Thursday, June 16, 2011
We Will Kill the Old Red Rooster When She's Gone...
Lately we've had some critter problems here at the Lazy B - not the wild critters, but the tame ones. The horses have been running free for several weeks. With the pond so low due to drought, the horses are able to go around the end of the fence (ends at the pond) and are now up in the pasture with the house, barn, garden, etc. So far it has not been a big problem other than the dogs barking at the horses when they come up in the yard - territorial thang.
The chickens have also been freed from their pens, and they are more of a problem. The two older hens broke out of the chicken condo and are now yard chickens. They are kind of like pets walking around the back patio while we sit outside. I don't mind them. Since the dogs have not bother the older chickens, we decided to free the younger chickens who were outgrowing their small pen. They have become a big problem. They like to hang out in the carport and crap all around the cars and on the porch. My dogs will not chase them off, because the rooster is mean and he flogs my dogs. So the dogs relinquished their territory (the carport) to the chickens.
The other day, while I was trying to take a short nap, the rooster decided to crow under the window of our bedroom. I stepped outside barefoot to shoo him away and accidentally slipped in chicken crap. It is a wonder that I didn't fall down. It is a wonder that I didn't hurt myself trying to kill that rooster throwing rocks at him. I did manage to calm down enough to hit my mark and chase him off. Chickens are dumb creatures, and they don't learn. They still want to hang in the carport. The carport has become a war zone between me and them.
With the horses hanging around the house, we noticed that one of them had an eye infection. Since she is a bit hard to catch, we are giving her medication in her feed. That means standing around while they eat so that one horse does not eat the other horse's feed. It's a pecking order thang, and the sick horse is not the dominant horse. So, last night we were standing out in the yard feeding horses with the dogs hanging out to get a bite of sweet feed, and the chickens hanging out so that they were not left out - it was like Lou's Zoo. I told Toby that I wanted the chickens put in the bigger chicken condo and penned up permanently - that did not include the rooster. He went to work on the chicken condo right away. It needed some minor repair work.
Then we had the chicken rodeo - herding chickens and trying to catch them and pen them. I'm glad no one was around to take pictures and laugh at us, although Jesse took photos of the last chicken run. I'm sure this rodeo was just as comical. We finally caught all four hens and only had the rooster running free. Toby decided to take this opportunity to rid himself of the main problem. He went in the house and got the gun. I shooed the rooster out away from the house, and Toby shot him.
The whole thang reminded me of when we were first married and living out in the country. My dad bought us something like 40 chickens, rooster, guineas and such. We decided to kill some of the roosters - they were a problem then, too. Since my hunting skills were nil, Toby wanted me to try shooting the roosters - practice for future dove hunting - while he shooed the chickens for me. The first rooster came around the corner, I took aim and killed that sucker dead. Toby was impressed. Then he chased another one around for me. This time, I felt myself drop the barrel of the gun just slightly as I squeezed the trigger, and I shot that roosters's legs off. He did not die, but flopped around the yard. It was pretty horrible for someone who was not used to such thangs. Toby finished him off and did the clean up work.
You know, I'm much more of a country girl now than when we first married, but I still don't like the killing and cleaning part. I left this to Toby and went to take a shower before church. With temps over 100, chasing chickens was sweaty business. But the ol' red rooster is in the freezer.