Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rooster Rescue

We had a little rooster problem for the past six months and his name was Moe.  Moe was a stallion of a rooster in a tiny frame.  He dominated both of our other roosters and claimed the ladies as his own.  The only issue we had with Moe was that he loved to attack Oliver and Pearl.  Oliver's fear of him became so intense, he wouldn't leave the house.  We knew we needed to find Moe a new home, but were having a terrible time convincing anyone to take him.

What do you do when you have an attack cock?  You call the "Cock Whisperer."  Sarah at Save the Cocks in Templeton, CA is just that lady.  Sarah found a home for Moe in exchange for two rescue roosters who would be moving in with our flock.  Sarah and Dana arrived with their roosters on a Sunday.  We met Cherry first.  He was a sweet, sensitive rooster.  Then we met Cherry's brother who we called Curly.  Here is a picture of Cherry and Sarah.

Sarah likes to introduce roosters while they are free ranging.  We set down Cherry and Curly and watched them meet our rooster, Francisco.  

The roosters were getting to know each other and trying to establish dominance.  We didn't count on our guineas getting involved with the tussle.  Charlie and Rocco, our male guineas grabbed Cherry and chased him around the yard.  Cherry finally got so scared he bolted into the hills behind our house.  We searched, but he was nowhere to be seen.  I figured he would be eaten that night by a fox, so I went to bed with a heavy heart.   Glenn woke up at the crack of dawn the next morning to look for Cherry.  He could hear Cherry crowing from a distance, so we knew he was still alive.  

Sarah and Dana came over that afternoon to look for Cherry.  They brought with them two more of Cherry's brothers with the hope that Cherry would respond to them.  Cherry could not be found.  On Tuesday, Glenn spotted Cherry in back of the chicken coop, but Cherry bolted when he saw Glenn.  By Wednesday morning we started to lose hope because Glenn could no longer hear him crowing.  When I arrived home from work on Wednesday afternoon, Cherry was again at the coop, hanging out with his brother.  I couldn't believe he was alive.  I called Sarah and we decided I should wait until the chickens started to roost, then track him to find out where he was roosting at night.  

I put the kids in front of a video (desperate times) and made my way up the mountain.  Cherry lost me in about five seconds, but I decided to listen for the sound of his wings as he flew up into a tree.  I hiked and waited in a clearing for 45 minutes before I started to worry about mountain lions.  As a final ditch effort, I began crowing.  I'm glad I don't have any neighbors.  

The next morning (Thursday), I woke up with a nose full of poison oak and a special admiration for the cock who had survived so many days in the wild.  Glenn had the day off, so he was on Cherry patrol.  As he pulled into the driveway, he saw Cherry at the fence line.  He sent Oliver to the back of the property to block Cherry's escape.  He then chased Cherry to the coop, where he was able to corner him and pick him up.  Sarah picked up her two amazing roosters (Curly and Francisco could not work out their differences) and peace has been restored to the farm.

I think Glenn deserves the title "Professional Cock Handler" for his astonishing rooster rescue.  If you are so inclined, you can buy him this shirt from Sarah's store to help support Save the Cocks and all of the wonderful work that they do.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012


As most of you know Oliver has been under the weather since January.  He has had endless tests and doctors visits.  We finally have a "solid" diagnosis for him: severe constipation.  Carrying this extra baggage around has made Oliver most unpleasant.  My easygoing boy has turned rather grumpy and has lost his usual zest for life.  In order to get him out of his funk, we have been taking mini-vacations every weekend.  Taking these short trips to the coast helps me realize how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place!

Morro Bay

I took Oliver and Pearl to Morro Bay a few weeks ago.  We went to the aquarium to feed the seals and then purchased shells at the shell shop (all this fun for under five dollars!).  Oliver brought his camera, so we headed to the ocean to capture an otter.  There were plenty of otters to photograph, but Oliver discovered something more exciting crawling among the rocks: squirrels.  We have dozens of squirrel shots.  He was proud of this shot because he managed to get three squirrels.  You should have heard the delighted screams.

Here is another squirrel shot.  I think it is quite good!

Finally, Oliver's attention focused on two sea otters.  He waited patiently as the two otters swam toward one another.  As the otters met, Oliver made his move.  "I got them mating, Mommy!," he shouted with pride.  If they were, it certainly was a quickie.  In any case, it made the teenage girls giggle nearby.  

Los Osos

The next weekend, I heard the weather was going to be warm, so I suggested we go camping.  We drove out to Montana Del Oro and found the perfect spot. 

The kids played in the water, dug in the sand, climbed rocks, found creatures, ate s'mores at night and had hot chocolate for breakfast.  It was 24 hours of bliss (minus the eight hours sleeping on the cold, hard ground).  


I have a friend with a wonderful worm/compost bin.  I lure Glenn down to Cayucos a couple of times a year to pick up compost for his garden. While we were there, we turned it into a mini-vacation day.   

We ate smoked fish tacos at Ruddell's Smokehouse.  Seriously, if you live close to Cayucos, you must have a taco here (and pack a sandwich because each taco is $5.50-yikes!).

We lounged on the beach.

Then we ate cookies at the Brown Butter Cookie Company.  

The icing went on the cake when we stopped by the hardware store to pick up some free popcorn for the kids.  What a great way to end a string of mini-vacations!

I'll be back soon for some more farm updates!