Thursday, 25 October 2012

Fall 2012

So here I am, finally back from months away from the blog.  You'd think my life was exciting that I had no time to blog.  Well, life is busy for sure.  Oh, I have so much to write about.  Where do I start?!

I'll start with dad.  My father, Ted Ozon, died on August 30th at the age of 86.  I could write for days and days and days telling all about him.  Dad died at home and all his children, my siblings, were around him in his last months and days.  He had a peaceful death and the most beautiful funeral I have ever attended, thanks to the wonderful priest in our parish, Fr. Fred Brown.  Thank God he was in no pain during his palliative period, and we certainly celebrated and continue to celebrate his life and legacy. Here's to you, dad!

Today, it's a miserable, rainy, wet, cold day out today so I will not be outside doing anything with the hobby farm.  Some jobs I HAVE to do before it gets too cold are: clean out the henhouse, insulate it, and patch up the hole that the chickens use for a run.  I usually close it off during the winter and they are housebound unless I open the big door.

A few days ago, I went to the henhouse and found one of my older hens dead as a maggot on the floor.  It was in the same position Dick, my poor old rooster, was in when he was fading away after Rodney had attacked him months ago.  Luckily, Dick was nursed back to health and made it, but this poor hen, a black one, well, her time must have been up.  I "disposed" of her in the woods out back and returned her to the earth from whence she came!

Speaking of coming from the earth, my family have recently discovered we qualify for Indian Status!!! There was never any doubt we have deep roots in the west coast of Newfoundland where dad's mother is from, but we have two lines of "indian" blood in us!  More to come on that subject later!

The biggest dilemma I am faced with right now though, is a rat problem in the henhouse.  Anyone have suggestions?  Ideally, I would like to lift up the hen house, wrap it in a fine metal mesh, burry it down a few feet, and keep traps in the henhouse that the chickens couldn't get at, but, I am not Hercules, Rockafeller, nor am I Fanny Farmer, so I need a simpler solution.  Rats put me in the horrors!  The thoughts of them creeps me out.  If I had a dog, they might be deterred.  I heard Terriers are rat killers.  There's enough stray cats around but not sure if rats are afraid of them.  I'll tell ya one thing, if I see one near the house, the hens are gone.  Now, the rats have a good supply of food so there is no need to come near the house.

I promise, I will write more often and keep this blog up to date.

Pictures to Follow!

Well, I have not written here in a long while, I know, and so much has happened since February!  I have many photos, but there are five hundred million cords that go into my computer and hook up to various cameras and electronics, and I cannot, for the life of me, find the one for MY camera with all my hobby farm pictures on it.  SO, that means I will have to post the pictures later.

Now, lets talk roosters.  As I was saying, I have three.  Dick, the original, and Rodney and the white silkie, who hasn't got a name yet, and maybe never will have a name, came to me at the same time.  Last summer, I bought two silkie chicks and two Ameraucana chicks.  One of each turned out to be roosters! That was all well and good, when they were little, but oh, what a racket they are causing now.

I went to the henhouse the other day and Dick was cowering almost completely under the hay on the floor, barely moving, and obviously very scared.  I thought he was dead, but I could see his body move as he breathed.  I poked him and he got up and wobbled over to another corner.  His head feathers were all plucked off!  His comb was bloody and looked like it was chopped off completely.  OR hacked off! I was horrified.  It looked like something had attacked it.

RODNEY!!  It had to be Rodney, because the pen is fenced and nothing can get in.  Well, I'm sure a cat could crawl up over the fencing, but I had a sneaking suspicious that Rodney was the culprit!

I retrieved the dog kennel from the other shed and set it up in the henhouse.  I filled it with hay and water and placed Dick in there away from the other hens.  I had to do what I can to a) let him die in peace, or b) help him recover, if that was possible.

My next step was to deal with Rodney.  He was going to the big house!  I have a second garbage box someone gave me, so I got my nephew, Mitchell, and his friend, Mitchell, to carry it out back for me, into the chickens' pound to place Rodney in there.  The garbage box wouldn't fit through the gate entrance to the chickens' pound, so the boys had to precariously balance it on TOP of the gate and gently lift and lay it over the fencing inside the pound.

I then had to CATCH Rodney!  Mitchell and Mitchell tried to catch him too but I managed to grab his tail feathers and hold him enough to put him in the garbage box.  He wasn't pleased.  He hissed and made noises I didn't know chickens made.  It was scary.  I gave him hay and water and a bit of food, and left him there until I could figure out what to do.

Later that same day, Rodney was still clucking in the garbage box.  No rooster crows like he normally does, but just clucking.