• Tuesday, December 23, 2008 - Hard Weekend
Saturday we mostly spent the day here on the farm, went to bed as usual after the nightly door lock check. Mr Farmer woke me up early saying he saw something that looked like white feathers out at the goat pen, and thought something had happened to Paleface, our silky roo. Like a good Mrs Farmer, I told him go check it out, and wake me up if anything was wrong. I heard the door slam, and a highly upset Mr Farmer come back in the house. The only words I heard were..."Everything is dead". I very calmly asked..."even Walter and Rita?" (our goats) "No, all the chickens, the roosters, Mabel and Alfreda, your hens, all of them" or something very similar, is what I heard. Followed by something about the doors being opened on the chicken tractors. We obviously lived in the city too long, as all I could think was someone came in the night and killed our chickens out of spite. I threw on my shoes and jacket over my pajamas and went to check it out. Nine dead hens and 3 dead roosters. We thought the 4th roo was dead too, but as Mr Farmer went to retrieve his body from the goat house, he made a rooster noise. Now, anyone that knows me well, knows that I used to say on average, once a week..."stupid roosters, I hate roosters." But, I have to say, at that point, after all the feathers and bodies everywhere...that rooster noise sounded like it came straight down from Heaven. Suddenly, there was something we could do about the situation, and the rooster who used to be known as Heckle became known as Trooper the house rooster. He is, as I type, in a critter carrier in my laundry room. I have promised him a whole harem if he just survives.
After the cleanup, we left for Grannys with the two most excited farmer kids in the world. They love Granny, and could think of nothing better than seeing their cousins and Granny and opening presents. We enjoyed our day, came home early, as we had left Bernie Bernard in the house alone, and didn't want to come home to a mess. He was excited to see us, sniffed and licked everyone, went out to do his business, came in and went to sleep. I still am not sure exactly what happened, but the kids were fighting over a toy from Grannys house, Mr Farmer reached down to take the toy away from little boy farmer, and Bernie attacked him. I heard screaming, then realized it was coming from myself. The little farmers were also crying and screaming. It didn't last long, looking back on it, but I am sure for Mr Farmer it seemed like an eternity. We have a one strike rule in our home when it comes to pets, so Bernie was returned to the shelter to be put to sleep. I loved him a lot, but I love Mr Farmer and the little farmers with my whole heart, so it was an easy decision, and even though it hurt, I am sure it didn't hurt me as much as Mr Farmer is hurting. I thank God it wasn't one of my children who got attacked.
There is surely a lesson or two in here somewhere, and they will be revealed in God's time. Until then, I will concentrate on making my farm safe for all the animals...and the Farm family. A good secure, weasel-proof chicken house is a perfect project for this winter, and should be finished just in time to order chicks. Who knew you could love chickens?? And even roosters?? I guess I will take the hatchery catalog and go sit with Trooper the survivor and let him pick out his harem now ;)
Hope you and all of yours have a safe and Merry Christmas!
~Blooming where we're planted~