Thursday, July 26, 2012

My how they've grown...

This morning I made a couple of decisions. One is that the peafowl need to go. They didn't sit on the eggs they laid, and they're just a little too flighty, regardless of how calmly I enter the pen. Since I'm not getting small peafowl out of them, it doesn't make sense to feed them. Mr. P has just about finished shedding his tail, so I've got that to remember them by.

If I can find a new home for them, I can move the turkeys into their pen, and figure out a way to open it to the other side without too much hassle. I now have 20 turkeys, and I'm debating about keeping some. Yes, I would have to feed them over the winter, but if I only keep a trio (1 tom, 2 hens) or a quad (1:3), it wouldn't be much. I may decide when Thanksgiving is closer that they're just going to be too much trouble and they all go, but I'm kicking it around (again...).

This morning, I went over to give Tang a haircut before our lesson, and picked up feed room leavings, helpfully put in feed sacks that I provide for that purpose. I spread most of it in the peafowl pen (they were climbing the walls, literally), as it was getting a little stinky, but saved one flake of hay for the rest. They had a grand time picking through it looking for the barley heads.

Since two of the Buffs are chronic escapees, I spread scratch to keep the others occupied while I opened the fence - they think this is just awesome. Because I have "mean girls" (the cochin hens), I have to spread a long line of scratch to give everyone plenty of room - with 45 birds vying for the goodies, it's a trick.

If I keep some turkeys, this would be the tom I'm thinking about. He's the biggest bird out there, and very precocious (although a couple of the younger chocolate toms have started displaying too). The only thing that concerns me is that he's very forward... I don't need an attack turkey!

 Both young roos have been trying out their voices. The Cuckoo Maran roo almost has it down, and it sounds like a real crow with his voice breaking like a teenager. Since they originated in France, his name may be Jean Jacques.
The Cochin roo, on the other hand, sort of groans. It's one long tone with a higher inflection in the middle - very funny! Here, he's shown staking out his portion of the scratch by lying down in it.
He's actually quite a nicely conformed Cochin. Very rumpy (their tails aren't supposed to stick up), and nice feathering on his shanks. As they originated in Asia, he may be Mr. Wong.

The other decision has to do with Tang. No, I'm not selling her. I've been working on dressage with her to help supple her up, and get her more responsive. I'll keep doing that for the training benefits, but I think we will both be happier as trail riding partners. This not to say that I won't ask her for leg yields on the trail, or turns on the forehand or haunches... Her salon morning included clipping her bridle path (unconcerned so long as there were cookies in the pan) and banging her tail. I was lying on the barn floor trying to get it level!! I told her, from that lowly position that she'd better not move because I couldn't get out of her way. She did move, but the other way, so I was safe!! I didn't take pictures because she was hot to get back to her breakfast... And really, you can't see the difference except close up.

Next project? Raised beds. I have all the lumber, and some is cut. Tomorrow am, I'll get them cut up and begin assembly.


Michelle said...

What a good girl, Tang!

Theresa said...

Trail rides sound JUST perfect and you would be surprised how much you can accomplish on them, after all dressage was developed for more than just going around the ring, there were practical and tactical purposes to the dance. Think of it as trail dancing. ;)