I’ve been quieter than usual on here lately so I will give you a quick synopsis of what we’ve been up to here at Brun Ko Farm! In the last couple of weeks we have transplanted raspberries to expand our patch as well as planted a variety of potatoes, onions, radishes, kohlrobis, beets, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers and carrots. We have diligently carried seedlings outside and then back in so that they can gradually become ‘hardened off’ so that they can soon be planted outdoors. Similarly, we’ve been taking the (not so baby) baby chicks outside during the afternoons so they can adjust to life outdoors as well. We cleared a row of trees (NP anticipated having to take them out several years back and planted more trees to replace them). We found, moved and assembled a home for Ollie the tractor and the frame for a green house. We’ve been planning and preparing for our first big tour which happened this morning The Exira-EHK elementary kids came to visit and learn about cows, calves, chickens and more!. And finally, we retrieved and started a new group of bottle calves.
And our ‘busy’ season is just beginning! I plan to continue to blog throughout the summer but I hope you will forgive me if my posts are a little fewer and farther between for a few months!
Did I mention that we also ‘fostered’ a rooster and a hen for a few weeks? That leads me to this week (months?) blog post …….
I pestered NP for months about getting chickens. I had never had chickens before but it seemed so easy – so why didn’t we have our own? So 6 weeks ago, we brought home our very own baby chicks! Not long after that we agreed to take on R2 – an unwanted trouble-making ‘2nd’ rooster and a hen (because R2 needed a friend right?). R2 was supposed to be a permanent addition to the ‘flock’ and the hen was to go back home once our chicks were old enough to socialize with R2.
Here’s what I learned in 3 weeks with R2 and his lady friend.
- Roosters crow ALL day – NOT just at sunrise. This trait really didn’t bother me much. I am, however, amazed that R2 never came down with laryngitis during his time here.
- Chickens jump/fly much higher than I anticipated! I always thought that chickens were poor fliers and therefore wasn’t too concerned about keeping them semi-contained. Although, they probably couldn’t make it to the next farm, they do have a pretty amazing vertical. Making it straight up 4 feet with no ‘runway’ was not a problem. Neither was clearing the 5 foot dog fence as proven by the tail feathers littering the back stoop one morning. Luckily, that was the closest Piper ever got to turning R2 and his lady friend into breakfast!
- Roosters have the 5 D’s of dodge ball DOWN. Dodge, duck, dip, dive, dodge. Repeat. Repeat. And REPEAT. R2 knew that he could use any large (or even semi-large) object to his advantage. When I needed to catch him (for any of a number of assorted reasons), he would high tail it to the bridal wreath bush or the propane tank or whatever large object was close and I would lunge one way and he would go the other. Looking back I’m sure our ‘tag’ sessions were a riot for observers …
- Their favorite place on the whole farm is my front step. Even though we never ever fed them there, or even near there, the front step was their spot. Every time the door opened there was indignant squawking and sometimes cussing when feet met chicken poo!
Now, taking the above lessons (plus a few more!) to heart, we are working on a new plan for our rapidly growing baby chicks! They will still have access to the great outdoors but with some limitations – the details are still being worked out but I imagine it will take the shape of a mobile coop and chicken wire cage :)