OK, true confessions. I promised accurate and fully informed coverage on this city-girl meets farm life adventure so here’s a little backstory on yesterday.
“You don’t happen to know why Chickens loose their tail feathers leaving a disgusting red rash that sort of looks like a chewed cob of corn?!!? NO? ME EITHER!!!! And I’ve only been here for a little over an hour! Sheesh!”
This email went out, along with several calm yet insistent phone calls, immediate after I first surveyed my brood. Really, it’s disgusting.
see what I mean? This farm sit is not for the feint of heart. Before I called the chicken health hot-line I decided to introduce myself to the neighbors figuring – hey, they probably have chickens too, doesn’t everyone out here?
So Phoebe and I wandered across the lane and down a long driveway to “the Old Parsons Place” (at least that’s what the big sign said) in the pouring rain and introduced ourselves. Unfortunately, a rather unsavory dingo-looking dog attached himself to our party and crashed our neighborly meeting. Beyond the bad manners of arriving unannounced (the dingo dog – not me), he ate all the cat’s food and rudely poked his nose about. So much for first impressions; me showing up with the neighborhood thug. All he needed was a do-rag and colors!
Anyway, sure enough, the neighbors have chickens too…and a herd of black angus cows!!! I learned a couple of valuable life lessons. Apparently “pecking order” is just that…in the absence of a rooster, chickens will peck at each other to establish dominance. My baldies are on the loosing end of chicken coop popularity – sort of like a daily Slushee facial (arbitrary GLEE reference – my new favorite TV show…have I mentioned there’s no TV on this farm?)
The neighbors also had huge – no, really, really, huge - vegetable gardens – 3 of ‘em!!!! Rows of cabbages and kale were all that remained of the crops but I couldn’t help but notice that the largest garden was not fenced against deer. Even newbie that I am, I know EVERYTHING must be fenced against deer. It turns out that a herd of grass-fed black Angus is an effective deer repellent; especially if the herd is raising their young. There was a baby calf – less than 24 hours old. Woe to any creature, human or even bird that dares to approach the pasture. I got a look at the little one from a safe distance and I’d just like to point out that even baby calves are huge! All you out there with chronic deer browsing issues? Get a herd of black Angus!
Enough. It’s sunny and beautiful outside. I’ve fed the chickens, kibbled the pampered poodle and had a fortifying breakfast of fresh eggs and bacon…I could get used to this! Phoebe and I are off to explore the bluffs and soak up some vitamin D.