Farmer in Summer
Rock's Roost is home to some amazing creatures. The most productive members of the farm team are the Rhode Island Red hens - and two roosters - who were brought to the farm as chicks. The girls are currently laying six to eight eggs a day and working the entire yard in their never-ending search for bugs and other gastronomical delights. There is also another flock of younger chickens that were incubated to life at the farm, and they will be of age to begin laying eggs in December.
Other farm domestic fowl include one young black duck who swims in a kiddie pool as well as all of the water bowls, three noisy guineas, and nine peacocks. Currently the only domestic creature in residence who was born at the farm in natural circumstances is Pee Wee, a young peacock who, although roughly half grown, still sleeps under his mother's wing at night.
The young cat, still without a name, is doing very well. She catches and plays with mice, and I have even observed her eating one. The cat frequents the barn where the peacocks reside, and she will often volunteers to spend the night in the chicken coop. She is developing into a fine farm cat.
There are also some non-domestic animals that call Rock's Roost home. I set up a salt lick out by the pond that attracts deer on a daily basis, and ground hogs even stop by for the odd lick or two. Last year there was a young armadillo who would take leisurely strolls about the place punching holes in the ground with his snout. but he has been strangely absent this summer. One puffy old toad lives underneath one of the poultry watering bowls where he has created a maze of burrows and tunnels.
The barn is old and somewhat dilapidated, with enough holes in its sides to provide easy access to any creature seeking shelter. Last year and early this year it was home to some ground hogs, but they have now vacated the structure due to the arrival of some more odious guests. Last spring I discovered that a skunk had moved in. His normal routine was to sleep there and then head out for his day job at about daylight. Sometime in the evenings I would see him in the peacock aviary which is attached to the barn. The peacocks did not seem to mind, so I adopted the position of "live and let live."
Besides, how do you get rid of a skunk?
Two nights ago, however, the unsettling situation got worse when I was walking around the farm just after dark and noticed that there were two skunks in the aviary. Again, they were gone by daylight - but it seems evident that they are starting the process of turning the barn and its environs into their winter sanctuary. One must assume that by next spring Mr. and Mrs. Le Pew will be comfortably at home in the rickety old barn and will more than likely be the proud parents of a fine litter of little skunks.
Farming, it would seem, is not for sissies!