Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chickens Are Not Trash

Thanks to a Grant from the Vancouver Foundation my mind is filled with gathering help and materials to stretch the $5000.00. Note this money can only be spent on the projects we requested it for. Drainage, shelter and storage. So a letter went off to the landfill asking for permission to pick the site for usable lumber, I was given permission to be on site for 4 days at 8am every morning and wearing all the appropriate safety gear. My first morning would be Tuesday as i got in a few hours at the shop on Monday.

Monday coming home from work i pass by a very rural stretch and noticed a teeny rooster at the side of the road. I turned around and parked and counted seven birds down below the incline. Three roosters and three hens along with a young baby. When the big gold rooster saw me he lead his flock further into the bush so i came home to seek out a game plan and the hows on face book.

The forest here is lush, with a creak running in the back of the lush area , moss laden ground with majestic cedars and evergreens mixed in with others in various stages of decay, toppled over by wind and lightening strikes.

From the road to get down is about a 50 ft incline and it is also where more then one passerby has tossed over there garbage. A discarded Tv is smashed over and frames the center of a tree stump. There is glass everywhere , old tires , yard waste and seven chickens.

The following day Roxanne and I picked at the dump for five hours and i was exhausted but i went back to the chicken site with a pail of feed , crates , dishes, water , string and set my trap. I called out to these birds and the young rooster came out first , two roosters are missing. I set the trap knowing if they don't go in during the day i will have to close it up at night so they don't get cornered by wildlife.

The following day the trap has been disturbed , i see another feed pail. This sets me back as i didn't feed the birds outside the trap when i set it up. To eat they would have to go in. Some one else with a good heart has fed the birds so i shut the door,i don't see the baby anymore.

Roxanne has helped me two days in a row at the dump and we were both so tired. Pulling pieces of plywood from under the weight of tossed timber is labor intensive but we go into hysterical laughter at the stupidest things because we are so giddy. We are getting some good stuff!

We return to the dump on Wednesday and then I go back to check on the chickens. I beg Roxanne to come back with me after dinner to see if we can net the remaining birds. I know chickens will not move in the dark but when we get back there the young rooster is up a tree . Two hens are settling in but my attempt with the net failed and they retreat into the bush. The pretty little white one with feathers on her head is back alone in the bush.

In the morning i push myself to return to the dump and get home and unload then return to the chickens. The white one is gone and so is the rooster. I live in the middle of bear country but i returned that night with a flashlight as the two hens had to be saved as something was getting them and yet in the back of my mind i had hoped they returned to where they came from and were not dumped. But as i went threw the bush i saw the flutter of a huge wing span and not more then four feet in front of me was an owl on top the rooster that had been up the tree the night before. I can't see the hens and know not to alert the owl even if i did find them so i have no choice but to leave.

Friday is my last day at the dump and i am wasted but i don't stop with my load i go right to the chicken site without stopping and I can't see them anywhere. I walked threw the bush for over an hour , i thought i heard them ..but i don't think I will ever stop hearing them. I went back later before i fed the pigs dinner and there was no sign of them. Scattered feed was untouched so not even the wild birds dare into this part of the forest now.

I took a sign with me and put it up on a dead tree for all to read. "Shame on who ever dumped this chickens here along with the garbage. I tried to catch them for a week, but the Owl was better at it then I was"

I pulled all my gear out of there and cried all the way home.

Monday, July 4, 2011


My horses and I are very glad to see sunshine today as we hope our hay farmers will be able to get there grass cut soon. I have spent a ton of money on a ton of hay my girls leave scattered all over the pasture. Of course this last batch of hay bought is last years and a ton coarser then what my girls need. They are on the back pasture every other night and the grass is rich here so they are a tad spoiled. I can't let them on it every day as we need to share that grass with the pigs too!! They are on pasture but the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

The first load i brought home and put away was hauled back out again the next day and added to all the pigs sheds. Pretty expensive hay for bedding!!! The pigs pick at it too so it is all good and i hope this sunshine lasts a few more days so i go buy fresh hay for my girls.

Not much help down here so every day i put in long hours working outside. Roxanne gave up two days this long week-end to help here. My washing machine died so she found a good one on Craig List so off we went to get it Friday. On the way back i spotted a little Scottish Terrier on a mission where he shouldn't be so i pulled over and grabbed him . Not neutered but his tags had his name and number so the family was reunited back here a few hours later. Harvey's family were very happy and left with a gentle ear full on getting him neutered and a few horror stories to encourage them to keep him under better guard.

The pools are out for the pigs and more coming thanks to Roxanne finding a bargain on ten pink ones.

I have had to padlock the gates when i leave as stuff is walking off the property to my shock here. Went to grab one of those metal rakes to spread gravel and not only did they take one they took the two that i had. It has to be someone who i welcomed threw those gates at one time so it is sickening to think they came back only to steal from the pigs when i am out shopping for them.

On a good note i got to work another day for the guys as Andre was sick and when i came home to my locked gates there were three huge bags of blankets left for them! YAYYYYYYYY!!

Yesterday Flower although timid was a few feet away from me when i rounded the house to get something. I sat down in the sun and suggested she join me and if she did I would tell her a story. Flower came and laid down a few feet away from me so after my story i came in and grabbed her a blanket. I look at this picture and see a pretty pig who is at peace with her surroundings and that means the world to me and washes these tired old bones away.