Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stumpy Leg Chickens...

We finished picking the corn last week, except for a few rows that I left "unpicked". These I figured to chop down and feed to the goats a couple times a week with the ears attached. They enjoy burrowing through the stalks to find the "goodies", and I enjoy watching.

I even had Buckingham, the Boer Billy, come up and "stand" on me with one front foot, and carefully "paw" at me with the other. He KNEW what I had in the pickup, and wanted to make sure he got an ear.

I reached back into the truck and got him a nice one. He took his treat, and stepped back away to eat it. Sometimes they think they're dogs...

I WAS using a corn knife to chop the corn down for awhile. This was not fun, hard on the back, knees and hips, and took quite a while to get enough for 21 goats to rummage through.

Since I brought my Ford 4000 tractor home - and fixed the sickle mower - I have been using it to "mow" the corn down. Then, it only takes a few minutes to pick up the stalks with a pitch fork. MUCH better.


The only problem I have is those pesky vultures. They see me get in the pickup and head for the corn patch - and come running. They have actually stood ON the back of the sickle bar while it was running! I've also had them strolling right along AHEAD of the bar as I cut the corn.



I've "touched" a couple of them with the bar or a guard on occasion....

When this happens, they squawk loudly, jump about 6' into the air and come crashing down to earth grumbling about it.

One of these days (although I'm almost out of corn to cut...), one of them isn't gonna be so lucky. At that point, we'll have "Stumpy Leg Chicken" for supper.

As soon as the stalks are on the ground, then the vultures lay into any ears they find. I try to get it all picked up before it's devoured - I want the goats to have a LITTLE fun. They don't like it when I chase them away with the pitch fork.....

They don't go far, though, I can see them hiding in the standing corn. I can also hear their "fowl" language as they cuss me out for interrupting their feast.



THEN, after I get it all picked up, they grumble about me STEALING it all!

They DO get their exercise, though. As soon as I get it in the truck, I head to the goats - with the vultures in hot pursuit.

I have to be careful with the pitch fork while unloading - several "early birds" jump into the truck to get a head start on rummaging...

As soon as it hits the ground, they dive right in with the goats to rummage for ears. The ones who can't get through the fence (and forget they CAN fly...), get upset if I don't toss a few ears their direction. They also get mad when I'm done and they realize they are on the wrong side of the fence....

Occasionally, I hear a "SQUAWK" or cackle when one gets head butted, or stepped on, by a goat. The birds are good at getting to a tossed ear first, grabbing a couple kernels, then the goat gets there to chase them off.

The goats know that those thieving little "feather rats", will eat all their food if they don't keep them in check.....

The good thing is, we don't NEED to bother with the "Stumpy Leg" part - they make excellent supper with full length legs.....

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