If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions then, quite frankly, I think I have the contract to tarmac a large part of it. And, as a result of my deeds I have created a monster.
The rooster who now resides almost permanently at either my front or back door waiting for food is a prime example of my intentions going horribly wrong. If he was a person, I would have been responsible for turning him from a capable, athletic man into a couch potato munching on Cheetos.
Sorry dude, I didn't mean for this to happen to you.
It began when Duncan (named after my father and brother) was ousted from top dawg position among the chickens by his son Johnny Rotten (yes, we also had Sid Vicious, but we ate him when he started living up to his name). Of course we felt so bad for him (by we I mean me and my children, my husband is far to practical for what follows here). Turned on by his own flesh and blood, hounded mercilessly away from his ladies who didn't give a hoot, or should I say squawk, what was happening to him. It was tragic, terrible to watch. So...
So we started luring him to us with scraps of food to keep him out of harms way. It was like all his Christmases and birthdays rolled into one great fiesta. He soon forgot his harassment but also forgot his ladies. And his chickeness. And his ability to forage. You name it, he forgot it - except that house doors mean food.
And now I can't get rid of him. Currently it is pouring rain (far cry from the sunshine I last wrote about) and he is standing, soaked, at the back door, I can see his reflection in my computer screen and he's just staring through the glass at me, waiting. If I open the door he comes in, has a drink from the dog water bowl and wanders around. Fortunately he seems to understand basic potty training, I think, I hope - so far so good.
But at least he's small and manageable and easy to remove. Once one of our ewes gave birth in a snow storm at 3am in record-cold temperatures (of course). We were only alerted to the situation by her field mate frantically baaaaing to wake us and the little first lamb was already hypothermic when we got there. Although we tried to warm him up in the barn it just wasn't happening. So of course he became 'house lamb' for a brief period of time and I went a bit over the top. Fortunately my husband put a stop to my overly-enthusiastic intervention after finding the little guy and myself curled up fast asleep in our bed. I spent the next two days reinstating him with his mother, which, although hard work, was preferrable to having a sheep spend its life trying to get back into what he considered his rightful home.
Hopefully I have learned my lesson with Duncan and from now on I will be practical, sensible, definitely not well-intention, when it comes to the livestock.