As our rooster grew older, he grew more agressive. I hoped that he would calm down with age, but it only got worse. That dumb bird would come after everyone who dared enter his territory. Letting the chickens out in the morning began to be a chore no one wanted, as you had to go into the coop armed with a shovel to keep the demon from scratching your eyes out. Our girls could no longer spend time with HIS chickens, which was especially upsetting to our youngest child who adores her chicken ladies.
Slowly I came to the conclusion that our little day old biddy that had been lovingly raised to be a part of our flock was now in the FOOD category. His name became meat. We needed a new rooster.
I found a farm in Coffeyville that had the kind of rooster I was looking for, a nice big Barred Plymouth Rock, which is the breed of our ill fated roo. My family loaded up for the two hour ride down, looking forward to an adventure on another farm. The name of the farm we were to visit is Shadowfax Farms, as the owners are big fans of Tolkein. We knew they had lots of springtime babies, so we were happy to make the drive. If you have never driven through the southern Kansas Flint HIlls you should. It is beautiful. If I had my druthers I would wiggle my nose and our place would be magically loacated in Cedar Vale.
We arrived at the farm in the early afternoon, and were greeted by the farm dogs; a Pyrenees, a little Heeler rescue, and a sweet little Anatolian/Pyrenees mix puppy. If I could have I would've loaded that puppy into my car right that minute, she was that sweet. We had arrived just after a new foal had been born, so we grabbed our cameras and rushed to the barn to see the newest addition to the farm. She was still on the ground, her mama standing guard over her. While we were there she stood up, took her first steps, and began to suckle. What an amazing sight! We scritched the baby bull and got to love on the very pretty barn kitties. Kay held one of the new baby bunnies for us, and got peed on for her trouble (who knew they could pee so much!!) There were also baby goats, baby sheep and tiny little banty roosters who were NOT babies but adorable all the same.
We decided to take two of the roosters rather than one, two year old barred rock brothers who would take care of all 25 of our hens. As we began to load them up one of the roosters escaped, and after a failed attempt at recapture we cut our losses and chose a lovely Rhode Island Red rooster to accompany our Barred Rock. After the boys were secure in their crate we headed to the sheep barn, being interested in all things sheepie. I had already noticed a small sheep in the horse barn that had been put with a nanny goat. I felt sorry for her, as the goat was really only tolerating her presence and not really caring for her. I took some photos of her itty bitty self, feeling pity for this little creature who was not with her mom. Her twin was much bigger than she and would not let her nurse, shoving her out of the way. So, she was with the goat and her baby, allowed to nurse only when the baby goat was nursing. If the little orphan lamb tried to nurse by herself the goat would head butt her away.
I left her there, trying to resign myself to the way of farm life. Not everything is as rosy as we would like to imagine.
Away to the sheep barn we went, and no sooner had we walked in the door than a huge sheep walked up to Blake and began to nibble on his pants, and his shirt, and anything else she could get a hold of. She looked to me, wondering what my camera might taste like, and came right over to find out. Kaye informed us that this giant ewe was a bottle baby and forever thought that people were her buddies. There were other ewes that were tending to their babies, and ewes that hadn't popped yet. We were ooooing and ahhing over the little lambs when Kaye turns to us and says, "You know, I'll sell you that little lamb in the horse barn as a bottle baby."
We had NOT come to get a baby sheep! Everyone who knows us at all knows that we gave the lady her money, put that lamb in a box and brought her little behind home with us in the car. And now our little flock is made up of three wooly sheep. The girls named her Rosie, and we are all in love with her. The. End.
p.s. Thank you very much to Kay, Marc and their lovely girls for a beautiful day. It was so nice to meet all of you!