Wednesday, June 18, 2008


He's not the first Lester, but rather Lester Jr. The name seems to stick to all our roosters as the phrase "Lester the Molester" just seems so apt. When it comes to his hens, Lester is not at all concerned about their romantic desires. He's all business, the boss, and in return, he will point out the choicest morsels of food and fight off any intruders to death if necessary (which is what happened to Lester Sr., killed by a dog through the fence).

I'm always amused to hear about people that are about to have "the talk" with their thirteen year old kids. At our place, the talk starts about age two or three when the child laughs, "Look, Mommy, Lester's riding on the back of that chicken!" And, I say no, Lester is fertilizing her eggs. At that age, you usually get an "oh" and that's the end of it. Of course as they get older, the questions require a more detailed explanation.

Having farm animals teaches so much, science, bringing life into the world, death, how to handle emergencies, how to love. We've lost something in our culture by being disconnected from our food sources. For example, I've many times been asked if we must keep a rooster in order to have eggs. I then explain to the adult that no, hens have eggs daily just as humans do monthly, male or no. I am happy to field such questions, such as do we eat the fertilized eggs (we do) because I'm happy to share what we have.

I hear Lester now, crowing his head off, waiting for me to release them from the coop. He starts this time of year at about 4 a.m. Two of the five ugly black chickens (an unlikely mix of one quarter Arucauna, one quarter Cochin and one half black Silkie) are roosters. They will easily be re-homed through Freecycle, though I try not to think about their fate once they leave here. I try to find them homes at horse farms, where they are prized at eating bugs. The yellow chicks (I still don't know what breed) are as yet unsexed.

Farm Notes
On NPR, I heard a story about a farm that uses horses for pet therapy, something I have wanted to do with our minis. To my delight, it is about 20 minutes from my house. How fortuitous!

I got a load of hay yesterday. We made it through the winter with what we had bought, though perhaps had Bay lived (the boy liked his hay) we might not have. When I called to buy more, it wasn't yet ready or "cured". It looks to be a good year for hay so far.

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