Farmyard Menagerie Newsclips

Forgive my artistic licence, I guess it's a little silly to call this a farmyard. In truth it only encompasses a coop yard. But it FEELS like a farmyard to me (since I've never had a farm there's no way to compare it).

I have some tiny news clips to share in this ongoing saga of building resilience:


First, I'm getting a dozen 2 year-old hens (layers) free sometime in the next week.
Of course, I'm counting chickens before they've hatched, but lets make the assumption it goes as planned, kay?

This is good news even if I don't even know what breed they are, lol. 

Getting hens at laying age means I don't have to spend money on expensive chick starter feed after spending $ on the chicks themselves, nor endure any chick deaths that is common when you buy chicks from a hatchery that ship them immediately after hatching.
My local feedstore would order any chick breed I requested and that would be another option of course, but still costs $4 a chick, plus the necessary feed.

 (Really, what the hell did they feed chicks all throughout history without "feed stores"!? LOL)

It also saves me hatching chicks/getting chicks and then feeding them 4 to 6 months before they begin laying, only to slow laying or stop completely in winter, so only 2 or 3 months of small eggs for possibly a years' cost in feed. Of course over time you would get an extra year of eggs, since these are already 2. 

So, the propane guys came to set up a smaller propane tank and I had to hang around for them to reset the broiler/heater unit afterward. Standing around talking. 
I learned that one of them has a ranch with 70 too-many chickens. He saw mine and asked if I wanted any and how many. I said I'd be happy to take a dozen, and that was that!

Now I have to figure out dividing the coop so that the new flock can be somewhat quarantined for a couple of weeks. I hate to coop them up in such nice weather, but it's a necessary evil so they don't make my flock sick if they were sick in some way. 
Also you always coop up a new flock to learn what home is, and to acquire the smell of it. This will help the other hens to accept them too. 

With all these (4) roosters, it will be interesting times soon...

My "big chick" roo has grown increasingly aggressive toward the other roo chicks to establish his place as top dog- he will settle down if he has his own flock to defend against them like he goes after the old gray roo's hens. I assume he'll assume this task....lol.

The turkey-looking roo chick (no comb) sometimes takes him on, but the beautiful white roo is so skiddish he only runs and tries to stay out of range. I wish HE were the big one and most able to defend a flock of hens, but news clip #2: he's the one that was almost picked up by that hawk on Saturday... 
He immediately ran to the coop and sat on the rafters for a while. 
I would keep only him, but I can't afford to lose the only rooster I will be counting on for egg fertilization in years to come. Which could happen since he's small enough to be hawk bait! (The old gray roo is useless in that regard. He tries, but is pretty inept!)

This episode apparently caused the 4 laying hens to quit laying for 2 days too! (I have 8 total).

I immediately re-strung wire across the coop yard (with hanging pieces of sheet strips) to try and deter further hawk abduction attempts. But they are free-ranging chickens, so it's probably not all that useful, but it's the best I can do right now. 

So there you go- another episode in my growing farmyard menagerie. 


Baby goats are cute, energetic, and entertaining.  
This "baby-goat-loves-jumping" video is so funny I wanted to share it! 

I can't say I particularly like the goats I've met, but I can't help but  entertain the thought of getting a few.  MY goats would be awesome, you see? 

In speaking from the short experience I had with them when expecting my first child, nothing could be a more annoying animal. Perhaps that's because they were very young goats and their pen was situated so that one side was the walls of the house. The constant thuds against the wall drove me crazy and soooooooo, they didn't stay long. 
For some reason they weren't located farther away from the house in the first place, but I did learn from that!

I've had many brushes with other people's free-ranging goats. Worse than dogs as you try to get anywhere on the property: lots of head-butts and generally rude assertive behaviors always ensued even if all they wanted was to be petted. 

My Dad rescued a couple of long-horned (small and fairly ugly) goats and kept them until their long lives were over. They provided some much-needed ground-keeping chores in exchange for their home, and were not overly troublesome as they were quite small (just past knee-height on a man). They were contained on 1/4 acre behind chain link.and  were fairly easy-keepers, not aggressive at all. For a time they shared that space with my horse, and rarely got in the way of tending to or getting the horse out, but I can't say exactly how that worked. I guess they were dumb, lol! 

One day my Dad was tending to the animals while watching my 2 year-old. She was chasing one of the goats and as it dodged her efforts to catch it, went underneath the horse. She followed. Dad says he couldn't do anything to stop her in time and his heart just almost stopped. But the horse was a good old boy, never jumpy, skiddish or shying.  I trusted him, even rode him with my daughter. Of course I doubt I would take that chance now! 

Anyway, back to goats...and getting a few, how do you decide which breed is best?
I'm learning a lot online, but that's the extent of my ability to decide (for now). 
There's so much to consider!

I have had the pleasure of interacting with several local mule deer (only the does) that wander through. They hang out in the yard, napping like an old cow chewing cud in the shade, and bring their fawns through, teaching them that there are always some leftover tidbits around the chicken yard (or fresh water).
Recently as I was tossing grapes to the chickens, I actually had an old doe touch my fingers with her soft muzzle. They are not too shy! I like them. 
I would like to get a milk goat I can like as much as the doe. Is that too much to ask? (Maybe it is... goats are not known for "being deer-like" in their descriptions).