At least once or twice a day I am stop and just watch my critters, its quite a “awe” inspiring time, to grasp and understand that while they live on my farm and in certain ways are in my care but that they very much live their own lives, they have their own friends they prefer, they have likes and dislikes, they interact with other of the farm critters etc.. most of the time, I feel blessed to watch them just “be” and I am even more blessed when they consider me not just the bringer of food-water-bedding, but as a member of the pack, pride or herd.. The other day after working Caleb, I turned him out an he and sam had a “friend moment” in greeting and my lovely Brandy Girl walked up, she did the body contact and hug, and I gave her a the scatch on her shoulders, and she wrapped that big old head around my body and scratched me back with little tiny careful lip only nibbles on my cloths on the hip area.. it was a moment of true.. I like you, me too..
however I got to see the flip side today.. one of my little wee chicks went though the fencing to the pen next door, this should not have been much of a issue, its just got a pair of breeding duck and a breeding pair of hen-rooster, but the hen grabbed that chick and by the time I got from the garden where I was weeding though the first pen and into the second and chased her down to make her drop it.. it was all done.. she had done enough damage that all I was left with was putting the wee one down.. I was left wanting to just scream..
Clearly that hen will be culled and yes folks that means she is going to the chopping block tomorrow, I will not keep a chick killing hen, Its not unseen that other hens will drive off other hens chicks, but this hen (who is a new hen to my farm this year) treated that poor babe like it was a mouse..
So I went and got boards and put them all along the first 4 inches of that side of the pen, its overkill, I don’t think that the other birds left in the pen will bother the chicks but I am taking no chances at this point.. and I will point out that this is the first time I have ever seen this happen on the farm, and I have new chicks each of the ten years I have had the farm.
I have said it before and I will say it again.. Don’t keep anything! that does not have the temperament you want to deal with every single day..
If the rooster attacks you.. Don’t keep it, an please!!! don’t breed and keep back its chicks
If that doe rabbit won’t let you pet it without freaking out.. work with it yes, but if you don’t see improvement once its settled down.. cull it from your breeding program.
Don’t make excuses for your animals, How about this one.. I am guilty of it.. Brandy is a total #@Q% when she is in heat.. now its true , she has some PMS when she is in heat but I make a point of working her even when she is in a mood..
Why.. it would be so much easier to just say.. for three days, you can just be a pasture pony..
The answer is simple.. if I do that, and I need to work with her on those days, she will be much much worse then if I worked with her though it each and every time she goes into heat.. better to learn each other both on our best days and our worst days..
I had better get back to it..