When today I drove past a flock of chickens too close to the road and I thought to myself, “Get away from the road Copper Marans!”
Here’s what’s wrong with that thought – that’s a rare breed of chicken. It’s not a Silkie or a Rhode Island Red. And truth be told, I was too far away to verify if they were really Copper Marans – but for even that thought to come to my mind suggests I may 1) have spent too much time on chicken websites and 2) have officially earned my farmer badge.
It’s a new day when one acknowledges their truth. I’m coming to terms with mine. While my skills in detecting the latest Burberry pattern may have waned, I can point out a hair sheep with a 3 second stare and can maneuver a flock of ducks to go where I want them. These talents don’t come from a website, but take real world experience. And I guess, if I need to to know the S/S 2013 patterns, I can just Google it.
The season of the bottle baby has ended. Today, Prince received his last bottle. At 67 days old, he has become a man, errrr, ram. In April, we knew nothing about raising a lamb. And now, just look at us. We have a little, very needy, horribly socialized little sheep that runs around the field with alpacas while shunning the other lambs. But he’s our little crazy baby.
Luck for us all, he has a little friend. Our surprise lamb, Gaston, has taken a liking to Prince. Mind you, Prince could care less. Sure he’s happy to run around the field with lil’ Gaston, but never does he search him out. He’d much rather chew on the grabs at the fence line, contemplating life or, rather, why grass is green. He’s very philosophical. For a sheep.
We wish you luck in the barnyard baby Prince. No matter how crazy you get, you’ll always have a home at Orchard House. Just don’t start head-butting people. I really hate it when rams do that.
We’re coming to the close of “baby” season on the farm. The lambs are growing up, the chicks are slowly adding the “en” to their name and seedling have started growing adult leaves on their epicotyl. It’s a reminder that while times are continually changing, much remains the same. Every spring we have lambs, raise chicks and plant seeds. But each year is different, adding new animals with their own personalities and experimenting with different plants (many of which succumb to my inability to grow seeds properly).
And so we’re standing at the starting line of summer. Our babies will be grown. Some will remain on the farm and some will move on to greener pastures. Priorities will change. No longer will we be worried about feedings and growth, but on maintenance. And there will be unbearable heat to deal with. Llamas will be sprayed down with the hose, and the peacocks will continue to be weary of the sprinkler invading their space. And the lambs will have horns. The chickens might start laying. But we’re used to it as we’ve played out these seasons for years now. And while each one holds onto its own character, the plot remains the same.
Today we said goodbye to our “Baby” ram. The first born on our farm, he held a special place in my heart. Born 2 years ago, he has since grown aggressive. Maybe I didn’t buy him enough Power Ranger action figures or send him to the right pre-school when he was younger, but he became hateful. Feeding and loving your other animals can become difficult when one continuously tries to head-butt you and kill you at every chance. And so, today, Baby left the farm.
He’s headed to a farm where he will protect a barn from marauding Amish teenagers. I didn’t know the Amish could be so meddlesome, but I have learned otherwise. So perhaps Baby had found his perfect life – attacking 16-year-olds who have never watched an episode of Arrested Development. But, nonetheless, he is gone. This is his last picture, and I would be lying if I didn’t say a tear or two was shed as he left.
With 9 rams on the farm, we are down to 8. More teary moments lie ahead. All we can do is try to find them the best homes possible and wish them luck on their journey. We live on a farm, and as such, we’ve must accept the reality of our life. No matter how difficult it can be.
We’d like to send out a big thank you to former guest Christopher for writing about Orchard House on his blog.
“On a more personal note, not only were we warmly welcomed as a gay couple (one would expect as much from a gay owned establishment, but nice nonetheless) but we also got some of the best sleep of our lives. The cozy room was warm enough to keep out the Ohio chill, all potential ambient light blocked out by heavy curtains, and the mattress was so perfectly firm we almost took the sheets off to check the brand.
If we could have spent the entire weekend at the Orchard House we would have, but we had to get out and explore Columbus eventually.“