Tuesday was Rooster Heaven day. Six of them went to that big hen house in the sky. Since they were older birds we didn't bother plucking them. We just skinned them out and processed them.
I think they knew their number was up. One of them tried to make a break for it while our backs were turned. Unfortunately, he made the mistake of returning to the chicken yard where he was quickly apprehended.
Such is the life of a senior rooster. The hens fare much better. A lot of homesteaders butcher their hens after their second year, but ours were such good layers, I saw no reason not to keep them. They already know the routine and I enjoy their company. --the roosters, not so much.
We'll be phasing out the black Australorp. They're great chickens and prolific layers, but they're too light for meat birds and we need birds to serve double duty. I recommend them if you're looking for lots of eggs though. They lay more than twice what the buff Orpingtons can produce.
The Americaunas have great personalities and are nice, practical birds. They're very inquisitive and self-sufficient. If they see there's no more feed being handed out, they'll go out in the woods and fend for themselves. When it's time to come in, they're the first ones back in the hen house.
The buff Orpingtons are the heaviest birds and the poorest layers, but they're such good-natured rascals. They don't hesitate to follow me into the feed room to see if I dropped anything. Of the three breeds they're also the brightest. If there's a way to steal a few extra kernels of corn, they'll find it.
We're making headway on the 'goat pen from hell'. It's almost done. But we still need to build a house for them. Since Greg's time here is limited, it looks like the goats will have to wait until next spring. I'd rather not over-winter young goats, especially since we're still new to goat raising.
My other wish is to raise a hog for meat. We've raised them in the past and the taste is incredible. Once you've had farm-raised pork, nothing else can compare.
We've had so many problems getting the goat pen done I figured I'd wait a while before I spring the idea of raising a pig to Greg. And I haven't even mentioned the fish pond yet. :grin: I don't want to stress him out before his time.
It's all part of my five year plan, which includes
• extend the garden
• pipe water to animals and secondary garden
• invest in solar and/or wind power
• and oh, yes...write more books.
What's on your five-year plan?
Note: Don't give up on me followers and fellow campaigners. I should be caught up by Thursday so I can pay you all a visit.