Monday, March 5th
What a morning!
Cats first – I am at my dining table trying to do y morning devotion and BB is walking all over the book, sitting on the book and basically being BB. Now I am in the house trying to type this and Angel, the cat that looks like BB, is walking across the keyboard, rubbing her head on the monitor corners, butting my hand and generally being BB, except she has front claws.
Chickens – Chickens are always happy to see you. The feed is in a little house that has the generator Mr. Zim used to power the Dr. Pepper plant. There is a big trash can that holds the chicken scratch. I just love that name for chicken feed. Really, OH MY! I just looked up the definition of chicken scratch and this is the first one that appeared.
Chicken scratch is a kind of dance music developed by the Tohono O'odham people. The genre evolved out of acoustic fiddle bands in southern Arizona, in the Sonoran desert. These bands began playing European and Mexican tunes, in styles that include the polka, schottisch and mazurka. (Wonder if it is like the chicken dance?)
Scratch is a mix of cracked grains. In the past it was a way to use surplus or spoiled grains that might otherwise be unusable.
When purchased commercially, it usually consists of wheat, corn, oats, sunflower seeds, millet and various other seeds.
It is NOT complete nutrition. It keeps them busy and feeds their need for such energy foods as found in grains. It is ground coarse, to a size preferred by chickens.
Back to feeding the chickens. There is a shelf at the same height as the top of the feed bin. At least one chicken jumps up there and starts pecking at my arm until one bucket of feed appears and is set down on the counter. She flings it all over and of course the already gathered chickens start to rush in. I throw a small handful outside the feed house. and then head off to the main chicken coop area. Many of the chickens do not realize this is their designated area. Since I have the food and am walking away from the feed house a brood of chickens begin to follow me. I open the fence to the chicken area and hold it open so the "yard" chickens can enter. I throw food all over and the chickens follow me around like they haven't eaten since 4 the evening before.
After I came in the house, after the chickens, I fed the cats. I like easy! Cats and chickens are easy!
On my way to the feed house I noticed that no big animals were in. After the chickens and cat I look and only the horse is in. Can't put the feed out with just her there. She will eat it all. She bullies the cows and donkeys and tries to eat everything. She is fairly easy to shoo away from the other animals, but who wants to make a huge horse angry while in the pen with her and 5 other huge animals that aren't happy that she is stealing their food?????
Okay, the big guys and girls aren't hungry yet. I go to my trailer and return about 15 minutes later and no animals. So I start walking out to the field and see the two donkeys and can see at least one cow in the trees. I call them all by name a couple times and head back to the pen. The donkeys obliging follow and I hear a cow moo. I go to the pen and put out the feed, BUT…….no Gomer or Missy. So, I head back over to take another look in the field and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but two huge cows at the gate to the street. Not on the yard side of the street!!!! They had gotten out. I would like to think that my previous calling had brought them home. ha ha They were probably hungry. Both of these cows will eat from your hand so I run to the feed house and get feed. (Not yet 9 a..) I open the gate carefully so that Chauncey, the dog, doesn't escape. In hindsight I should have given the dogs a treat and left the inside the house. Luckily the gate opens in and I show the cows that I have feed. Then the dogs start barking and the cows are like … "Do we really want to go in there?" OH MY!
Eventually Gomer comes lazily lumbering in as I bribe him with feed pellets, never turning y back on him. Mommy is less anxious to come in with the dogs, so I throw some feed inside the gate and she goes for it. If you know me at all, you know I can't through. So, the back couple hundred pounds or so of Missy is just not tucked in enough to close the gate. OH MY! I gently, but firmly try to shoulder her over. YEE HAW! She is in and the gate is closed. Now to get then in the field or pen. Aha, they are looking toward the pen, so the decision is made for me. Easy street!!
Don't count your chickens before they are hatched or your cows before they are in the pen. Something got the dogs started barking and off the cows went, not in the direction of the pen. So, I run to the house to get dog treats. Notice all the running?! I come out and find that the dogs have actually herded mama to the pen gate (or she ran there in the hopes of a safe sanctuary) and she is watching me as if to say, "Hurry up and get over here and let me in!!" One in and one to go. Luckily Gomer was not far away in the yard and he followed me chomping along on the feed and saving it to chew later. Two cows in. Ah, life is good!!
I get Missy her special feed and a few additional cubes for Gomer. What to my wondering eyes should appear, but two dogs in the pen. Deep breath! Open the gate and they happily come out thinking there are feed cubes for them.
So, here I sit all calmed down and ready to get to work. In case you are wondering, Angel gave up about the fourth paragraph and went off to curl up. I am getting the occasional evil eye.
Ten in the morning. What have you done so far today?
If you find typos and spelling errors on any post, PLEASE let me know.