Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A man who will work side by side with a pig



A good man is hard to find, but when you find one that will also work side by side with a pig, you definitely have a keeper.

Earnest was somewhat enamoured with Martyn's hammering as we worked last weekend getting the chicken yard extension completed.

The Great Chicken Relocation Project of 2015 is underway. I have all the hens back in the main coop, including the overzealous Bantie hens that refuse to give up on hatching eggs. The dominant rooster is Franklin and he rules the roost, but so far he is tolerating Uno, who is very submissive to Franklin and stays out of the way. But now I have the problem of Papa Roo, our eldest and original rooster.

I feel for Papa. I took his last remaining hen away-the foxy Bantie that has given us two surprise clutches in less than three months. Enough! I had to do it. But I have been unable to catch Papa, for a variety of reasons. One being he is very wary of Franklin, who ran him out of the main coop some months ago. After that, Papa took five hens and moved to the old barn. They stayed safe there for a long time, but I couldn't keep track of rogue egg layers. So now I have no idea where Papa has been roosting at night, or even in the day. We think it is near the house porch. I am trying to get him back to Old Barn at night, with food, so I can go out after dusk and nab him. It's very easy to grab a chicken at night. He is probably the hardest chicken I've ever had to catch, but that might explain why he somehow escaped a raccoon last week.

Francis will eventually kill him, there is no doubt in my mind. And while papa Roo is pretty old for a rooster and has had a long, good life, I guess he'd rather go out by another form of Nature, or naturally while sleeping. I feel loyal to Papa as he arrived first and has always been a gentleman to so many. So now that the extension is done, I am going to cover the other side of the coop yard with a chicken wire, so I can have Papa in there with one hen. I have a separate stairway that goes into the chick nursery, ample room for Papa and two hens. That way they can't fly out and I can find their eggs to prevent more chicks. Unless of course that clever Bantie finds a way to make her eggs invisible, which is possible.

I just hope I can capture him in time. And then of course, I will have more roosters from the hatch to deal with. I know there are two in the first group, and we will have to wait to see how many show up in the second younger clan.


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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~