unexpected moments that can shake you out of your daily routine on the farm. Raising livestock is never boring; there are often surprises. Continue reading “Goose in a Hole”
A few years ago, farm co-owner Geoffrey purchased a pair of Chinese geese from an Amish farmer. His wife Sally envisioned a tranquil life for them down by the pond (while anticipating the prospect of a Christmas goose), but we ended up putting them with the laying flock to try them out as guardians. This worked great at keeping away the ground predators – raccoons, opossums, even foxes. They were not so good at deterring eagles and hawks; more often than not, the large white geese could be seen cowering beneath the mobile coop with the rest of the chickens. Continue reading “Chad the Goose”
One of the wonderful things about living and working on a farm are the unexpected moments that shake you out of your daily routine. Continue reading “Odd Things”
Raymond the Rhode Island Red has claimed the red-painted picnic table on our front porch as his own. Continue reading “Raymond”
We used to have ducks on the farm. Continue reading “Why We Don’t Have Duck Eggs”
There is a hierarchy on the farm that goes like this: Barn cats rule the rodents, chickens rule the barn cats, ducks rule the chickens, and the geese rule all. Big and boisterous, they march around the farm in a noisy group, sounding off as they go. They make a ruckus over just about everything – even when they see us walk past the window when we’re inside the house. I’m sure all the neighbors can hear, although we’ve never received any complaints. Continue reading “Goose Patrol”
He sees me in the window and sidles up. Pecks the ground, but his eye is beaded on me. I know that look. I’ve seen it in many a rooster’s gaze – Jacques, Mr. Peabody, Lorenzo, even Mr. Lawrence, our very first rooster – a switch goes off in their tiny brains and they transform, seemingly overnight, from friendly and sweet to aggressive.
But with Raymond, who is watching me now, this switch happened early – before his spurs came in. And, unlike those before him, who seemed to single me out in particular, he attacks indiscriminately, flying at anyone on two legs who crosses his path. Continue reading “Raymond the Rhode Island Red”
It’s one of those wonderfully strange days when it rains while the sun is shining. The sun warms my face, my outstretched legs, while the rain cools my head and shoulders. It feels tropical, and for a moment, I close my eyes and imagine I’m on the beach in Maui… Continue reading “Raising Lucky”
Jacques has abandoned our hens.
He left them to court five younger hens down at the barn, escapees from the mobile coop when our guys moved it out onto the pasture on the other side of the farm the other day. The renegade hens were roosting in the rafters rather than inside the coop with the rest of the flock. Continue reading “Jacques and his girlfriends”
He feigns nonchalance, walking back and forth, pecking at the ground. Every few steps he pauses, head still lowered, and turns a beady eye on me.
An Americauna rooster, Jacques is a real beauty: White with gray feathers on his wings and tail. He is not mean as a general rule. He just has it in for me. Continue reading “Jacques is stalking me again.”