Saturday, February 28, 2015

Feeding the Masses Down on the Farm

by Pa Rock

It's snowing again in the beautiful southern Missouri Ozarks, and once again the view from my front room window looks like it was carefully penned by Currier and Ives.   The dormant maple tree just outside of the window, the one from which the bird feeder hangs, has cardinals perched on almost every limb - still giving the impression of some sort of red apple tree in winter.  Right now there is a squirrel who has them all upset because he is hanging over the edge of the feeder and gorging himself.  Fortunately for the birds, Mr. Squirrel is sloppy and manages to accidentally scatter as much as he eats.

It all works itself out - and everybody manages to score a meal at Pa Rock's Roost.

Quite a bit of the last snow was still on the ground as this latest batch began falling early this morning.  Yesterday evening I took my son out to the hen house to show him some very large bird tracks that I had found around the barn and hen house.  Nick, an avid naturalist, studied the prints in the snow and informed me that they were from wild turkeys - at least one of which was a big tom.  The turkeys were more than likely coming close to the outbuildings so that they could enjoy some of the grain that I scatter on the ground for the little brown hens.

We all eat well at Pa Rock's Roost.

The most difficult part of getting all of the critter's nutritional needs met is the watering ordeal.  During these very cold days, I have to carry water from the house at least twice a day, dump the ice out of the chicken's and peacock's water bowls, and refill them with fresh water.  Scattering feed is easy, carting water is not.

Probably the only one with complaints about the farm menu is little Rosie.  I determined when she first came to The Roost that she would not bloat into one of those fat little Chihuahua that seem to be all too common.  To help her maintain her girlish figure, I feed her only commercial dog food - both wet and dry.  She has a continual supply, so the girl doesn't miss any meals - but, of course, she would rather share my meals.

Rosie and I have an on-going battle each evening when I bring my own supper into the living room and park my old butt on the couch.  She feels strongly that she should share in the bounty - and I, of course, feel just as strongly that she should not.  It's always a tussle where I wind up shoveling food down my throat instead of savoring it, and Rosie ends up pissed off.  Try as I might, I still haven't figured out how to translate "No means  no!" into Chihuahua yet.

I've just counted eleven male cardinals flitting about in the maple tree - which reminds me, it's time for lunch!

No one goes hungry at Pa Rock's Roost!

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