Fowl Play - Home on the Range Blog at - 302542

Home on the Range

Fowl Play 
May 12, 2013 8:59 am 
Updated: May 18, 2013 4:27 pm

After many valiant attempts, Thomas has accepted that he will not be permitted entry into the house. He has, instead, chosen to sleep on the arm of the wicker love seat, the same one Bruno prefers to sleep on. It didn’t strike me as a pet bed when I purchased it, but it’s not the first time I have been mistaken.

His obsession with my fingers has not subsided yet. I have been reminded more than once not to stand idly by with my hands hanging down, as he latches on to one at every opportunity. Randyman’s fingers, apparently, do not hold the same appeal. I got so tired of being vigilant about my hands, I tried to evict Thomas from the yard. Out into the big pasture we went, with the sheep. The Maremmas kept watch over everyone, as they usually do.

 I even hoped Thomas would take up with the chickens, in spite of the risks they hold for him. They were not interested in making friends with the big galoot. He followed me out into the pasture, noting various bugs.

 After I got him down there a good long way, I sped back to the gate, leaving him waddling in my wake.

 He spent hours pacing the fence trying to get to me. I finally felt sorry for him and dumped him in the pasture next to the back yard so he could at least see me. He resumed pacing THAT fence. I picked him up and carried him to the pasture gate while I let the sheep in. They all ran by except for Rosemary and Thyme. I set Thomas down, assuming he was now safe from the thundering herd. Thyme proceeded to chase him all over the corral. I never saw sheep attack before, but Thomas was having a very, very bad day. I caught him up again, tucked him under my arm and returned to the back yard while he sniveled and whined about my earlier abandonment of him. There seems there is no alternative to his being  a yard bird.

The 56 meatie chicks have arrived and are doing extremely well in the brooder. Randyman put screening over the top and on the front of the milkroom which is great, because it not only keeps the cat and birds out, but flies as well, for the most part. Other than 3 of the Red Rangers dying the first two days because of injuries during shipping, all the chicks are thriving. I am really tickled because the  CornishX chicks are usually not so likely to do well, especially early on, in my experience. Maybe this will be a good chicken year, even if it was not such a great turkey year.

Miss Buffy is setting on 10 eggs again. She went broody in the nest box again, so after marking all her eggs and taking out the ones I refused to let her have, I moved her into a soft kennel in the lambing shed where none of them can jump out, causing her to abandon the rest of the eggs. True to form, days after I moved her, my black hen went broody on me as well.

At the end of the day, I grabbed a small bucket of grain and called Sushi from the far side of the back pasture. To my surprise, she jumped the ditch and ran to me. Locking her in the small paddock earlier this year paid off. She’s smart enough to know her name and greedy enough to come for candy. It looks like we will have a bright future ahead of us. 

After I finished the outside chores, I baked, cooled and sliced my whole wheat sourdough bread for this week’s sandwiches. I love this recipe, because I can mix it the night before and let it rise all night, then just bake it the next day. This time, it 'over proofed' so I kneaded it down and let it rise a third time and it baked up perfectly, with 2 big loaves.  Still warm bread, fresh from the oven with fresh homemade butter...a great way to end a 'fowl' day.
May 12, 2013 9:21 am
Happy Mother's Day Petey! It seems to me that these fowl-friends of ours bond to us no matter how hard we try not to let it happen! I'm afraid Thomas is connected to you for life. (His anyway) Every time I walk out the door, every one of my hens run for the fence line, pace and chatter and jump until either I'm out of sight or I come over to chat with them. Your Buff is beautiful. I have 2 Buff Orphingtons and they have the sweetest personalities. So glad your "meaties" are doing well too. Have a Blessed Day!
May 12, 2013 9:22 am
LOL I had a rooster that would follow me around and when I would sit down he would jump up on my lap and then snuggle in to me making a soft clucking sound of complete contempment. I think he has found the love of his When Roo Roo past away...he had been sick and when I came out to nurse him he would perk up. My husband said as soon I walked in he would flop. It took about a week and my husband to this day says it was because he was trying to live for me. In fact, when he did died he found a place to hide away from me. I cried my heart out. He may be annoying but everything needs love.
May 12, 2013 9:36 am
What great "humom" stories. Happy Mother's Day Petey. I believe Thomas thinks he is your son. Too Funny.
May 12, 2013 11:01 am
Thomas is a great character! Thanks for another blog full of humor, love and life. It's always great to read your writings.
May 12, 2013 11:01 am
I am so loving the tom the turkey stories keep them coming! Did Thomas get you a mothers day card?
May 12, 2013 12:20 pm
Candice, RBC, isn't it amazing how birds can get attached. It really boggles the mind how affectionate animals of all kinds can be! I have a lot of fun with them around. RBC, your rooster story brought tears to my eyes!
May 12, 2013 1:16 pm
I love that turkey, wonderful story petey. Happy Mother's Day.:)
May 13, 2013 6:51 am
I'm enjoying reading about your turkey child :) Glad you had compassion on him and moved him back closer to you. I've made that sourdough bread. It's delicious, isn't it?
May 13, 2013 1:59 pm
It is, Paula. It's one of our favorites! Thank you manella. I hope everyone here had a great Mother's Day.
May 14, 2013 2:35 am
I've heard of fur-babies, but not feather-babies! You've introduced us to some pretty interesting characters, petey. I have to say I didn't know much about turkeys, and I think I will love getting to know Thomas.
May 14, 2013 3:41 am
I'm glad I spent a virtual day on your ranch! Thanks for the sights!
May 14, 2013 8:41 am
I always laugh out loud when I'm reading your blogs. I so enjoy them and hearing about life on the ranch. Give Thomas a hug for me!
May 14, 2013 10:17 am
LOL, turkeys are a rare breed. I love their sounds. I am trying my hand at the wild turkeys this year, awaiting the hen down the road to lay brood me some eggs. My cornish giants arrived last week, so far-so good.
May 14, 2013 8:02 pm
Petey-I am always amused with all your animal children with each one having a different personality. I enjoy reading your blog.
May 15, 2013 1:08 pm
It has been an interesting experience to say the least. I had NO idea turkeys had so much personality. He's hard headed but he makes me laugh!
May 17, 2013 7:34 am
I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading your blog--and all the pics! Thank you! I was looking for a recipe for sourdough starter--do you have it somewhere? Thank you so much and have a wonderful weekend!
May 17, 2013 5:54 pm
I've had my starter going for about 12 years. I do have some powdered and could send it to you if you need, with instructions on how to rehydrate. Just send me a SASE, like a small manilla one I can fit a little baggie into. Email me at ranchrustics at me dot come for addy if you want
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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