In case you haven’t followed me along my long and winding road, I live in a hollow on a round loop road. I’m a little less than half an acre and there are neighbors with the same. Six total. In the two weeks I’ve been here I finally saw a real live person. He’s the one down the road whose roosters wake me up every morning.
I’m sure you know the plan is to get chickens and hopefully a cow. I’ve been reading online about chicken care. Some folks have heated chicken coops for the winter. One person had a “poop hammock” and raised ceramic dishes for her chickens. My thought is that none of that stuff was available or even considered back in the 1800s. Chickens had a coop made out of boards, some hay to lay their eggs, water and scratch for feed. I figured my neighbor might be a good one to talk to about this.
Dave is his name and he breeds roosters. Before I go any further, and I’ll get pictures soon, I have to say these roosters were thick, shiny, loud (and I learned that if a rooster is loud and clear, it means his craw is healthy), and primping about. In other words, they were healthy. I held one and he was meaty, feathers were soft and full, even though this is their shedding season. Dave is also part of the Gaming Commission because he breeds, so he gets inspected.
Now, on to the coops. They are made from pallets, with some wire around them and tin roofing lay on the top. Their water is in plastic coffee containers and their ‘scratch’ is on the ground. He shovels the coops out once a week and worms the roosters once a month. He puts plastic over the coops in the winter. Simple and natural.
We talked about cows and how he would feel if I got one - would he mind it pasturing in his yard? I told him I’d pick up the manure because I’d want it for my garden. He said he wouldn’t mind but that I could also stake the cow, as long as I fed and watered him, he'd be healthy, no problem. Again, way back when, not everyone had a pasture, so many staked their cows. Maybe, I can sacrifice some of the back land for a small barn.
All in all, it was an intelligent and educational conversation. Even if he did look like Billy Ray Cyrus.