Longleg was my all-time favorite rooster. He was unlike any rooster I'd ever raised. Unfortunately, he was recently recently killed by a coyote, while trying to defending his hens. The coyote got the hens too--- I thought. But apparently, one hen survived. She must have started nesting the day before the big kill. Just by accident, I found her nesting in a jasmine bush next to our home. She was setting on 12 eggs! I know you're not suppose to take a hen off a nest, but I did, because I knew the coyote or something would get her. So I got a wire cage and made a nest out of jasmine cuttings, thinking that would be familiar to her, and brought the cage inside our house. She took to it and Her and Longleg's 12 babies were born on my birthday this April 18th; surely it's the best birthday present I've ever had! I've previously posted that 2 of the chicks were killed by a magpie, so now I do not let the hen and her kids outside unless I'm with her the entire time. Once the chicks are old enough, I'll intoduce them to the chicken coop. We allow our chickens to free-range, and open the door in the morning, and they go in on their own to roost. I'd like to get an automatic door, in case we forget to close the gate. Does anyone know of any simply type of system? I'm also considering getting a Great Pyrenees; it will take care of the coyote, racoon and other predators.
Besides that little recap, my husband and I are now the "older generation" I'm 58 and he's 65 and have been married for 28 years....and still talk to each other!. We live on a little ranch outside of Jackson, California, located in the beautiful foothills of California. We are both 5th generation from the area. Our two children are in college. My husband is disabled and I am a certified horseback riding instructor for the handicapped (but have been inactive for the last 5 years because of bad knees which I recently had totally replaced, ahhhh, no more pain.) I have also been writing a prospective novel for 25 years!!! entitled "Cowgirl Perfume." Will I ever finish it????
Besides our lovely free-range chickens, that we use solely for their lovely eggs. They help reduce the pests (we used to use a pest control service, and stopped that one we allowed the chickens to free range. And besides not having poison sprayed, we've noticed that the chickens do a better job of reducing the rodents and pests than the pest control service.) Our busy chickens help keep the snakes away too, because snakes privacy. We still kill a few rattlers every year, but less than we did before the chickens, wild turkeys and guinea hens. I have 2 horses (both mares; one is 28 years the other is 21, that I've had since they were weanlings), 3 dogs, a beautiful blue merle male named "Billy," and a long-haired blue merle chihuaha named "Pete" (who thinks he's a cow dog.). I call them "brothers from different mothers, because their coloring is so similar, and a black lab named "Drake," who is actually a big ol lap dog, but my husband uses him for hunting. We have a butcher shop and rarely buy meat from the store. My husband makes a salami that all of the locals go crazy over. All of the dogs are uncut males (They're all prospective breeders), and they all adore each another and are so careful with little Pete who is only 4 pounds. I also have a dove aviary, canaries and a 16 year old cockatiel that I inherited from my daughter (not knowing they can live into their thirties), when she went off to college. And I have 4 cats; all of which are excellent hunters.
Animals are such a gift and are my best therapy, especially in this day and age of rush, rush. So despite the fact that caring for them is very time consuming, and expensive; I find it to be totally worthwhile.
So there you have it. It's more than I intended to write, but it is what it is!