Sunday, April 1, 2012

Good Foragers

We've been so pleased with the Light Sussex and Black Australorp chickens we got last spring. I don't remember any breeds we've ever had that were such good foragers.

It doesn't seem to matter how cold it is out, as long as they don't have snow to complain about, they're out there looking for good things to eat all day long.

I took these pictures yesterday when the temperature never hit 40 all day. And, yes, there are a couple of our older gals in that grouping, too. Also our little banty rooster on the right.

The zoom lens on the camera was needed to get a shot of almost the whole flock way the heck over on the other side of the pond checking things out. They roam as far and wide as they can within their good-sized fenced in pasture.

I think I'll have a very colorful picture to post of Papa's leg in a day or two. When he was out doing morning chores today, Father Goose grabbed him on the calf, went right through the heavy work pants he had on (Papa Pea, not Father Goose) and broke the skin. I predict a very large, colorful bruise marking the spot. Ouch. Hurts to think of what that must have felt like.

17 comments:

Karen L. said...

Gee, Can't wait to see the color purple!!! Was it something PP said? Hope the attackee is OK but the next question is: "Where is the attacker"? Is he still with his flock or is he stewing on the stove? (PS: That pound cake was not a chocolate cake but had chunks of chocolate in it. Think I missed typed that but either way it was yummy.)

dr momi said...

Hhmmmm....I think Father Goose might have a bruise if he did that to me! :) Are the chickens always happy staying in the fence? No trying to fly over? Are the Light Sussex's a duel purpose breed?
My chickens are not happy with me today. They had to stay penned because we just "green manured" a section of garden and don't have a "no trespassing" fence up yet :-) They'll live.

Dirt Lover said...

We had some Black Australorps and I just loved them. What sort of fencing do you have for your feathered friends?? Do you have any trouble with predators bothering them? As for the goose run-in that Papa Pea had, I'm wondering how long before you have stewed goose for dinner. I remember a rooster my grandfather had when I was little. It liked to fly into the back of our knees and make us little kids fall down. Then he did it to Grandpa, and they had chicken for dinner that night!
~~Lori

Sue said...

You need to put a couple of comfy chairs next to that pond. I'll bring the coffee.......

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - Father Goose is still alive and well. He was just doing what comes naturally to him as far as protecting his woman and her egg(s). And we need to keep him around to do his duty. I.e., fertilize the eggs so we get lots of goslings this spring!

dr momi - We don't have any trouble at all with the chickens flying over the three foot high fence. I think it's because they have such a large space inside it. But occasionally the geese do decide to take flight . . . then they can't figure out how to get back over the fence and into their yard. Dumb clucks. Or in the case of the geese, I should say dumb honkers.

Yup, the Light Sussex are a duel purpose breed.

Bad dr momi making the chickens stay cooped up all day. ;o) They may short you on eggs!

Lori - The fencing on the poultry pasture is just 3' high electric fence. They're all always locked up in their respective "houses" at night when most of the predators are around. In the daytime they dive for the thick woods for cover in the pasture. We've never seen a coyote or wolf or fox or such get over the fence into the pasture. But we do lose one or two chickens each year from hawk or owl attack. That's why the darker colored birds are probably better for us since the light colored ones (like the Light Sussex) show up more for predators in the air.

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - Father Goose is still alive and well. He was just doing what comes naturally to him as far as protecting his woman and her egg(s). And we need to keep him around to do his duty. I.e., fertilize the eggs so we get lots of goslings this spring!

dr momi - We don't have any trouble at all with the chickens flying over the three foot high fence. I think it's because they have such a large space inside it. But occasionally the geese do decide to take flight . . . then they can't figure out how to get back over the fence and into their yard. Dumb clucks. Or in the case of the geese, I should say dumb honkers.

Yup, the Light Sussex are a duel purpose breed.

Bad dr momi making the chickens stay cooped up all day. ;o) They may short you on eggs!

Lori - The fencing on the poultry pasture is just 3' high electric fence. They're all always locked up in their respective "houses" at night when most of the predators are around. In the daytime they dive for the thick woods for cover in the pasture. We've never seen a coyote or wolf or fox or such get over the fence into the pasture. But we do lose one or two chickens each year from hawk or owl attack. That's why the darker colored birds are probably better for us since the light colored ones (like the Light Sussex) show up more for predators in the air.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Coffee AND pie? You will bring some pie, won't you? Huh, huh?

Hey, Everybody, what the heck is going on with Blogger now today? Either it won't accept any of my comments or it prints them twice. Geesh. Kinda frustrating. :o\

Sparkless said...

Those chickens will help keep the bugs down too. Chickens are so much fun.
Poor Papa Pea. I hope his goose injury doesn't hurt too much.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Have you ever seen a chicken trying to catch a grasshopper? Makes you laugh out loud every time! Just checked Papa Pea's injury and the broken skin is looking good . . . no colorful bruise yet. And he says it really doesn't hurt at all now. (But he's tough and has a very high pain threshold!!)

Carolyn Renee said...

I know that goose was doing his job, but I would have kicked him across the field anyhow. Ouch!

We have several black australorps and their offspring and I really like them. Our injured rooster is from an australorp hen.

Erin said...

Oh no, not a goose LOL... I have always been afraid of getting nabbed by one of those someday :)

Qwaynt said...

i do believe if it was my papa goose it would be in my freezer with the hour .

judy said...

poor papa pea,bet he gets the feeling he's on a "wild goose chase "some days,but" whats good for the goose is good for the gander" people might say ,not meaning I want you to get bit too,you will need a " quake " out there to attend you 2" sitting ducks".just go out there and tell that bird is goose is " cooked"and at least papa pea didn't get" all right ,I'll stop goosed"good morning to ya

Susan said...

Oh, boy, that must have hurt! I am afraid of geese, I am embarassed to say - a traumatic event in childhood and all that. Austerlorps have the biggest dark eyes! I have one old gal that I love. Mine will be let out in the front gardens this coming weekend if a) the weather cooperate and, b) I am home to monitor them.

Mama Pea said...

CR - Well, Papa Pea did not kick Father Goose across the field but I think that's why he hit him on the head with the plastic bucket he was carrying! Kind of a knee jerk reaction!

Erin - I just keep thinking of how traumatic a bite like that would be for a little kid.

Qwaynt - I know. My hubby has a lot more tolerance for an animal just "doing what comes naturally" than I do! That's why I refuse to go near the geese until breeding season is over!

judy - Ha! When you think about it, the goose could have grabbed him in a worse place!!

Susan - What??! You're planning on staying home for a whole weekend??

Leigh said...

Poor Papa Pea! I have to say that it looks like you have an excellent place for chicken foraging.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Papa Pea thanks you for your sympathy!

Yes, the poultry pasture is big enough that we actually have to go in and mow it every now and then because the grass gets too high for the geese and chickens. I love that they have so much space to "free-range" in and yet we don't have to dodge their poop up close to the house and other buildings!