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Farm Tales

Another Chicken Tale

Posted by MaryAnn the FarmWife on March 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

This is another chicken tale from last year. It happened soon after we adopted Maybelline. I refer to adoption instead of purchasing because Maybelline is really one of us now. Most people adopt dogs and cats. I thought I had bought a cow but it hasn’t turned out that way. She is family.

Now for our tale: For some unknown reason, on a gorgeous sunny day, Maybelline treated her stall like a big latrine...it was a HUGE wet mess. Maybelline is generally a tidier cow, as far as cows can be tidy. This was very unlike her. I had to muck out the whole thing, and there I was cussing about it.

Finally, I had gotten it almost suitable for a princess heifer to sleep in. All the unmentionable stuff was forked out, and new bedding needed to be spread. I took a couple flakes of mulch hay and tossed it around. It was looking pretty good. There was a pile of chaff under her hay rack that she won’t eat. Since we don’t waste anything, you use that for extra bedding.

I grabbed the fork to reach under the hay rack to get all that loose stuff Maybelline dropped...and realized that there was a reason it was there… There was a broody hen with four chicks and a pile of eggs under there. Well that hen had a FIT. Not just a fit but a HUGE fit. She actually attacked poor Maybelline. A petrified 600 pound heifer jumps behind me to protect her from the giant mean two pound bantam hen. That leaves me with my fork to battle the ferocious chicken. Maybelline was cowering behind and pushing me toward the hen with her big old fraidy cat nose. Finally I convinced the hen to take her balls of fluff and settle back down under the hayrack. When all was done, poor Maybelline needed a big hug. Mommy saved her. Like I said, adopted. She is family. I think I have gone over to the other side..LOL

This picture is one of the nests that the hens built in the hay rack last spring…you really have to keep an eye out for them. The silly girls just start putting them everywhere. Poor Maybelline can hardly get a bite to eat sometimes.

 

Round TWO

Posted by MaryAnn the FarmWife on March 21, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Well the last time we tried to move Minerva, she found her way back to Maybelline. Through the cattle fence, across the entire garden, then the barn yard, and to the front barn where the princess cow lives. Maybelline doesn't live like the other cows. She has an indoor stall, her own hayrack, private feeders and water, and the best part is a giant platform bed. 

The bed makes me smile every time I think about it. My cow has a bed.

We have this rainwater run-off problem in the front barn which necessitated a pre-emptive action to dry out the stall where Maybelline stays. John built this wooden deck, and put these rubber mats on top. The whole thing is cozy with hay bedding. It's what every Princess Cow should have. 

Minnie, who is not a born Princess, is a beef heifer. She needs to move-in with the other beef in the Big Girls Pasture and it's time. She is starting to get big.

So we put a lead on her again and 'walked' her to the back barn and in she went. We will keep her in the 'chute' area for the day. This is the staging room for moving the cattle into and out of the barn. There is a headlock to hold the big cattle if they need any medical attention there too. A bit of hay, and it's as big as the calf pen in the front barn so she is good. She can't get out of there. After the curiosity of the big girls wears off a bit, we will let her out. Hopefully she will stay in this time. 

In the meantime though, there is a lot of mooing. Maybelline is calling her and she is answering. It's sad. This is a picture of Minnie when she was only a few days old....