|Gene’s lucky I only got 8|
This time of year is even better than Christmas – all the feed stores are getting their chicks in stock!!! Gene and I agreed that six was a good number, but once I actually gazed upon their cuteness I decided I couldn’t possibly take home less than eight. I got a Wellsummer, a Barred Rock, three Cuckoo Marans and three Silver Laced Wynadottes. I love having a full brooding box again! It looked (and sounded) so sad and empty sitting there unoccupied in the garage. The feed store employee said there’s a 10% chance some of the girls will turn out to be boys, so I hope this batch is more statistically accurate than the batch of four fancy breed chicks we got last year. We were promised they were 75% female, but we ended up with Sean Paul, Marley, and Puff Daddy, and only one Fluff Mama. My next date to look forward to is March 21st – that’s when the ducklings and quails come in! That also means Gene’s got less than a month to build the Quail Sanctuary and the duck’s secure sleeping area. Not that they’ll be ready to leave the brooding box before April, but I like to plan ahead, which is easy given I’m not doing any of the actual work.
|Princess Fiona and Jack|
In other exciting news our neighbor brought over her two boy goats, a La Mancha named Jack and a pygmy goat named Sam, for a play date. We’re hoping it turns into an actual date for Sam and little Princess Buttercup so I can have baby goats in June! Ironically Sam seems to be quite taken with Princess Fiona, who is like 20 times his size. All four of them are having a grand old time romping around the pasture, and Buttercup is finally warming up to Sam. The two boys are going to stay the weekend, so hopefully by Monday the magic will happen.
Feeding time has proven particularly interesting with four goats – normally Fiona and Buttercup don’t eat a ton of the orchard grass I put in their feeder, but once they realized Sam and Jack loved it, all four embarked in a straight up eating contest. Fiona had so much orchard grass crammed in her mouth she couldn’t even chew it, and Jack buried his head in the feeder so no one else could get any. Fiona finally got sick of Jack both figuratively and literally hogging the feeder, so she head-butted him halfway across the pen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to do that while in line at a buffet so seeing it actually happen was rather gratifying.
|Thanksgiving, contemplating dark thoughts|
Against all odds, Thanksgiving is still alive and well. He’s actually lost a bit of weight so he can get around a little better, but anyone looking at him still exclaim, “Wow, that’s a lot of turkey!” He has absolutely perfected the art of mean mugging, and he doesn’t always want to come out of his pen, particularly if it’s raining or muddy outside. Today was one of those days where he was perfectly content to keep his food bowl company, but unfortunately for me his water dispenser was empty. Changing out the water dispenser is tricky, even when Thanksgiving hasn’t plunked his fat butt in front of it. It weighs about thirty pounds full, and since I’m still one-handed, opening and filling it is enough of a challenge without also having to navigate it around fifty pounds of grumpy turkey. Like any other predator, he can smell my fear, and he never fails to slowly sidle over to block the doorway when my back is turned and my attention is occupied with the dispenser. So when I turn around, I realize I’m forced to gingerly step over him to get out of the pen, all the while internally chanting, “please don’t take out a knee cap with your ginormous beak” over and over again. Getting the water dispenser back inside the pen is a similar ordeal, only what I’m carrying is heavier. It’s only a matter of time before I start having nightmares about waking up and seeing him perched at the foot of the bed.