Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On “The Farm” Life Is Certainly Entertaining

This morning was one of those mornings that held a delightful surprise for me. It wasn’t yet dawn when I crawled out of bed, got dressed and started my morning farm chores. The morning was rainy and damp and I didn’t relish the thought of getting out in it and experiencing the ambiance of a cold, wet day. Morning farm chores. Sounds positively dreadful, doesn’t it? Well, let me explain…

My mom started calling the acreage I bought “The Farm” from almost the first day she heard about it. The name stuck, even though, in fact, it was not a real farm. We have always had dogs and cats but up until this year we had no livestock. Three hens, a rooster, and three guinea fowl are now my livestock. Livestock!

Since I am now an official farmer I have official farm chores, which include letting the birds out of their coop in the morning, giving them feed and water, and closing them up in the coop at night. These chores are not something I shirk or try to avoid. I know from owning dogs and cats that they need daily attention to not just live, but to thrive, and I happily try to give them what they need to be happy dogs and cats. And now I do the same for my chickens and guineas.

In fact, I enjoy working with the birds, especially the chickens. Each time I approach their covered yard they run to the gate to greet me. I’m sure they are expecting a treat but I prefer to think they are happy to see me. As I work in their yard, giving them feed and water, they follow me around and two of the hens come up close and watch me. I pet them frequently, thinking that they will be used to human contact when it comes time to clip their wings and then remove the netting from the yard so the guineas can roam freely, eating the dreaded ticks that plague the other animals on The Farm.

This morning it had started to rain so I decided to open the coop up early in case the rain got harder and I wouldn’t have to go out in a downpour later on. I figured that the birds weren’t even awake yet since I hadn’t heard Crowlee (our rooster) crowing. I grabbed my raincoat but didn’t grab my camera because it was too dark to take pictures anyway. The dogs and I made our way to the yard and I opened the door to the coop. The chickens weren’t too anxious to get out of their cozy coop and into the rain, and I was ready to get back into the house. Then it happened. Crowlee crowing. What’s special about a rooster crowing? This time it wasn’t an ordinary crow, the one he crows regularly. No this was Crowlee making his trilling crow. He was still in the coop, but he was crowing and trilling. I wasn’t sure if he would still be crow-trilling if I went back to the house to get the camera to record it, but I decided to try anyway. When I got back to the chicken yard with the camera he was nice enough to crow for me a time or two. Thank heavens I was able to catch it.

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