Monday, June 15, 2009

Farm Fun!

(Following bit typed and saved about a week ago.)
What a week, goodness gracious! The farm has been busier and busier as the weather begins to cooperate (excluding the horrendous amount of drizzly rain that seems to be non-stop, as of late.) The chicks we brought in, as well as those a coworker hatched from the farm hens are now all harmoniously co-habitating together without any signs of pecking yet.

(And today:)
Since then, still no established pecking order. Sources say that, generally, a flock will begin showing signs of cliques about six weeks in. Our little lovelies are now between seven and eight weeks of age. They are all getting along famously and not a one is missing a sweet, little feather! It helps that they've been able to spread their wings a tiny bit more. One of the farmhands bought six of them up, along with one, one-year-old rooster and three, two to three-year-old layers. She and her mother bought a coop and are very excited about starting their own little chicken family. They let me pick out which hens they would be taking! Why does this excite me? Simply because I was able to choose which darling three would be saved from culling this year, and possibly next. They may even be able to live out their lives as layers, then brooders, then pets! There was one gal I had particularly in mind to get away. She has one eye. Well, she can kind of see out of the one, cloudy, sunken one, but not too well. She lets me touch, pet and give her a massage-like scratch on her breast. Such a lovely and I'm glad she's getting a good home! The other two I picked will be good broody hens, but one, I've found out recently, is cannibalistic. So I told the girl that if she wants to bring her back and trade her out, it will be understandable. She said she'd give her some time. Good. *^_^* That makes me happy. This girl also took away our only female duck and her mate for rehab purposes. (Scrappy, as she's named her, was being kept in the pen with the chicks to keep the fellas away, and that seemed to have worked really well.) Glad to see it. Glad to see the two of them go to mate, though, too. We're getting ducklings soon to replenish our culled flock of drakes. We left a few, but having only one female is not conducive to a happy duck environment.
The Guinea chicks will be in the brooder pens by the end of this week. They need temperatures of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first two weeks of life! After that, they are still a little fragile until six weeks. Past that point, they can endure almost anything! Hearty little blighters!
Animal Control brought us our first Peahen about three days ago! She's white with blue-gray eyes and almost pearlescent feet and legs. A beauty! When I saw her, my boss asked me if we should keep her; I nearly cried! So wonderful.
Now, everyone should know, our sheep and alpacas are sheared. Also, our only male miniature donkey is trying his very best to mate with the only female miniature donkey that isn't a relative. He's inexperienced, but he's trying with all his might. Everyday I go in to feed/water/clean in his barn, he looks at me and I can see the exhaustion in his eyes! Poor guy. Once that's done, he's getting neutered. Hallelujah!
I realize that this post is not of the magical persuasion, per se. However, life on a farm is a constant learning experience and, if any job can show you the wonders of nature, really immerse a body in it, farming'll do it!

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