Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Paddle Boat, A Bunny House and A Bad Rooster

What do these three things have in common?

A visit with Eileen!

Eileen's Farm House

She grew up across the street. This was her Aunts and Uncles house. She used to help them make butter here. They had a delivery route and sold butter and I think she said, milk.

I'm always surprised by something whenever we visit with her. You should see her run her skidsteer loader! One time we came home with a pound of delicious burger. Another time we came home with a bunch of round bales of hay with which we made our lean-to for our chickens. (see below)

Nice huh?

Chickens stay all cozy inside.

Eileen has, I think, about 20 acres with beautiful cattle, chickens, turkeys, guineas, goats, horses, an amazingly adorable donkey and cats (For some reason the cats are all black, not by her choice though, they have all been strays and dropped off at her farm.).

This is Eileens ummm, I guess you would call it, summer house. It has a wood burner upstairs and is completely open downstairs with a stone fireplace and in the summer a hammock hangs from the rafters. There is a pond in front and she has a really cool, old fashioned paddle boat on the shore. She used to have two paddle boats but she gave us one for our pond! Woo Hoo! One of those plastic kind and it is a four seater! She has lots of nice folks come and stay at her place. Church groups and school kids. She loves to share her farm and let people enjoy it as much as she does.

A windmill runs an aeator in the pond for the fish and the cattle drink from it. In the winter if there is a deep freeze she has to chop the ice with an ax. If the ice is not too thick she says the cattle break it up themselves. It worries me that she is chopping ice with an ax (she is 80), I wish we were closer! Kevin says she is his hero and he hopes that when he is 80 he will be able to do all that she can.

She gave us a few chickens a while ago so one day when she was not home we snuck over and dropped a couple of turkeys inside of her chicken fence. She got home after dark and heard some strange peeping and thought something was wrong with her chickens and found that two turkeys had magically appeared.

This is the view from her back porch. Across the way you can see the green summer house, her pastured cattle and that whitish colored rectangular thing is her son's semi truck and trailer.

This was parked alongside her garage.

The rooster on the left is the bad rooster in the title of this post. He was beating up the other roosters and hens so his number was up. I contemplated doing a drive-by and dropping him off at some unsuspecting farm but we decided to have him for dinner instead.

When we got home Kevin (what is the polite word for killed) dispatched? him and I skinned him down the middle and took the breasts, legs and thighs and we used the rest to try and entice the coon that has been killing our chickens. Later on I noticed one of my dogs guarding something and acting funny. She had stolen one of the chicken feet and was chewing on it. Right under my computer table in my bedroom!

Three more dead on Christmas morning. The mom of the babies and two of the babies. The mom was a beautiful penciled Polish Crested that Eileen had given us last year. We just cannot figure out how it is getting in. When we catch it I will cut him limb from limb! Is that how that saying goes and what does that mean anyway? Limb from limb?

Bunny House, did I mention bunny house in the title??

Check out this awesome Bunny House!

And for the best part.....Eileen says that I can have it!!!! Is this not the cutest thing you ever did see! It is going to be my new house for my Cuckoo Marans. I am going to seperate them from the rest of the flock very soon (well... I guess I have to wait til spring) and get some eggs to hatch. I have three or four Maran hens and a rooster. I absolutly cannot wait.

If that racoon takes anymore of my Marans he will suffer a slow death. (I used to think racoons were so cute, HA, they are bloodthirsty killers. Plus they kill more that they eat, just for fum)

There is one condition to me getting the bunny house. It involves these two unspecting guys below

They have to help load a sweet animal into a trailer to be taken to the butcher. No problem you say, well look at the sweet animal below.

Yep, that's him... the one in the middle.

Here he is closer......

And a little closer. Yikes, this is Harley and he's a big one.

He is a really good bull, produces really good calves but one day something bad happened. He decided that he wanted out of the pasture and bent a thick, heavy gate like it was a piece of plastic. And then one day Eileen had a group of kids for a hayride at the farm. When they got down from the wagon and were walking around Harley saw them he decided to stomp his feet, snort and act very bullish. Bullish is fine but not when he can twist a huge gate like it is nothing!

Plus there is one more reason.

See the little guy right behind Harley? He is Harley's son. There is something about him that Eileen is not crazy about. Can you guess what it is?

Hmmmm, what do you think......

Have you figured it out?

What about now????

He has kinda big pokers on the top of his head. OUCH! Harleys calves have horns.
(Look at the little guy in the cute.)

Harley decided to come right up and see me. I can't tell you how intimidating he is. Even with the fence between us I just kept wanting to back up..and after this shot I did.

Here is Eileen on the back porch. We had an amazing day for the 27th of December. Almost 70 degrees and really nice out. My sister Amy, Eileen and I sat on the porch while guys walked the back part of the property looking for deer sign. Eileens property buts up to a huge public hunting area. Deer have been a big problem in the past for her so they were checking out hunting possibilities. They didn't find much. They found only other hunters and not much deer sign. She said there haven't been much deer activity this year.

Here is one of her black kittys. This one will jump on your back and climb upto your neck. It's only good if you have thick clothes on.

Eileen said it showed up one evening and the way it introdeced itself to her was to jump on her back and proceed to climb on up. She said it was dark out so she didn't know what it was. To say the least she was a little startled til she figured it out. I think it may have scared her half to death. If it had been me I would have passed out.

Here's Eileen and her kitty.

Isn't it sweet, it was purring like crazy.

We are going to go back and pick up a few more roosters and help her make a lean-to for her chickens. Can't wait.

Til next time,



Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Gah! That bull may even give me nightmares tonight!
He's impressive. What will be done about the bull with the horns. Can they be sawed off?

I would love too see photos of your Polish chickens. I have two. A Golden-laced, bearded rooster and a Buff-laced hen. I love their poufy heads and their demeanors.

Your Aunt's summer house is so interesting and unique. I can just picture myself swinging in the hammock watching friends or family paddling by in the pond.

Thanks for the tour, and I hope you're able to capture and 'dispatch' that evil raccoon.

New Mexico

Kevin and Beth said...

The one with the horns is a steer. Eileen said that he is very gentle with his horns. I'm sure he will be processed when he is the correct weight.

We have only two Polish chickens left. They are black and white. I wil post a picture of them next time for you.

sariah said...

I've never commented before but I wanted to tell you that I enjoy your blog. I love the fact that you always have tons of pictures- it reminds me of the "confessions of a pioneer woman" blog that I follow. By the way,That bunny hutch is so darn cute. I'm going to hint to my husband that something similar would be the perfect present for next year's Christmas.

You have my sympathy with raccoons. I think they are a royal pain! If your interested, this link will take you to my post that shows how our family dealt with our raccoon problem this fall.


Kevin and Beth said...

Thanks for the comment. I have been visiting your blog and love it. I went to your post about the racoons and was happy for you that you were able to get rid of them.

We never even see them. They are so sneaky, we are not even sure if it is racoons. They drag the dead chicken up to our fence and then try to pull them through, then the chicken is stuck there with it's head eaten off, usually two at a time. I would love to be able to have a chance to shoot them. They are like ghosts in the night, leaving us baffled.