Its sunny here in Northwest Georgia, but there is still a chill in the air. Will you folks up north please turn down the wind machine up there?
The emus have decided their bed is going to be by the stairs off of the screen porch, behind the row of pens. Which is fine. I would rather have them up close to the house anyway. Now I just have to figure out how to make them some sort of shelter back there without disrupting the area too much. I don't want to run them off. They have been laying there until the grass is gone and all that remains is dirt, which is mud when it rains, and so that won't do. I laid down half a bale of hay in their spot the other evening. They really appreciated it. Ian said they seemed much more relaxed and happy. I watched them bed down last night and they did seem comfortable. It won't be long and they will have that mashed down and I will be adding the other half of that bale. I am going to try to construct something for them before we have rain again. I should have time over the weekend. I was going to build them a shelter out by the fence, but I bet if I did, they would still be laying down for the night right where they are now. Thats how animals are, I have learned that.
I have to many boys. It is a fact. Too many boys means stressed out hens and picked on docile roosters I keep. Goatman has retreated to the pen almost all of the time because the other white crested polish boys have decided to become a part of the pretties flock. They pick on him, so rather than be picked on he isolates himself. I can't blame him. Yesterday something happened, and although it shouldnt surprise me when things like this happen, it still does indeed surprise me. Before I get too far off track I want to say I will be remedying that problem on Saturday morning. Tractor Supply Company is having a deal in their parking lot where you can bring your chickens, goats, horses, tack, whatever..to sell. I am taking at least three of the six white crested polish roos. Goatman stays, and maybe Mullet. There is one other that is docile. He looks terrible but doesnt seem to be aggressive, so he can stay. I am also going to take that big huge yellow chicken that was a freebie when I bought the chicks. It has turned out to be a HE, and HE is of no use to me and is already terrorizing my layers..so he has to go. I don't like to get rid of anyone, but sometimes you just have to for the flocks overall happiness. I do hope they will sell and go to good homes. At least with the Polish I know even if there are Mexicans there looking to buy dinner they won't bother with them as they are not meaty chickens at all. The yellow rooster however...might not be so lucky. I reserve the option to sell to who I want. I intend on putting signs up on their cages as to what breed they are, how old they are, and what temperament, and put NOT FOR FOOD on there too. Hey, they are my chickens, and if they don't like it, they don't have to buy them. I CAN pen them if worst comes to worst and I need to isolate them from the flock to keep the peace.
Back to my surprise I got. Let me see if I can paint an image. The waterer was empty so I had the hose over the fence and was sitting in one of those metal fold out chairs. I keep those here and there out in the yard because often I will find myself stopping and just sitting, being, with my animals. I would sit on the ground but the fire ants would get me. Goatman was in the pen on the roost watching. I knew he probably hadnt had enough food or water so I put some food on the ground in the pen and shut the pen to curious onlookers. He got down and was able to eat in peace despite the dirty looks he was recieving from outside the pen from gawkers wanting some of what he had. While he ate I scrubbed out the waterer and filled it. Closing it up and turning it right side up everyone was eager and ready to take a drink of fresh water. Goatman was still eating. When most everyone had had a good drink and was wandering off I opened the pen door and Goatman came out right away ready for a drink. I was sitting directly in front of the feeder with just a foot between me and the waterer. He came right in that spot in between my legs to drink. Now that was not what was so surprising. Anytime one of those white crested polish boys tried to get near him he got nervous, I could tell. So I began pointed a finger out at the ones getting too close and making them go on. He relaxed a bit knowing I would keep them away and kept drinking. At some point one scared him anyway, getting too close and he turned and hopped up onto my leg! I have not handled these birds a lot, just sat and spent time with them. He seemed perfectly comfortable to hop up onto the safety of my leg. I talked to him and comforted him by picking him up and holding him against me. His legs and feet were cold so I cradled them in my hands to warm him up. He didnt seem to mind a bit, and I think he liked it, no I know he liked it. He has made his way into my heart just as easy as that. Don't ever let anyone tell you that a chicken is dumb or doesn't have feelings. They know who will protect them. They are sometimes content, sometimes afraid. Some are as loyal as a dog. Some are standoffish as a cat..but let me tell you, they are far from not having any feelings. I was blessed with the ability to see this in all animals. Something that not everyone can see. I guess they know that too judging from Goatmans behavior.
Goatman will go back to being top white crested polish after Saturday, and I know he will be happy about that.