Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fat Goats and Naughty Chickens!

While washing my dishes, I caught a glimpse out the kitchen window of 7 rogue chickens invading the garlic bed in the back yard. This would not do! Outraged at this insolence and armed with treats to lure them away, I grabbed my coat and stomped out onto the deck. The brood in question came running to my calls of " Here! Chick, chick, chick, chick" looking like a small army charging up over the hill to stand at attention below my balcony, awaiting their promise of treats. I hate the thought of rewarding bad behavior, but it was a case of either giving in to their demands and luring them back to the safety of their pen, suffer another assault to my garlic bed, or shoot the lot of them. I seriously considered the later, but more practically settled for the former.

Some of the offending mob, which consists of 3 hybrid Americauna roosters and 4 Australorp hens.
Something would have to be done on a more permanent basis, though. I cannot bear to contemplate my carefully sown garlic being decimated by the hungry hordes before I get a chance to harvest any for our table. Thankfully, that something seemed to be a relatively easy fix entailing the use of left over pasture fencing laid across the top of the bed. So far, it seems to have worked. The naughty chickens in question are still letting themselves out to wander during the day, but have left the garlic bed alone.

Clearly, this little Barred Rock pullet has absolutely no fear of either us nor the chopping block on which she is resting- which is only used by Sean to split wood. This morning, she settled down into her feathers to snooze unimpaired by the single digit temperatures. Last night, the temperature dropped to about 8 degrees overnight, but everyone was alert and accounted for this morning. No signs of frostbite on combs, wattles, or feet to be found. This will be a constant worry for us through the winter months.

In the background, most of the flock know to stay inside their yard or coop for warmth and protection. This roving band of chickens care not for the safety of captivity with it's promise of food, water, and shelter. Instead, they escape each morning to wander the yard, goat stalls, horse pasture, and even venture in to visit with the pigs. They terrorize the cats, steal their food, taunt the dogs in their run, and make general nuisances of themselves. Bad, bad chickens!

In happier news, our 2 new hay mangers came Thursday morning. These were kindly gifted to us by our friends, the Bakers, since they no longer needed them. We were very pleasantly surprised when Glen called Thrusday morning to tell us he was only 20 minutes away with them loaded onto the bed of his truck. Sean detoured home to help us get them down, but had to go straight back to work. Early Friday morning, Sean and I muscled one of them into the buck pasture area.

We had already built an inside hay manger for the doe stall, but these new mangers will be so useful. Jedi loves the attention he gains from his does, but draws the line when it comes to sharing food. He is as liable to horn them out of the way as he is to allow them to graze. These new mangers, which hold 2 square bales each, allow for access to the hay from all 4 sides. Perfect!

Jedi has one side all for himself and the ladies can safely eat their meal on any of the other three sides. We placed it near the doorway on the top of the hill to make it easier for us to fill each day once the snow arrives this year. We had not intended for the does in the other pasture to have access to it, but it seems they had their own ideas about it's intended users. Oh well. So long as they don't get their horns caught in the fencing, it should still be fine.

Additionally, these mangers will be wonderful to use in the fields when we expand the pasture areas next year.

I am working on splicing and editing video footage from this week and will try to get it sorted and posted sometime this weekend.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit this morning.
Sean and Sonja ♥

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  1. Love the hay mangers. What a nice gift, and I bet the goats are proud to have them.

    I know what you mean about garden invading chickens - though, the ducks are the main instigators at our place lol. Have a nice weekend :)

    1. Thanks, Shell. I hope your weekend was warmer than ours. It never broke 30 degrees these past few days- YIKES!

      The goats are loving their new feeding stations and appreciate them very much- I can tell by the love in their eyes since their mouths are full of hay. :)

  2. Oh no! Sorry they invaded the garlic, but I'm glad you found a solution to keeping them out. Hope it continues to work.

    That photo of the BR on the chopping block is hilarious! I'm trying to think of a witty caption for it...

    Congrats on the new mangers! It's so nice when you are gifted something that will be put to good use.

    Thanks for posting on the Sweet Saturday blog hop! Hope you have a great weekend :)

    1. You, too, Tammy! I have found so many lovely, interesting blogs since I have discovered blog hops. So much fun to join in!

      The mangers are working out nicely. The tennis balls in the water buckets was an epic fail. I guess I really will have to go get the heated ones, after all.

      I tried to think of something clever to post as a caption, but I am afraid my brain is too frozen to work. Perhaps, by the Spring thaw-- hehehe.

  3. Found your blog via the blog hop, you guys have really done a lot of hard work. Chickens are so entertaining!

    Do your goats still like the glass door?

    1. Thanks! The goats do still stand and stare at themselves in the glass doors to the milk room and tack room- when they are roaming the yard with us. Which has made us consider laminating some pictures of "goaty" scenes to decorate their stalls, once they are completed. I think they may like that.

      I am glad you stopped in for a visit and hope you come back again!

  4. Thanks for stopping in and following! I can't wait to read more of your blog. Stop in anytime and visit at, !

  5. Chickens are so funny. My neighbor's chickens are always getting out and for some reason seem to just love me. If they see me coming out the backdoor they run as fast as they can to see me. So far they haven't bothered my garden so I let them hang around for entertainment. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Patti

  6. Thanks for sharing this funny post at Sweet Saturday last week. I hope to have my own farm one day, too. Now following :)