Monday, September 27, 2010

Return of the Chickens

We picked up the chickens this afternoon from the processors. And man are those some big chickens

17 of them are currently taking up about 1/4 of our freezer space.

Yes, 17...although we dropped off 18. Apparently one of them still had food in it's crop. This caused some sort of mess (I don't totally want to know the details) and the meat became "infected". They used to just wash off the birds and package them anyways (according to the lady at the plant) but new regulations state they must cut all salvageable meat from the bird and dispose of the carcass. Since this is a relatively new procedure for them, I guess all the bugs haven't been worked out yet and the entire bird was either disposed of, or it had gone missing in the very least.
They paid me out for the bird. At $15 dollars. I was tempted to ask if they wanted to pay me that for all the birds. Then I wouldn't have lost any money in this little chicken raising experiment.
Actually I did ask quite a few questions about how the bird had become "infected" I was more interested in making sure it had been a contamination problem on site. Rather than us bringing in a sick bird.
I probably sounded like an idiot re asking this question is several different ways, but I kept explaining to her "this is our first year raising chickens and we really don''t know what we're doing".
She told me it sure looked like we knew what we were doing because they were awfully big birds.
Maybe she just said it to shut me up.
but Ill take it.
It felt pretty good.

When we got home we spent another couple of hours cutting the Styrofoam insulation for the "Boys" barn. Chris got the front window sealed off too. Hence the ladder. and little jack-and-the-beanstalk, climbing into the clouds. We bought some more wood tonight, and I'm hoping we get finished with the barn makeover tomorrow. I doubt it will get paint right away (I still want it to go red, and we only have white paint kicking around) but I may get some pictures up of the whole PROCESS once I get some AFTER pictures.

I did another "experiment" today. I took Maggie into the goat pen.
She's walked up to them sniffed them and lost interest. She's actually been in their barn, which nearly caused a revolt on their part. But today I decided to bring her into the pen unleashed and see how things went.

She chased them.

But would stop when they were all together.

She actually does have the herding instinct she's suppose too!!!

I'm not totally surprised I've actually seen her try to herd Nathan (minus the nipping at the heels) whenever she feels he's gone too far in the yard.

Overall, Maggie did pretty well as far as I'm concerned.
The goats as you can see in the picture have completely different feelings about this new addition to the herd.
Not that I'll be leaving her alone with them any time soon. We're going to do quite a few more experiments in the next few weeks to make sure she understands her job would be to protect them. Not just make them run around for her own amusement.

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