Grit Blogs > Red Pine Mountain

Here A Bird, There A Bird

I apologize for the delay in announcing the winner of the note cards. I've been having some issues with my eyes, but I'm happy to announce the winner is Cindy. Please contact letters@grit.com. to claim your prize.

Mountain Man and I were having a conversation the other evening.

"Seems like there are lots of birds around. Everywhere I walk, there's birds under foot." I was referring to our assorted poultry.

"I noticed." Leave it to Mountain Man to convey so much feeling in so few words.

It didn't seem as though we had that many birds this summer when they were locked up in their Poultry Palace (a half acre run Mountain Man built) due to a fox who decided to make her home on the edge of our pasture and conduct raids. But the fox moved on and now that the birds are once again out free ranging, it's hard not to notice them.

The other day I was sitting in our bedroom and I heard "knock, knock, knock." The dogs started raising a racket and I went to answer the door but no one was there. As soon as I sat down again, the knocking started. This time, I looked out the bathroom window and what did I find? Seven naughty Sebastopol geese pecking at the basement window. I do believe they were captivated by their reflection in the glass. Now, I can always find them around the back porch, eating the grass, admiring their reflections as they chomp away.

 

Walk a few steps from the house and instead of geese, I run into a group of chickens hanging out in one of Mountain Man's firewood crates.

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In the field by Mountain Man's log splitting station, turkeys and guineas roam. When I look at them I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing they are my very own hatchlings. I've learned so much this past spring about nesting hens, turkeys and guineas and the care of newborns.

 

But I don't think Mountain Man would be too thrilled to see my guineas taking over the wood splitting station he just built.

 

Lift the branches of any shrub and you'll find my Cochin chickens. These birds are HUGE. They actually come up to my knees. Another thing I've learned about Cochins is that they are a tight knit group. You'll always find them together and they wouldn't be caught dead with the other chickens.

 

There also like to lounge in the shade of the pines.

 

Some birds still like to stay in the Poultry Palace. Here's 2 Naked Neck chickens and a Speckled Sussex.

 

The hens are maturing and starting to lay eggs. We're definitely going to have a surplus of eggs to share.

 

One of my favorite birds is my peacock. Peacocks are incredibly friendly and inquisitive.

 

And when I rattle the treat jar (dried worms), he comes running.

 

I could go on showing you more pictures of birds all over the place and really, it's kind of incredible seeing these birds out enjoying life and interacting with them. All the breeds you see here were chosen for a specific reason; either their ability to withstand cold temperatures or their ability to thrive free ranging. And I consider the birds an integral part of our farm. They fertilize the soil, control weeds, eat grass, dine on bugs and provide us with delicious eggs.

And I've learned at dusk, no matter how far they have roamed, they all head to the barn.

Are you wondering what Mountain Man thinks about my feathered friends? When he takes Lilly, our German Shepherd, out with him to do farm chores, he always tells her "Don't bother the birds. They are your Mother's birds. They're part of the family now."

Thanks one and all for visiting us.

Mountain Man, Mountain Woman and the zoo can be found at Red Pine Mountain.

mountain woman
11/14/2011 11:22:05 AM

Dave, I think it's a great idea sharing chickens! For the moment, our coyote has moved on. I think perhaps because it's deer rifle season and so many guns are going off. Anyway, fresh eggs are the best. Thanks so much for visiting me!


dave larson
11/11/2011 5:37:34 PM

Hi Mountain Woman, Those birds are incredible. I'm not sure we could keep them safe here. Our neighbor just spotted a mom cougar and cub a couple days ago and the coyotes would be happy as clams to see all those lovely lunches. We continue to help out and share feed costs and benefit with fresh eggs from out neighbor. Love the pics of your wonderful flock. Have a wonderful weekend!


mountain woman
11/11/2011 5:40:21 AM

Cindy, I'll get the cards out to you as soon as I have your info and congratulations. The cards are lovely as is all of Joan's work. Yes, we do have tons of birds and horses too and I'm sure a a mok was a farm animal, it would find it's way here to my zoo :-) Have a great weekend and thanks so much for visiting us!


mountain woman
11/11/2011 5:39:21 AM

Cindy, I'll get the cards out to you as soon as I have your info and congratulations. The cards are lovely as is all of Joan's work. Yes, we do have tons of birds and horses too and I'm sure a a mok was a farm animal, it would find it's way here to my zoo :-) Have a great weekend and thanks so much for visiting us!


cindy murphy
11/10/2011 5:46:52 AM

Cindy as in me, Cindy? Wow, and very cool beans! Thanks, Mountain Woman; the note cards on the artist's website are beautiful. And I must say, it certainly looks as if things are running a-fowl at Red Pine Mountain. That's definitely better than running amok...because who the heck wants a bunch of moks underfoot, anyway? Take care, and enjoy your day.