It’s a Zoo Around Here

12 Jul

It is a zoo around here, and all the animals have gone crazy.  It started last night when I got home from putting up the electric fence around the sweet corn.  As I pulled in the driveway I heard Big Red.  I’m used to his scream.  I hear it two or three times a day.  It’s his signal that his head is stuck in the fence.  That’s why I don’t feel too bad that I made him stay there and get his picture taken. Most of them don’t get stuck ever.  Sugar went through a three day spree of getting her head stuck, but she seems to have it figured out now.  Red needs to get this figured out.

After releasing him, I went to the house and fixed the bottles for Flower and Bud.  Of course, they were right there and ate no problem.  However, while they were eating I saw Beau and Bambi in the pen with the billy goats. Now, that wouldn’t be a problem except Beau seems to think he’s big enough to challenge the big boys, and Mason was rubbing Beau’s face in the dirt.  I haven’t had time to spend with the kids, and Bambi and Beau don’t like me.  It wasn’t too bad to catch Bambi, but Beau was a pain.  He’s bigger and stronger and wiggly and totally re-injured the bruise on my hand, but I got him out.

Just about then, I heard Pistol with the, “Help my head is stuck in the fence and I want you to come get me loose,” yell. Isn’t she cute?

She’s cute until she sticks that head through the fence because I’m late bringing her hay.  Keep in mind that there is some green stuff and hay left over from yesterday, but she hadn’t had the fresh stuff yet today.  See that bare spot on her ear in the picture below?  That’s how tight of a fit it is to get that head back through the fence.  I don’t know how she can get it through there to start with.

Anyhow, after removing her head from the fence, I went to get her hay.  I stepped out of their pen and saw Rooster Boy.  I just gave him a look and said, “Don’t even think it.”  He must have known I was serious because he left me alone.  I got the hay, was putting it in the tubs and saw this.

Notice how there is a fence between them?  There isn’t supposed to be.  I still don’t know where the hen got out.  I know the pen is in bad shape, and it is on my list of things to do, but I seem to be rushing from one emergency fix to another.  I put the little lady back and headed for the house.

Somewhere in there I had the thought that I hadn’t seen the ox, cow and baby bull in a day or two.  That’s not completely out of the ordinary because they have about thirty-eight acres of hills to roam.  I made a mental note to make a point of seeing them the next day.  About 11:00 the next morning I got a phone call saying the bovine were in the neighbor’s bean field. I rushed out the door to go retrieve them and heard Red’s help scream on my way.  I figured I’d be back soon, so I kept going.  Well, two hours later with the help of my son and two nephews we finally got them back in the field.  Turns out I missed a huge (forty foot) section of fence that is basically gone.  Since we mowed the hills, they decided to munch on the new grass and kept munching their way out of the field.  They just didn’t know how to get back in.  I’m not sure how long they had been out, but my poor ox was worn out.  He was hot, panting and just plain exhausted. We got them to the crossing and he just laid down as soon as he hit the shade of the tree.

I removed Red from the fence again and went to fix fence.  I decided I need more fencing supplies, so after letting them rest under the tree Caleb and I brought them up to the barn and they are shut back in my little pasture.  Of course, my cattle tank isn’t in yet, so I had to fill a tub of water.  Hopefully, Maxine can handle that (she’s deficient in drinking from buckets).

I did have a small break in the chaos.  Then when I was doing chores it started again.  I let my two goatie girls, Stormy and Litha, into the duck, peacock, and chicken pen to eat like always.  This time, they scared a peahen and I noticed nobody was on the nest.  I continued doing chores and came back to get the girls out and noticed the hens were still off the nest and the chickens were hanging around it.  I went over to make sure they weren’t pecking holes in the eggs that were due to hatch this coming Tuesday.  There was an empty egg shell.  Well, after a quick search around their room in the barn, I found this.

Both hens were off the nest and had left the baby in the middle of the floor.  They were not taking care of him.  When I tried getting them to take him back, they pecked him in the face.  I know peafowl are not the smartest birds in the barnyard (brain to body ratio size is enough to figure that out).  I’d read that it might be necessary to take the first hatched babies so they will stay on the nest.  I couldn’t get either one to go back to sitting on the nest.  There are another eight eggs that are due to hatch within two days, so I called my aunt.

She came over and got the eggs to put in her incubator, and the hatched baby will stay in the pen under a heat lamp.  I just got a call from my aunt (about an hour after she took the eggs), and she can hear them cheeping inside the eggs.  When they are done hatching, I’ll bring them back and try to find homes for them.  I wasn’t even sure the new peacock would be able to breed the girls because he’s only two.  He seems to have done a good job.

After my aunt and uncle left with the eggs, I finally got around to going up north and feeding Cutie and her girls and Pam.  Well, Pam had her head stuck in the fence too.  Unbelievable! Tomorrow morning I get to go to town first thing to buy feed for the baby chicks and all kinds of fencing supplies to run an electric wire all along the west fence.  I’ll probably have to remove a head or two or three from the fence some time too.  Oh, and today is Jilly’s due date, so I keep trying to find her and make sure she’s not giving birth and having problems while I’m frantically running around.  I really hope things calm back down for a while.


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