Adding and Subtracting

The hay is in the barn, so I can check that big job off the list for this year.   Maybe.  Production is way down this year so to be safe I am wondering if I should cut some more.  I really dislike the thought of going through that process again, but we might have to.

We’re getting our pigs this week.  It will be nice to have them on the farm again.

We also should have Dominique chicks in a couple of days.  I’m excited about helping bring more of that breed into the world.  I’m not so excited about having to remove one of that breed from the world but one of the roosters attacked me again yesterday leaving me with a bruised shin, and I’ve decided that is the final straw for him. He refuses to learn and I can’t take the risk of him hurting someone.

On a more pleasant note, I got a few shots of one of our mother hens foraging in the woods with her chicks.  Needless to say, this doesn’t happen on a factory farm.

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14 comments on “Adding and Subtracting

  1. Steve says:

    Feel your pain with the rooster. Our Buff Cochin boy started out nice but became so aggressive we couldn’t walk outside without being attacked. He found a new home last week. Why does this happen? Is it nature or nurture?

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    • Bill says:

      I vote nature. We have two of these roosters in the same flock, raised exactly the same way. One is aggressive, the other is not. Our Buff Cochin rooster is so gentle we can pick him up. He’s never shown the slightest hint of aggression toward humans.

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  2. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away…

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  3. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, culling out the undesirable animals or birds on a homestead is definitely a necessary thing. It is amazing how different the temperament of roosters can be. The very trait that helped the flock survive before we decided to domesticate chickens is now the one we dislike the most. I kind of have to feel sorry for those roosters that are just doing what they were designed to do in the wild. I’m in no way trying to make you feel bad about your decision because in today’s barnyard culture there’s no place for a rooster that attacks the person that feeds him.

    Have a great adding and subtracting day.

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    • Bill says:

      It’s an excellent point Dave. The Dominicker roosters are VERY defensive of the hens and both will charge me if I’m trying to catch one, for example. That’s an excellent trait and I have no problem with it. But the bad boy likes to launch into my leg when my back is turned and I’m collecting eggs or putting out feed. He’s just plain stupid, and therefore dangerous.

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  4. shoreacres says:

    I’ve seen mallard and grackle males battle each other nearly to the death. Left to their own devices, do roosters do the same? Maybe to your aggressive one, you’re just one really big, really funny looking rooster he needs to defeat.

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    • Bill says:

      Roosters will fight to establish a pecking order. Once one backs down it’s all over. That’s why it’s important not to run from an aggressive rooster. Every time this one has attacked me I’ve taken him on until he ran and then I chased him a while just to drive home the point. But he refuses to concede, evidently.

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  5. Nice shots of Mama and her chicks – you get a very real example of why chickens are the colour they are – a few steps away from her and you’d never know they were there.

    We’re getting too many rain showers to make hay just yet – third difficult hay spring in a row. Farmers here would be envious of you. Salatin recommends grazing the first spring flush to slow down the cycle, so that you can hay later in the summer – which makes total sense, and a direction I’d like to go, but time is an issue, and marketing the end product is a big issue. In the meantime, I watch my hay getting beaten down by the weather, even while it grows taller and gets heavier seed heads.

    Nothing like a full hay loft to give a sense of security.

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    • Bill says:

      The hay is really thin here this year. Our fields only produced about half of what’s normal. Last year the nonstop rain kept us from haying until mid June and even then I eventually lost half of what I’d cut. I’ve always heard that the quality of hay decreases the longer you wait. We haven’t been haying the pastures (but I may do that this year). Our hayfields aren’t fenced so we don’t have the option to graze them and even if we did it grows too fast this time of year for our herd to keep it down.

      I hope you get it all in. It really does feel good to have it done.

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  6. I’d be thinking rooster dinner, too, Bill. Read an interesting article on the intelligence of chickens. Apparently they are a lot brighter than we give them credit for. A rooster, for example, that is quick to inform his family when a hawk is threatening, isn’t nearly so ready to give the warning when a competing rooster is the likely target. 🙂 –Curt

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  7. …. and in the end, not so different than people … 🙂

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