Thursday, June 7, 2012

Following the rules

While our visitors have their own farm animals and are experienced with them, one major thing that differs is their always get out.  They said that their steer is over at their neighbors and they'll have to retrieve him when they return.  They let their ducks, chickens, and geese free range in the pasture, front porch, or wherever the fowl decides to go.  This is fine and dandy if you don't mind their mess or the occasional dog attack. 
They have about 5 or 6 or 10 dogs.  They are not well trained although they think their dogs are well trained.  They have accidents in the house but even worse than that, when they are bored they will chase down and kill their fowl.  At our house, Yip-yip's father did that once.  He was caged up for the rest of the time Army daughter's family lived here.  Yip-yip tried it once.  I whacked her and yelled at her.  Then I caged her up.  After I caged her I brought her outside and put her near the coop and yelled at her some more.  She may occasionally chase one of the ducks or chickens but she is just trying to round them up, not attack them.  Even when she doesn't think I'm watching she won't harm the ducks or chickens.  She will chase birds, squirrels, and rabbits, so I've taught her the difference.  Our friend's dogs haven't been taught well. According to one of the kids, the dog will not chase any fowl if it's on a leash.  It won't even look at the fowl, but take it off the leash and it goes into attack and kill mode.  That's good for strangers, not your food source.
The grand kids are still in school for another day which meant the six visiting kids were out in the back playing on their own.  Now since they live on a farm I asked them to feed the chickens and also water the animals.  They did so and brought in the eggs.  Good job.  Now don't forget, other than the chicken coop, do not open any gates or doors.  You can climb over any fence you want...that's the joy of having cattle panel fencing!  They were outside for a couple of hours until it was time to go over to their friend's house to swim then head to the zoo. 
I'm working at home for the days they are visiting.  I took a break from work and went out back to check on what they did.  I'm glad I went outside because once again the sheep were in the garden.  My poor okra and peanuts.  Just when they were recovering from last weeks sheep attack they got hit again!  The sheep looked up and knew they were in trouble.  They went running back into the back pasture through a gate that I had left open.  That wasn't how they got out.  I had them penned in the corrals at the barn.  They didn't have access to the pasture so it wasn't a problem that I had left that gate open.  So how did they get out?  I walked the fence line of the corrals.  No, none of the cattle panels were unattached.  I went into the barn and lo and behold, one of the four stall doors was wide open.  Kids went in and out that door and didn't bother to close it.  The sheep just walked right through the open stall door and into the garden.  Kids! 
I called up my friend to let her know that not only did they leave the door open but they were told not to open any doors.  That got me more upset than leaving it open...not listening to what I told them they could and could not do.  That got me to thinking about having other people in the group who don't pay attention to the rules of the house.  Even I break the rules.  If you read the above paragraph I said that I left the gate open to the pasture.  I've been driving the vehicle and trailer back and forth from the front, into the pasture, back out front, back into the pasture, etc.  Since I knew the animals were penned in the corral I didn't bother closing the gate each time.  See - breaking rules and justifying it...   If our livelihood and lives depended on certain things, whether it be the garden and animals or not allowing light from the house to be visible at night, nobody can break the major rules of the property without there being dyer consequences.  While it's not such a big deal now...the okra and peanuts will grow back, it could be a killer if TSHTF and people, kids or adults, don't pay attention to the consequences that their actions may bring.  

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