Flicker’s Lair Blog

Population fluctuation & Aspen sightings

by Heidi on November 29th, 2008
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What an eventful day, since we got up this morning we have moved 102 bales of hay, reduced the chicken population by 5 roosters, won a race for a cat climber for George’s place and had two separate sightings of Aspen!

We started early with the delivery of the final instalment of winter rations for our sheep, 102 bales of hay which all had to be tossed up into the hay loft. I got the fun job of catching them as they were thrown off the truck and throwing them up to the guy stood on a pile of bales. A bale of hay is heavier than you may think and throwing them upwards means you get a face full of bits of hay! Note to self for future reference, keep mouth closed!

We then evaluated our 8 roosters to decide on the best 3. With a little help from a friend, well a lot really, Steve ‘took care’ of the 5. I must admit this is the part of our new lifestyle that I have the most trouble with. I choose and catch the chickens and apologise to them, but then have to go and make myself busy. Steve takes care of the rest and then magic, we have a freezer full of chicken.

I have to keep reminding myself that it is for the good of the chickens as well. We took out the weakest of the boys today and if we had left them they would have been bullied and beaten and possibly come to real harm(death) from the other roosters. And for the sake of the hens, as the overpopulation of roosters was leaving them getting much more attention, and it is less than gentle, than is good for them.

Although for 10 hens we probably only need 1 rooster, we have decided on 3 as we don’t want to risk having just 1 and something happening to him or him being a ‘dud’ and we are stuck. And I read somewhere that 2 is not a good idea as they will fight more, so 3 it is and we will just have to breed more hens as soon as the weather improves.

We then rearranged our sheep flocks from boys and girls to mixed. Romulus now has his harem and was obviously very pleased as he got right to ‘work’. The girls seemed quite happy too, Fava couldn’t stop wiggling her tail at him! Bertram on the other hand just kept eating. Fortunately due to the lack of interest he had been showing we had changed our plans slightly, so it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get interested. He is much younger after all! But hopefully we will be expanding our flock in the spring.

Then to top it all we had two calls with sightings of Aspen. He is back in the area he was before and we are hoping to be able to get a live trap set up.

I wish I could say that was an end to the day and I could now go and curl up in front of the fire, but there is still work to be done and animals needing food.

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