Monday, February 7, 2011

Green Acres Weekend Update

I'm highjacking the Weekend Update - whatever that is - to list my various and sundry grievances with some of my companions here at Green Acres.  I'll start first with them.

They arrived here long after I came, yet they have received the kind of treatment I deserve.  A brand new house.  Breakfast in bed, pretty much.  Tucked in at night.  And just this past weekend, a brand new yard that I, apparently, am not allowed to play in.

The old yard was fine, and the best thing about it was that I could easily access its many amusements, not the least of which was giving them a little run for their money - or eggs, as the case may be.

And speaking of, he is obsessed with the eggs.  You know, the guy in the orange sweatshirt who always sent them scattering about as quickly as I could?  All of a sudden, he's bringing them treats and praising them for laying a gooey, sticky egg.  I mean, come on!  You'd think they were laying Fillet Mignon.

Anyway, back to the yard.  Like I said, it was easy to access until this weekend.  Then all of a sudden, last night he's putting up this great netting around their house.  I'm serious - I thought he'd actually bought something for me to play with besides those silly turkey feather toys he makes!  I was all rolled up in it, frolicking as anyone with half a brain would expect me to, when all of a sudden he grabs me out of the netting and mumbles something about me ruining that, too!  So I nonchalantly strolled away.  Fine, mister, you could have your netting.

Well, a little while later I realized that this netting was all a new fence for them, giving them an unfairly proportioned size of my backyard.  Fine.  Whatever.  I could probably squeeze through the holes anyway.  He even encouraged me to give it a shot.

That traitor.

I didn't even try to get in - all I did was brush a little too close and OUCH!  I couldn't help myself - I jumped from the electric shock.  Now, keeping my composure is a very important feline quality, as breaking out of character is usually unacceptable, but dang...that hurt!  But as soon as I regained it, I nonchalantly walked away, though yes, it was all a facade.

Apparently he and she both have grand plans for these chickens, and they've even talked about getting more.  Sigh.  They're going to use this portable electric fencing (that they apparently got a great craigslist deal on) to move the chickens to brand new yards every few days.  It's not fair, but I can only hope they buy something nice for me, too. 

As I always like to look at the milk bowl half full, there is a bright side.  That charger that gives predators an electric shock every time they touch the fence?  It won't be plugged in forever.  I heard them talking about getting a rechargeable battery for it to save electricity and diversify their pasturing options and bla, bla, bla.  Well, isn't that special.  Just wait until they forget to recharge the battery.  Game on, bird brains!

I really don't understand why portable electric poultry netting can't double as a fab cat toy.

She made me include this picture.  Boring!

And this one.  I'm falling asleep here, people.

That's better.  C' I look like a chicken killer?


  1. Is she messing with the chickens? If so, looks like the plans have been foiled!

    Luckily, our cats are inside, and our dog doesn't mess with the chickens (in fact, he's terrified of them, particularly our rooster who harasses him and chases him around the yard. It's funny to watch.

  2. I like your site. Thanks! Here is a true story in return.

    The cattle truck showed up an hour late but at least it did finally arrive. We grabbed a long strong rope, some feed and a four-wheel drive Ford Tractor that had a bucket loader on the front of it.. The man in the truck followed us over to the other barn which was across the road from the main barnyard.

    The bull that we were after was almost as big as the tractor but he was white with some light brown spots and the tractor was blue. Many men have been mauled and even killed while trying to remove a bull from a pasture but this bull was good natured and like all cattle, loves feed.

    Coaxing cattle with feed is an old trick and more often than not it serves the purpose perfectly. I've seen whole herds of heifers chase a quad down the road when a man sat on the back with a five gallon bucket of feed for them follow.

    But, we weren't driving cattle this time, so we tried to lasso the bull and separate him from the heifers. The man who brought the truck was following the bull around a feed trough that was out in the middle of the pasture while trying to toss the looped end of the rope over the big bulls massive head. The first attempt failed because the rope only grabbed one-half of the bulls head so we had to wait for the beast to shake it off before we could try again.

    The idea was to lasso the bull but to let the rope go once we did. Once the rope was finally around the bulls neck, the plan was to recapture the loose end of the tether and tie it to back end of the tractor while the bull was being preoccupied with the feed. It would have worked if the rope had fell just right on the first try but since it didn't the bull was spooked and wouldn't come close enough for us to try it again.

    One has to be calm and quiet around cattle because they can spook easy. Seeing that we had no chance of capturing the bull under the circumstances we decided to relocate the feed trough and get a longer rope. We moved the trough from the pasture up to the lower level of the old barn and started shaking the feed bucket again. The cattle answered the dinner call and as fortune would have it the bull went into the barn behind a heifer whereupon we closed the two in by shutting a metal gate.

    Once inside the barn, the bull was preoccupied with eating feed so we were able to lasso him correctly this time. The bull was tied close to the back end of the tractor and then led to the cattle truck which was parked down by the road. I held the tether tight while another fellow operated the tractor. I rode on the tractor by standing on a running board and secured the animal by wrapping the rope around a solid bar that was attached to the tractor.

    The bull came quietly but at one point it seemed like the bulls massive head was going to get jammed in between the back tire and the tractor's frame so we halted and readjusted the rope. The ramp up into the cattle truck was already down and the side gates had been attached so we pulled the bull up to the ramp, loosed the rope and prodded the bull up into the truck.

    Well that was one down and another to go. The second bull was back in the main barnyard. So we repeated the process again, over there. The second bull was younger but he seemed to be more dangerous which is unusual because generally it's the other way around.

    I was the youngest of our crew of four. George was the oldest at 88 years old, his brother Bob is 84 and John is about 70 years old. I am 55. Bob has breathing problems and he can't walk around to good so he operates the tractor. Bob has poor circulation also. I took my glove off and held his frozen left hand in mine for a moment so that it would warm back up. I overlooked the snot that had been wiped off onto the wrist and grabbed it anyway.

    We all know how cold noses can run in the winter time. It was zero today.