"In 2017 My True Love Gave To Me...
6 Animal Rescues
(5 rolling acres, 4 happy farmers, 3 playful kitties, 2 gay roosters, and a home of our very own)"
Our first rescue hens came from our friends and former neighbors up in Baldwin. They had decided to no longer keep chickens on their property and were in the process of selling their flock. Although sad in some ways for them, we were fortunate to be the recipients of a lot of their coop "décor" including a very large roosting ladder, a water warmer, fencing, and laying boxes, much of which had been built by our neighbor himself. Upon scheduling a time to pick up these items, we were asked if we would be willing to take their last 2 hens. These girls had seen some rough times and had been rejected from the rest of the flock upon rehoming. Being that we are an accepting home to ALL animals, of course we took them in. Clefty was a spry pirate with one eye and a cleft beak, similar to a human with a cleft palate. It was crooked and it led to some comical eating habits, like having to dunk her whole head in the water to drink. She was a good layer, and our only hen that laid eggs all summer. Rosalina had been bit by a dog and had a gimpy leg and a limp. She became a favorite to the kids because they could pick her up, pet her, and they loved helping her into the laying boxes to sleep at night, and into a warm sunny spot outside during the day. Sadly, both of these girls passed away this fall. We believe Clefty got an infection in her empty eye socket, and Rosalina became too weak to get to food and water on her own. Both are buried on our property. RIP sweet girls, we were happy to have you here.
It was the beginning of August, just weeks into the Big Brother season, when a friend from New Richmond asked if we could take their hen and rooster. The rooster was loud and their neighbor was none too happy about it. I was a little nervous about bringing a full grown "teenage" rooster into the flock. Even though Patrick and Justen have no interest in hens, they were still the rulers of the roost and have the natural territorial nature of a rooster to their home. Chris had no hesitation, and on a Wednesday evening these 2 arrived. It was apparent immediately that, like the show-mance couple on "Big Brother", the most beautiful of the bunch were the most wanted for eviction. We decided to name them Jessica & Cody. The first night went fine it seemed. On Thursday we watched Patrick and Cody duke it out in several cock fights, occasionally Justen would jump in when Patrick was losing ground. There was a battle for territory taking place. That same night Cody attacked Kai when he was putting them in for the night. I remember one thing our previous landlords always told us, if a rooster attacks your human, they become soup, and I have always kept that in my head. As much as I hated to do it, I had to let our friends know the situation and that Cody had 24 hours to shape up or they would have to take him elsewhere. On Friday morning I visited the coop, only to walk in on a crime scene. Blood splattered the walls and Cody's face. His comb had been pecked apart, I assume by Patrick. I felt bad for him, but that seemed to be just the ass-kicking he needed. We have never since had need to evict him, and Jessica is now our best layer.
Bob's stay with us was exceptionally short. He came from the same farm as Gold Puff, they were litter mates. I assume Gold Puff remembered Bob as being one that had a hard time with accepting her transgender identification, and not long after our neighbor's asked us to take Bob she ran him off into the woods. Ani and Chris spent hours getting lost in the cornfields looking for Bob,
While I was attending UW-Stout (1994-1999), one of my besties purchased a young Russian Tortoise and named him Chilla. At some point between then and now, he gifted Chilla to his nephew. Earlier this year, his nephew became unable to continue to care for him, and our friend, knowing what a turtle-lover Kai is, asked if he would like to have him. I am pretty firm about not wanting to keep animals caged. Kai has asked for years if he could have a turtle in his room and I have denied him for the same reasons I deny Ani a bunny. I think animals are happiest in their natural environments and we should enjoy observing them doing what they do naturally rather than "possessing" them as our pets in small cages. In this case, however, because Chilla had no where else to go and he was already a caged animal, I made an exception. Since he's a tortoise and probably could care less what you call him, Kai changed his name to Torte (pronounced TOR-TEE), I nicknamed him Tortellini. He was thrilled to get this much wanted pet, and I'll be honest, I love this little guy! True to myself, every day I bring Torte down to roam the dining room or let him hang out I the studio while I work. He loves to interact with people, and he's surprisingly fast! He'll come when you call him, and he loves to bite fingers, shoes, and table legs. Russian Tortoises commonly live to be over 100 years old, so there is a chance he will outlive us all! I better start teaching him how to make soap.