Yes you read correctly-there’s a thief in the henhouse! (And no I’m not referring to the boyfriend 🙂 ) Our journey as poultry farmers has been a quite the process.. Several years ago Julia got the big idea to have “Farm Fresh Eggs”. So she campaigned relentlessly until permission was granted from the Father of this household.. So 12 Rhode Island Reds came to home to roost.. It was so exciting to gather eggs and a running tally was kept so that at the end of the year we knew down to the last egg how many dozen we received. Unbelievable.. I have not been in favor of the project since the beginning.. I will admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed many a meal thanks to the fruit of the labors-but save yourself a heart attack (from when an angry bird attack) and purchase eggs at Wal-Mart! But anyway all that aside. The birds lost their charm and soon it was down to whoever fed calves HAD to check the chickens.. Through a variety of events, we eventually were down to 3 birds who were past their prime and no longer contributed anything to the household. A vote was taken among the calf feeders and the measure passed with flying colors-it was time for the chickens to be released to the great out-of-doors to fend for themselves. This was last fall. The one poor bird didn’t make a day, because a big huge black dog who knows perfectly what happens if he touches Father’s rooster, didn’t realize that this was the same kind of species, and the Labrador Retriever in him came to the forefront and he retrieved a hen before anyone could say “Barbequed Chicken!” After that incident the 2 remaining disappeared and we forgot all about them.. Fast forward to the first of March- one day who should be proudly strutting back and forth like she owned the calf barn, but Evangeline.. One chicken had survived! She made herself completely at home, eating out of the calves water buckets, helping herself to the grain smorgasbord and loving life.. She really is beautiful. And I THINK I may have recognized a faint trace of fondness within this ol’ calloused heart. She soon made a nest in the corner of the hay and other than one extremely nosey neighbor who peers out of her apartment and looks directly down into Evangeline’s home, She seems to have no complaints about her new neighborhood
And the most amazing thing is -everyday there’s a fresh egg to head to the house for the farmer’s breakfast! Until one day, the consistant egg delivery ceased.. It was strange. One day the egg hunt would be successful, the next day to no avail.. Hmm.. Enter the King of the farm and his assistant.. Now ol’ Detroit is nobody’s dummy and when he got his case jumped for that last chicken deal, he bid his chicken catchin’ days “Good-bye”.. But Rolo is still a little green behind the ears, and every day she thought it quite the sport to sneak up behind Evangeline and see how close she could get before someone yelled or the bird took off.. “Big Chicken”.. It so happened that the Sherlock Holmes that discovered the source of the disappearing eggs was Rolo’s very own lead cheerleader-Miss Deborah.. Deb was feeding calves and she watched as her velvet eared pup snuck out of Evangeline’s house. One thing that must be said to the credit of the dogs around here- when they commit a crime- you can hear their guilty conscience hurting.. So with a stern “Rolo!” Deborah watched in amazement as Rolo carefully laid the egg, that she had been gingerly carrying in her mouth, down on the concrete and slunk away.. Being the good parent that she is, Deborah went ahead with the necessary parenting measures and soon Rolo was all smiles again..
Other random things from Paradise Mtn include:
The north wind will blow and we will have snow,
And what will the poor robin do?
He’ll sit in the barn, and try to keep warm
And tuck his head under his wing.. Poor thing..