Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Rooster Tale

No that isn't a typo...its a tale of our two roosters that finally has been resolved. When we got our day old chicks last spring one of them was mis-sexed and we ended up with two Brown Leghorn roosters. They both had uniquely different personalities but were both cocky and we named them Carmine and Sal. Carmine is the smaller of the two and has a deformed foot (on one foot the toes are crooked) and until a couple weeks ago they mostly got along okay. But, Sal started picking on Carmine and it culminated in Carmine getting his foot caught in some of the cage wire and being attacked by both Sal and a bunch of the hens. We were out in the garden when we heard this pitiful scream and lots of commotion by the coop and poor Carmine was down and getting pecked to death. I freed him and he went up on the nesting boxes to stay away and we decided to see how it went.

Later on that afternoon I looked in the coop and there was blood all over and poor Carmine was wedged between the coop wall and the nesting boxes and all we could see was his tail feathers and one leg...he wasn't moving. Feeling bad for letting him down I reached over and pulled him out and much to our surprise he was bloody but alive and scared to death so we made a temp cage in the garage and nursed him back to health...two long weeks of him crowing and making a whining sound in our garage. You may or may not be surprised at how hard it is to give away a rooster. We put up ads at the feed store, the gas station and put the word out along with posted it prominently on our road side produce stand sign. Long story short, finally a young couple came and took Sal off our hands and now Carmine is all healed up and back in the coop with his lady friends and happy as a clam. We couldn't get rid of poor Carmine because he was just so pitiful and having a clubbed foot we just kind of feel protective over him.

So we have also been busy cutting wood, picking apples, and we have been going back and forth to Ft Leonard Wood dealing with the VA and my medical issues. We don't go to the base much but it was kind of fun dinking around and we shopped at the PX and Commissary and looked around a bit. Its a nice base but I just don't miss that at all, don't get me wrong I am glad its there with all its amenities if we choose to use it but we just don't have much desire to.

Cutting wood can be dangerous but we take precautions and use all safety gear recommended. A couple of times we had trees that lodged against other trees and we had to use the come-a-long and a heavy chain to pull them into where we could cut them up for loading. We didn't take the tractor to this location but it would have helped.

I cut and position the logs and Holly and Judy load the truck and the trailer. My back started acting up at one point and I was totally laid up which is a bummer but we try to just cut and haul a half cord at a time. I just have to learn to go slower..
We load the truck with the smaller pieces and then load the larger pieces we need to split on the trailer. We have found that lots of farmers around here clear trees or want their trees cleared for them and wood is relatively easy to come by. What many of the farmers tell us is that they offer wood to people and they want it already cur and split and are too lazy to haul it off. Not a problem for us.

I have used a Stihl MS 310 chainsaw since we moved to the farm and I am really impressed. I have gone through 5 chains (sharpened until they have nothing left to sharpen), flip the bar every other chain change and I put Stabil in the gas and blow out the air filter and the thing starts on the second or third pull every time. Keep in mind we are cutting red and white oak, hickory, and black walnut and this stuff is really hard wood that gives out great BTUs for its weight.
Once we get home we all unload and I split the logs and the gals stack it. As you can see we have a good start on the winters heating fuel and are about 1/3rd done which is really early for this time of year. We still have a lot of wood waiting to be split that isn't in this picture.

We have used this 22 tonne log splitter for three years now and its been flawless. You really get an appreciation for the old guys who used to split this stuff using a maul. Oak, hickory and walnut is so hard its a real bear to split.
This has been one of the worst fire seasons in our fire districts history and its just a handful of us who respond to most of the calls. I am on the far left and am very happy to be part of this fire department as a fire fighter and first responder. After so many years in the military this has given me a feeling of belonging and may not make sense but it just is.

So look at the egg on the left...its huge and is so much bigger than the other eggs we have been collecting. When we cracked it it was a double yolk and I can only admire the chicken that laid it...ouch!
And this is pure indulgence. We used the Dodge while we were fixing part of the back pasture fence and I had to get some pictures.

If you have ever had a black car or truck you know that every little blemish shows up and even though some people say it looks good, I am not satisfied and this will get a repaint and a lot of body work completed. I am concentrating on the mechanicals for now but soon we will begin the body work and I have to decide if black is really what I want to repaint it with.
I am thinking headers with Flow Masters some Torque Thrust chrome wheels and new tires, maybe drop down from 17 to 16" etc.
Well that's the update for now. We have harvested apples and will be canning them tomorrow and the fall garden has been planted. Next project...the pole barn shop.


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