September 8, 2008

Can you tell what you are looking at?

Let me give you a closer view. Can you see what that is?

That is the foot print of a rooster. I was attacked by a rooster this morning. Remember when I was blathering on about all the gifts and lessons this little project would bring? They have well begun.

I was in a hurry this morning. Joe was waiting for me to get home from the barn before he could leave for work. So naturally, all hell broke loose. When I walked into the barn I noticed the pig food (an enormous packing crate filled with day old bread - these pigs are only fed human grade food - and brother, I am plucking the mote from my eye here) was open wide and, ominously, there were no goats to be found any where. I am learning quickly. If you don't see goats loitering and milling around, you'd best suspect trouble. Yes, it was all too quiet. How naive can I be?

I closed up the bread. I gave Raspberry her grain and went to tend her water as she munched happily. I was darting around with the hose, distracted because the herd of cows was technically in the fence with me, though they were way over yonder. Yonder is good. I am scared of them, especially the bull. (Um hum, I chose to buy a cow even though I am scared of them.) My attention was diverted and the goats noticed. They flowed secretly, like water, into the barn, ripped open a 100 lb sack of chicken scratch, and were feasting in earnest. I don't know much but I do know 100 lbs of chicken feed will bloat and possibly kill four goats. What to do? The goats refused to desist. The farmer was off the farm. And I was suddenly noticing a few key gates were standing askew. I hollered GOAT GOAT. I danced around with a pan of grain. I rushed them. The goats ignored me, utterly.

Finally, I remembered what Doc* said, "Goats run toward you. Sheep run away." I mentally noted, once again, how much the internet has changed my life. And I ran out into barn yard. I began dancing and shaking my pan of grain and hollering "Goat Goat." It worked. They came to me, I dropped the pan of grain, and I managed to lock all the gates before they noticed their foolish trade.

But this dance of mine pissed off the rooster. I turned to check on the location of the bull and started toward the hose. And suddenly I was attacked from under foot by 5 pounds of feathered furry. And he kept on coming. I threw my arms up. I started kicking and shouting and rushing him. I was kicking as hard as I could and I was wearing my steel toed cowgirl boots. He kept coming at me. It is impressively difficult to connect your boot with a flying sack of barbed fluff. I don't think I ever hit him and make no mistake that I was trying as hard as I could. And he did hit me a few times. But I think I won the battle. I guess that makes me the biggest chicken.

*Thanks Doc.


doc said...

I don't have a rooster. My last one was killed about 2 years ago, and my hens are fine. No crowing, no fighting, no hens missing all the feathers on their back. No flying monsters when I open the coop door.

Goats can actually eat a surprisingly large amount of grain before they bloat - but it's a good idea to keep a bottle of mineral oil around just in case. You can drench them if you suspect they've eaten too much and it sort of passes the food through without digestion. A drench gun is good too.

Jane said...

Maybe its time for the rooster to put in an appearance at "freezer camp".

Katherine said...

Freezer camp...that is funny. Were he mine, he'd be in the stew pot right now. Humph.

rae said...

It sounds like you're having a bit of a crash course in farm life. Good for you! But do watch out for those pesky fowl. I've never had a problem with being afraid of four legged animals, but big birds scare the crap out of me.

Katherine said...

You know, I wasn't scared. I was worried about the goats. And I am afraid of the cows. But the rooster just pissed me off.

The most valid worry of all, though, is this rooster around the children. That does concern me.

Heather said...

You know, I was terrified for you while reading your story. Because I'm unreasonably afraid of chickens. (And kept a chicken when I am afraid of them.) Cows, even bulls, I have no fear of. I view cows as big and dumb, even though I know that can't be entirely true. Cute maybe, but not bright. But chickens? Feathered Bringers of Death, with sharp claws, spurs, and pointy beaks with which to stab out your eyes. Except our Spot, of course.

Glad you survived with only chicken scratches (HA! I kill me!), and outsmarted the sneaky naughty goats.

Anonymous said...

My fil used to be a building inspector. Supposedly dogs were a concern...he dealt with dogs every day... and yet the only pet injury he ever sustained was from a CHICKEN. A chicken drew blood.

I still remember that rooster chasing my terrified little brother from the chicken coop all the way to the house.

Birds can be scary. love, V

Katherine said...

I keep hearing "the rooster that actually injured me" stories. I'm thinking of offering to "buy" that rooster. Or to replace him. Which made me giggle. I could say, "bring me that rooster's head on a platter!" and feel like a fairy tale queen. Though, the "head on a platter" queens never turn out to be nice people.

But seriously, I think I'll offer to replace that rooster. It is starting to sound more and more like he should not be around children.

Annie said...

Holy hell what an ordeal! I don't know many chicken owners who keep roosters. This must be why! Glad you're okay!