Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Wednesdays with Tex

Tex is fabulous.

Remember when fly masks were the devil incarnate?  Now, he comes to me for his fly mask, stands quietly, and lets me fiddle with his ears while slipping it on.

I'm not careful, I put it on in the same matter-of-fact way I do with all the other horses.  The other morning, he leaned into it, turning his head and dropping it so I could more easily slip in his ear.

We aren't doing much that is "constructive" in a traditional training sense, but we continue to build our bond.

He will leave his hay and Flash to hang out with me.

He walks with me at liberty in his pasture, sometimes for a decent distance, and I'm able to pull him close with my energy when he drifts.

He has days where he is less brave and days where he is more, but I can always approach him and he always comes right back to me.  On his brave days, I walk around him, drape my arm across his back, hug his neck and rub him all over.  He cocks his hind foot, turns his head, and looks at me with a soft, amused expression.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Trying to Crow

Our new flock of chickens is (knock on wood) doing well.  The 12 chicks that survived the skunk attack are thriving.  Nothing gets into the chicken area anymore except an occasional ground squirrel, tunneling in from a distant location.
Two white Delawares and a Buff Orpington

We ended up with one rooster in the bunch; one of the two surviving Cuckoo Marans.

This week, he started to crow.  Well, started trying to crow.  A mature rooster lets loose with a loud, robust cock-a-doodle-do.  This little guy tries really hard.  But all he manages to eek out is a pretty weak cock-a-a.... and then he rests before trying again.

It's cute.  And I'm trying hard to like him.  We will let him stay as long as he isn't aggressive.  Any aggressive actions toward us, and he will be history.

Unfortunately, he bears a strong resemblance to Calvin, who was a mean barred rock rooster.  Since Marans are a French breed, I've named him Jean-Coque.  I'm hoping that giving him a name will help me like him.

In the meantime, his attempts to crow add an element of amusement to our morning chores.
Two surviving hens from our original flock in front: Amelia, a lagenvelter and an Auracana