Saturday, September 11, 2010

From Rebecca's Kitchen Window

I have a few questions that I was thinking about as I sat on the Kabuta today. First of all, why do sheep wiggle their tails like crazy while they nurse??
Second question, How do sheep know that someone forgot to turn the electric fence back on and you get home and they are all out? Can they hear a clicking sound and know it's on? Or do they just charge the fence and hope not to get hurt to bad? Or do they just go up and get shocked each day to see if it's on or not??
My final question today is how did our pigs survive 2 months out on there own?
I am not sure if I had mentioned back in July, Gary put some hogs out in our electric fenced in pasture. The next day he went out to check on them and 2 of them had escaped! I am not sure how pleasant that was for them, going through 3 lines of electric fence, but they did. We searched for weeks for them and could never find them. Then the last 3 weeks we started hearing about different neighbors seeing them, here and there. Would those be considered Hog Sitings? Our neighbor started seeing one of our pigs every morning out by her shed. She decided that she would coax the pig into their shed with some water and it worked! Yah, we have one of our pigs back. Thanks neighbor:) Then on Sunday we had the state trooper who knows us came over and said that he had seen a pig a mile north of us and wondered if it was ours. So Ethan and Jacob went over to get it and the pig was gone. They went back the next morning and sure enough there the pig was back by the road again. Jacob and Ethan had brought gates to round him up and they managed to catch him. After two months of their sabbatical from the farm, they are were now safe back at the farm and being watched over closely!
I also question, why do we have chickens? They never stay where they belong. (and I mean never!)
I have also made this observation, that animals are just as nosey as people are! Here we are out working around the turkeys and what do they do they follow you all around their pen. Trying to catch up with you to see what's going on. While one of the Tom turkeys is all fluffed all their feathers up and gobbling at us, if you get the chance to see them do it it's pretty cool actually. They fluff all up and then their waddle comes down (that's the red long skin that comes down from their beak. Also if you say something to them they all gobble back at you all together?
Another reason I believe that animals are nosey are from watching our cattle. Gary went out into the field today to check on this one cow. As he was walking back to check her, all the other cattle were following right behind him and I am talking around 70 beef cattle following Gary like they were playing follow the leader! Except they don't know how to stay in a straight line! Looked pretty funny!
Gary and I were just about done with chores on Friday night and we were starting to walk up to the house and what do I see CHICKENS, I see lots of chickens! Why now? It's 7 p.m. and I am ready to spend the evening with Gary. Off we go to herd the chickens back where they belong. Have you ever herd chickens before?? Well, I have and they are not very bright, they don't stick together at all. You get 3 going one way and the other 3 decide they are going to zip around you and take off the other direction! May I add that they do have wings too! Finally, we got around 30 chickens back to there home! Here the fencing had fallen down in this one spot and they found freedom, well for a little while they did!
Saturday, Gary and I had a egg delivery and had several errands to run. We pull in our drive way and what do I see Sheep out! We couldn't put them away right then, because we had a family come from Columbus Ohio to get some of our meats and eggs. :)
Gary and I then proceeded to finish our chores. By now it was going on 6 p.m. First thing to do, get the sheep put back in there pen. Sheep are so different from herding chickens, because they really follow the leader and where one goes they all go, which I don't know if that is better or not, It's only good if they are all going where you actually want them to be! Okay, sheep you better stay there!
Next we filled up the water tank and took water to turkeys and chickens, everyone else had enough water for the evening. We also move the chicken hoop building that they live in. I back the kabota up to get it hitched up to the chain that is attached to the building. I pull it to a nice fresh grassy area. While Gary's inside the hoop building encouraging them to all move forward as I pull it ahead. They are learning that they need to walk ahead as we pull it forward. Done. Now it's over to the baby chicks in there building. This one is smaller and so Gary just rolls this one ahead and I make sure they move ahead as it gets to its new grassy area. This one is to small to go inside so I just tape the back of it so they keep moving. Done with that too. Gary and I then drive down the road to our pasture to check on the cattle.
Next, we go to the other pasture and make sure the new little calf's are doing okay and check on the pigs. Then put some hay on the kabuta and go to each of our rams who have separate pens and give them water and hay. Gary gets some feed started and then we are done!
Get in the house and by now it's 7:30. Ethan comes in the kitchen and said the sheep are out again!!! Back out the door Gary and I go again. This time we put 3 electric lines across their pasture that should hold them and so far it has! Is this beginning to be a pattern of my weekend nights? I hope not!
My final thought is what is really the difference between a ranch wife and a farm wife? It seems as if we are both herding animals a good majority of the time. Yee Hay