Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Planting season is in full swing around the area. Lots of people are done with corn and waiting to start on soybeans.

Every year, my neighbor has his son come down and plant some "Test Plots" for a company he (the son) works for. There is always leftover seed corn, so he lets me plant it in my field.

This morning was the day to plant his plots, so it was also the day for me to plant mine. I don't have much ground broken (yet), so it doesn't take much seed, but every little bit helps.

I bought a two row John Deere planter (Lister) a few years back (for $7...) and have been using it for corn and milo. This last fall, we plowed the field for the first time to let it fallow over winter. This morning, my neighbor came over and disced it up nice and smooth.

It didn't take me long after that to plant the seeds!

I DID make sure to close the door to the chicken house before I started, though. I managed to catch about 2/3 of the herd in the coop. Last year, they followed me to the field and ate the seeds as fast as I put them down. While not recommended, the treated seeds didn't seem to affect the chickens.

After last year, I wanted to make sure that this year they wouldn't have the opportunity to do it again. Had I known in advance, I would have just not let them out this morning. As it was, I only had a "problem" with one bird.

The Pincushion decided to make the trek over to where I was working when he saw me. Things timed just perfectly so that he was about 15 feet from the edge of the field as I was coming to the end of a row. I pulled the planter out of the ground, dropped the front end loader down almost to the ground, and set a course for Mr Chicken.

He THOUGHT about standing his ground - for a couple seconds - until his nerves cracked. He decided cowardice was the better part of valor......

I followed him for about 40'-50', all the while he was looking over his shoulder at the monster coming after him. One time, I actually touched his tail feathers. This elicited a squawk and a wing-flapping leap, then back to worriedly glancing back and forth over his shoulder.

I finally veered off, but he decided he'd had enough, so he kept going toward the coop. About 30 minutes later he had worked his way back to within about 60' of the field. He stood there, watching until I got to the end of the row, then he high-tailed it to safety. After I finished, nobody wandered over to check things out.

Tonight and tomorrow it is supposed to rain, so I might get lucky this year and they won't find it for awhile.

If they'd pull weeds while they were there, it wouldn't be so bad....

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