2012 started out in a very positive direction here on the farm. Our neighbors Abigail and Keith were more than happy to help us with our marauding raccoon problem in exchange for me babysitting their kids, so Gene led the hunting party out into the woods. They brought their dog Honey, whom they train to hunt raccoons but has yet to actually tree one. I’m ecstatic to say all that changed on New Year’s, and Abigail even called me on her cell phone so I could listen to the kill shots. Sadly, I couldn’t hear the thud of the raccoon hitting the ground, but that’s probably just because the kids had the XBox turned up too loud. I heard it in my mind. The raccoon was about 18 pounds, 14 of which I’m fairly certain were comprised of boy ducks. Needless to say the Game Cam hasn’t picked up any more predator pictures, so as soon as Gene is finished building secure nighttime quarters, I’m going to get more ducks! He hasn’t finished the Quail Sanctuary yet, but in his defense it’s been raining nonstop.
In other farm news, King Julian seems to be completely recovered from his romp with the eagles, with the exception of a limp. I think it gives him street cred, though. Sean Paul and Marley, the Polish crested roosters, are similarly doing well. Sean Paul has the obnoxious habit of crowing as loudly as he can any time I enter the coop; the space is small enough that his screeching actually makes my ears ring. Gene needs to install another roosting bar in the coop, since the six Golden Sex-Link chickens are just about ready to leave the brooding box. I feel bad for them; they must get pretty bored in there. I don’t want to put them outside until they’re ready for big chicken feed, which is in another month or so. Once they’re out, and the brooding box is empty again, I have my heart set on a particularly rare breed of chickens, the Black Marans. They lay chocolate brown eggs that are just beautiful. I really think chocolate brown eggs will bring my egg selling business to the next level, so obviously that breed is a necessity. How can Gene say no if it’s good for business?