We technically live on a farm. That seems almost silly since the extent of our “farm” is a big red barn and chickens. But it’s a farm none-the-less. And even though this blog started out as a “new farm girl” blog it rarely has a post about being a farm girl. Just the way life has turned out, but today … today I have a farm story. It is short … mostly a dead rooster, a wheelbarrow, and a pitchfork … but a farm story regardless.
As I stated before we have chickens. Not many chickens, at last count I think it was 11 hens and 10 roosters. We started with 25 and have slowly dwindled down to 21. I actually don’t know what happened to those missing 4 anymore, just that we don’t actually have 25 as we had. I do know however how we lost another rooster this afternoon … and that my dear readers is where my farm story begins.
It’s been nice out … like really nice so Farmer Neal has been letting the hens out to enjoy the warm temps. They are currently in the old chicken coop and the “growing until they are big enough to butcher” roosters are in the newer chicken coop. They were separated a few months back when the roosters were getting much more aggressive with each other and the poor hens. Well today it was the roosters turn to get a chance to roam. I can’t say for sure, but I am pretty sure that they aren’t both let out to eliminate confusion when it is time to head back to their roosts when it is dark. But anyway, the 10 roosters were happy as larks (don’t tell them I called them larks, pretty sure they wouldn’t appreciate it) pecking the brown and wet grass in the sun. My best guess is that they would have been happier with 11 hens to chase after but still … happy.
I like happy roosters. And considering I don’t even really like roosters in the first place, that is sayin’ something. Unfortunately that happiness came to a halt when I noticed a few roosters circling what looked to be a laying down rooster in the middle of the driveway near their chicken coop door. I would venture a guess that rooster wasn’t as happy as I thought. Holy cats … not what this “so-called-farm girl” wanted to see but from the safety of my kitchen window it was obvious that we were suddenly down another rooster. I wasn’t shocked though, I have been around long enough to know that roosters don’t play nice and that whole pecking order in the world of feathered friends is no joke. I was just happy to not see it happen … fighting roosters are no fun. But what should I do with a dead rooster in the middle of the driveway? The thought crossed my mind to play innocent and when Farmer Neal arrived home hours after dark to say “dead rooster?, really? … right in plain sight? and where I walk past to shut their door?”. Certain that wouldn’t be convincing and I had to come up with a plan.
What I did was ignore it and went back to my book. I wasn’t kidding when I said I wasn’t a real farm girl. However, with each turning of the page I just knew that I couldn’t leave him there and I had to do something with him. Since making soup was not an option I concluded that I should at least get him out of the driveway. Of course getting him out of the driveway would mean getting close enough to do that and worse yet, actually doing it!
I can’t say what motivated me but it was like it wasn’t even really me … I just marched outside, walked towards the machine shed saying aloud, “not sure what I should actually do here? … ” when I spotted the wheelbarrow and a pitchfork. Wheeling the wheelbarrow across the yard I wondered if I would be able to do it, to actually scoop him up. Knowing that it needed to be done and actually mustering up the courage to do it were two very different things. But guess what? I did it. Can you believe it?, I just did it. Well ok, I yelled at the other roosters, freaked out a tiny bit at the sight of him, went back to the garage to grab a shovel thinking that would help (which it didn’t) but I just closed my eyes, scooped him up and got him safely in that rusty old wheelbarrow. Mission accomplished. I even wheeled him back to the machine shed with my head held high (mostly to avoid the reality that I was wheeling a dead rooster) and left him there for Farmer Neal.
Not the most exciting story I have to admit, but a little dose of reality to my normal “never leave the house and let someone else deal with the chickens” attitude. So I tell the story not because it was funny or exciting but just because I want to remember how I did it, how I just simply handled it. Maybe I will never be a real farm girl but today even I have to admit that I might just be a little closer than I was.