Posted on January 25, 2013
Goose eggs, adolescent roosters, and bullied hens – Miller Farm Friday
Welcome our very special Friday Guest blogger, Chicken Wrangler Sara and another tale from the Miller Farm.
Adolescent roosters are some of the most horrid creatures on earth, which makes putting them on death row much less traumatic for me. However, their imminent demise does nothing for the poor hens they harass until they reach a size large enough to eat.
One poor hen, named Whitey, has been jumped on so many times I believe her right leg is broken. #2 Daughter Rachel and I found her trying to get through the fence and under the shed.
Enter Chicken Wrangler Sara wearing her chicken rescue cape.
Future nurse Rachel decided Whitney should spend time in the Miller Chicken Infirmary until her leg healed. She reinforced the sides of a wooden crate, gave Whitey a bath (yes, you read that correctly, she bathed a chicken), then put the clean hen in the crate in her bedroom.
Then Future Nurse Rachel went out of town leaving me in charge.
This is not the first fowl to be in the house. Remember, we had two rescued roosters who were much kinder than any roosters we have right now.
Eventually I moved Whitey to the garage where she spent the night.
In the morning, I set her out in the yard (while the dachshunds were inside) and cleaned her crate. Marv, our big, old lab mix, found this change in the routine very interesting.
Whitey ate some grass and hobbled around a bit. Before I left to volunteer at the food pantry, I returned her to her crate in the garage and secured the dachshunds inside the kitchen.
In the afternoon, Whitney spent more time outside in the yard although I’m suspicious that the roosters have spotted her. They lined the fence watching with great interest.
Fortunately, they cannot get over the fence so Whitey is safe.
I considered splinting her leg, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I wasn’t keen on researching how to set chicken legs – cooking them maybe, but not setting them.
In fact, one of my piano students asked why we didn’t just eat Whitey. I explained that we don’t eat any of the chickens we have named.
Just can’t do it.
Not only do I have to keep an eye on Whitey, with Rachel gone, I must turn the goose eggs in the incubator three times a day. I forgot. When Beekeeper Brian got home from work, he turned them. Since they can’t tell time, he assured me they would be fine.
We’ve decided I may be Chicken Wrangler Extraordinaire, but I’m no Mother Goose.
Future Nurse Rachel and I have also started walking the four dogs. We each take two dachshunds and provide entertainment for anyone driving down the street along with exercise for the dogs and ourselves.
Since Rachel was not home this afternoon, I took all four dogs on my own. After fighting twisted leads and pulling dogs, I’ve decided I could probably drive a bobsled now.
Tomorrow Rachel returns. I will be so happy to have her assistance with dachshunds and goose eggs.
Sunday the roosters go to death row. Whitney will return to the hen yard and be safe.
By Monday, the Miller Chicken Infirmary will close and life will return to normal – whatever that is.