Saturday, September 4, 2010

Barn yard critters!

Rudy is the name of our Rooster.  Actually, Rudy has not reached the status of rooster yet, as the title will not be bestowed of Rudy until he reaches a year of age, until then is just a cockerel.  None the less, Rudy thinks himself very much a rooster as he chases the geese and is very actively trying to mate with his hens, which are about five months old.  Picture this scene, a squawking hen racing around the yard with the streaking Rudy closely behind her.  As soon as he realizes that he isn't going to catch her, he breaks off near a hen that is not involved in the chase... but all too soon she because the object of love in Rudy's eyes. And the race is on again.  This will go on for many minutes each morning and then in the evening.  Something about a bit a feed to get this young rooster all worked up. 

Rudy has yet to try spurring me, but I have seen him race up behind me and stop short.   I know the rooster little tricks and am waiting with a quick spin and the bottom of my boot.  I just hope there isn't ice under shoe when I spin around.

The hens are coming close to the time they will start laying eggs, so I gave them a brand new place to lay in peace.  The box is 40"Hx14"Dx36"W with six nest site.  As of yet I haven't seen a chicken roosting in the nests or even checking them out.  With only fiveteen chickens, six nest should be plenty.

The geese are all grown up now and are looking pretty handsome if I say so myself.  We raised six geese this year of which four will be butched for food soon.  Having geese free range the area is a messing experience indeed.  Though they are great a keeping the grass short and feeding themselves, they are also great at leave behind a green cigars everywhere.  They also test every plant to see if they are eatible.  In doing so, the plant good eating or not is beat down.  So, garden with geese are is not a good thing at all.  Either they need to be fenced or the garden does.

The Guineas are a bit slower in growing and we have lost five to predation of some kind. I suppect Gurl for at least one and the geese for another, but the rest are unknown. It wasn't long after releasing the guineas to start free range I started noticing a big difference in the tick poplutation that loved hitching a ride on Gurl's ears. I was picking daily ten or more ticks for Gurl... soon they wasn't any. To be real, I did put a tick and flea collar on Gurl and it was getting later into a hot summer. So, I will wait to for next spring to see how well the guineas and the chickens are doing on the tick population at Prairie Home.  The guinea in the pricture is upon the coops roof.  This is their first stop to roosting in the large pine next to the chicken coop and run.  They stopped roosting inside the coop a few weeks back.  The pine offers good cover from predators and rain, but I don't think it will protect them once the cold starts setting in for the winter.  The roof has become their landing area in the morning as well when coming from roost.  So, this is where I feed them in the morning and evening which allows them to eat without Rudy chasing them off the feed.   After all Rudy is the barnyard boss... well at least for the moment!


  1. That was a wonderful post, Sweetheart. I really enjoyed it! It was informative and humorous as well (ice under the shoe comment) Not to mention the great photos - clicking on them to see the larger versions, I have a hard time naming a favorite - both Rudy and the goose one are amazing...

  2. Thanks for sharing Bill. Loved your post and pics. :)

  3. Oh Rudy is handsome!!! Besides the birds, I wonder if the mosquito barrier has anything to do with the ticks. They say its supposed to help with those too...