Never Wear Rubber Clogs Near The Hen House

Dead rooster weapon.
Dead rooster weapon.

I raised Tommy from a mere chick! I wiped his vent! We were friends until he stabbed me–REALLY stabbed me in the Achilles tendon and got stuck. The moment he broke free the blood started gurgling out through my sock and I suddenly felt faint for the first time in my life. Both of my legs were badly bruised as well.

I usually have slender legs, btw.
I usually have slender legs, btw.

The shot above is about a week into the injury–when I could walk but still not wear proper boots. We don’t have a great backup plan for milking the goats since I’ve trained them to depend on me to do everything just so. This meant that I had to be carried in my rubber clogs down to the barn the first day. Yes, carried. I initially fought against it, but I REALLY couldn’t walk. So first it was piggy back and then fireman style. Pretty embarrassing, indeed. Daphne the goat has been very upset since we took her babies and thinks now that I’m her baby so whenever I leave she worries–loudly.

The babies we stole (and brought back) to the herd. They have no idea who their mother is.
The babies we stole (and brought back) to the herd. They have no idea who their mother is.

The rooster Tommy had to go. My husband had to kill him. And just as he was doing the butchering in the yard he noted a ruckus in the house–dogs flying into window screens, books and plants being toppled and a chipmunk running scared for its life in the living room. He was halfway through the dirty deed and could only yell at the dogs to STOP. They didn’t listen of course.

Brief interlude: pretty little flower.
Brief interlude: pretty little flower.

Then we heard a buzzing noise. A very LOUD buzzing. Yes, the last of our bee hives decided to swarm, which meant a new queen was born and the hive was splitting and one half was going to search for a better home. We have two empty hives–bees, where are you going? Well, they went to a tall tree at the edge of our field. The last swarm we had went to the neighbor’s hives and our neighbor says they’re giving him excellent honey.

What you’re not supposed to do is chainsaw a tree down to recover the swarm, but  hey, we wear clogs around roosters. My husband cut the tree down and here is the swarm:

What not to wear.
What not to wear.

And here again:

Docile bunch of rascals.
Docile bunch of rascals.

Bees aren’t stupid. They don’t just randomly leave home and then wonder where to live next. Some scouts go out, record the best real estate in their little brains (or whatever they have) and come back to the swarm doing a cute little dance that actually tells the rest of the bees about their find. The bees then decide based on the wiggly dancers which place they’d prefer.

My husband was really pleased to have a new second bee colony–for about  an hour. As he stood in the garden taking an important work-related call he witnessed to his horror the bees escaping and swarming again and this time they went to a far away place–no idea where.

On the positive side, my husband discovered the BEST cheese we’ve made yet and it can be made in the CROCK POT!

Deliciousness.
Deliciousness.

All you do is bring the milk to 185 degrees, keep it at that temp for 10 minutes which is really easy to do in the crock pot. Then for every quart of milk you add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and then just wait till the curds form.

Then you drain the curds in cheesecloth and put it under your home-made cheese press and wait about 2 hours.

Note the LOWES patio bricks.
Note the LOWES patio bricks.

The cheese is pretty good the first day but by day three in the fridge it takes on a muenster/mozzarella taste (great dipped in garlic infused olive oil). Most goat cheeses we’ve made in the past have a tang–but we’ve realized that many recipes called for vinegar and really the lemon juice is SOOO much nicer. You should try it.

Pretty cheese discovery.
Pretty cheese discovery.
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17 thoughts on “Never Wear Rubber Clogs Near The Hen House

  1. Ouch, your leg looks really painful !! Hope your back on your feet soon (sorry). We once had a road Island red Rooster that loved to terrorize my youngest daughter, he would see her coming out of the door and would start running at her chase her down , jump on her back and peck at her head ~ a broom has many uses. He did not do this to anyone else.Thankfully a weasel took care of him. We had a buff orpington that was the sweetest guy ever!! He was my middle daughters pet, he would follow her everywhere. The hens were really good layers, but they did not like him they peeked all the feathers off his rear, so he slept by the back door waiting on Jessica to come out. ~ oh, the chicken stories. I used to make that kind of cheese too, very tasty.

    1. Our roosters were Buff’s as well and I LOVED them. This was a surprise attack, but I doubt I’ll be able to convince my husband to let me have another roo. 😦
      After two weeks my leg’s finally in pretty good shape and thanks for your kind words!

      Now with the cheese…did you ever add seasoning or anything?

      All the best~
      Adrienne

      1. Yes, I did. Chive, dill and onion flakes are very good. If adding before pressing make sure you do not add to much or doesn’t hold together as well. I prefer to still it in afterward. Basil & sundried tomatoes are also tasty, my girls like garlic but I am not a big garlic fan.. I also found that stirring in some olive oil and also adding a thin layer to the top before refrigeration seemed to help it keep longer, not that spoilage was a real problem with five of us around (back then ~oh, that term). By the way, we did not keep roosters after that ~ besides, Mr Lovable, and the girls layed just fine ~ actually Good! Roosters are very protective of their flock, that’s their job!
        Glade to hear your leg is on the mend.
        Melissa

      2. I loved the way the roosters behaved with the hens. It seems too quiet here now.

        By chance we stared dipping the cheese into a garlic infused oil–that is delicious! I’ll have to try sun dried tomatoes, but it seems this cheese would be good with anything. I’m so excited about the possibilities!

        Have a great day, Melissa!

        Adrienne

  2. Oh, my . . . that looks so painful and I can only imagine the panic and pain you felt during the encounter. I do hope the wound is healing and that the swelling is subsiding. I wonder if Epsom salts might help with the swelling, but, only if the wound isn’t open.
    In spite of the rooster attack, you have written such a lively post – and make cheese making “seem” so easy.
    Keep healing.

  3. Yikes. That sounds–and looks–just awful. I am glad that you are finally on the mend. I just vacationed with some chickens, but thankfully there were no roosters.

      1. You can still love them from afar! I had a nice vacation, thank you. We stayed at an urban homestead in Savannah, thus the chickens.

  4. Oh my! Farming really is a physically challenging job, no? Yikes & yikes! Feel better soon!!! PS, the Buff Orpington ducks are quite sweet-tempered, too, so not surprised your previous rooster was a sweetie.

    1. My rooster was sweet until he went insane–poor guy. I actually miss him though my husband thinks I’m crazy. Either farming is challenging or I’ve become accident prone 🙂

  5. Sorry about your injury, but I loved reading the saga! We were offered a beautiful grey rooster a few weeks ago – I (regretfully) said no, as my two children (7 and 4) love going to let the chickens out, and something like this would seriously put them off. Maybe when they are much bigger (the kids not the chickens!) I know some roosters are lovely – but I had friends whose rooster was so fierce, they had to collect eggs armed with a broom handle and a shield made out of a dustbin (trashcan?) lid! Very medieval…I love your blog and will be following along. Lucy (another smallholder, in the UK.)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lucy. One of the characters in the novel I’m working on is named Lucy McCullough 🙂

      I’ll be following your blog as well! It looks right up my alley!

      My husband keeps showing me videos of BAD roosters but I still love them.

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