Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The October Animal Update

I don't know what else to call this because it's been weeks since my last visit to my blog.

It looks and feels like autumn is on the down slide toward winter now. We just experienced a few beautiful last days of 70ish temperatures and sunshine, The trees this year were gorgeous, the maples colored up magnificently, probably all that rain this year. So there was one good thing about the rain though it made my vegetable garden rot. (I never did get to harvest any zucchini!) But today it's cloudy off and on rainy and barely 56f. The leaves are dropping rapidly, those same maples are probably 90% bare now. The red oaks are turning color, too as are the poplars.

The chickens and guineas and ducks don't mind the weather. The watch the door like hawks, however, waiting to pounce on me whenever I try to go outside.
Sometimes, I don't quite succeed.

The guineas especially like to perch on my deck stairs and railings.

The chickens mostly hang out in the grass unless they see the guineas pouncing on me for food. At least 3 of my guineas outside, and one in the garage are making the "buck-wheat" sound indicating they are female. That's 4 out of 50. Hopefully, more will be broadcasting their status before it's time to thin out the herd (I know it's flock, but I like herd better).

Last week Hal and I butchered and froze 5 of the remaining rouen ducks. He tried to pluck 2 of them with his nifty drill-plucker that he made but the pin feathers

were so bad that he skinned the other 3. We hope it works much better on chickens and guineas. Others who have made one claim it does, at least on chickens. There are 2 rouens left that are a few weeks younger and not ready for eating. One of them keeps escaping and wandering around with the muscovies. We have to keep putting her back in the pen because she can't figure out how to get in the same way she got out.

Speaking of Hal, he got a big doe yesterday with his bow. He's only been hunting a few days, the season opened October 1, because he's been working on plowing and disking fields for planting grain. He wants to plant more winter wheat today if the rain slows long enough and the ground isn't too wet (his previous food plot of rape failed). He didn't get home till just after 9 pm after he cleaned it and hung it in his barn. He'll bring it home today and my neighbor's son-in-law will be coming to get it. Hal has been getting into this "Deer Quality Management" these past 5 or 6 years by taking only does and giving them to neighbors who aren't as well off or don't have hunting opportunities. Apparently, the DQM is working because his trail camera has taken photos of 2 nice bucks, 8 points or larger. He's never seen anything other than spike bucks or poorly sized 4 pointers there before. We've owned this land for more than 10 years so he's very pleased.

Rocket and Luna are being their usual doggie selves, wanting to eat, walk, visit next door to get more goodies, etc. Luna is becoming much better at catching Frisbees, or else I am getting much better at throwing them. (Rocket never liked Frisbee, he would duck and then pick it up and bring it to me.) Neither of them understand that they also need to bring it to me, not drop it on the ground 5 feet away. I suppose I could train Luna better but retrieving isn't all that necessary for our enjoyment of life.

Looks like the rain has started up again. I probably ought to do something "useful" like clean the kitchen. Or play with Luna as she has just come upstairs to see what I am up to.

No comments: