Currently on our farm, we have sheep, chickens, ducks, and turkeys, which all free range happily. We strongly believe that pasturing makes for a happier animal. And since our animals are pastured, meaning they run all over our yard – so does their poop. And it is EVERYWHERE. Which usually in the lower mainland of British Columbia, isn’t a problem due to the amount of rain we have. However, in the SUMMER… well, totally different story.
Since we are friendly with our animals (yes, we talk to them all the time), and we have relatively friendly breeds… our birds are quite comfortable with hanging out by our house – on our front porch, on the back deck, on the lawn furniture. Which means, they leave gifts – on our front porch, on the back deck and on the lawn furniture… gifts of poop.
I know what your thinking right now. “Sure, a poop, no big deal. I can handle that.”. But it’s not one, or two, or three. It’s everyday, a flock of birds, pooping everywhere, which doesn’t go away… and if it does go away… well that’s worse. Because poop, is still susceptible to the gravitational pull of the earth and just doesn’t float away. Which means if it magically disappears – and I apologize for the next bit here – it went somewhere. In our house it’s one of two options: it’s in the tread of someones shoe, or worse… the dogs ate it.
I have no idea why chicken shit tastes like ice-cream to dogs but they love the stuff. They like to eat it, roll in it, and if they had opposable thumbs, I’m sure they’d be juggling with it in the front yard. It’s disgusting. And I’m sure there are some dog owners out there right now saying, “Not MY little wiggle-bottom-baby. He’s trained.”. Riiiight. Good luck, the siren song of chicken turds is far stronger of a pull then the 8-week puppy training school that you and fido proudly got certificates from. Will. Not. Happen. Canine instincts will win hands down.
Did I mention our sheep? Oh right, their poop is great for the grass, but for some reason, our sheep like to lounge on the back deck and use the BBQ for a scratching post. And their poop isn’t so great for the back deck, although the dogs like it as it’s so much more easy to find… ugh.
Oh right, and the blood component. If you yourself aren’t bleeding from a turkey scratch or bramble of some sort, guaranteed, someone else on the farm is. When the turkeys or roosters decide today’s the day for ultimate fighting, challenging whose the top bird, it gets ugly. And then with a bleeding comb, someone always rubs up agains something, spreading that stuff around. The interior of our chicken coop is white… or was. Since a flaw in our coop design (my bad!) put the chicken roosts too close to the walls. The poop sometimes doesn’t go straight down, but launches against a wall instead. Now it looks like the interior of some underground fight club with poop streaks on the walls, and blood smears on the feeder. Good times!
Which of course, now brings us to semen. There is nothing quite like having visiting friends with their children, looking at our pigs saying, “Oh your pigs are so cute! Look at their noses, look honey, look at that one, it’s looking at you… awww… how sweet! Oh, and what’s that white stuff on the back of the pig?”, only to be met with my wide-eyed and raised eyebrow look. Moments later, it’s followed with their realization, “Oh, OH! OHHH! OHH MY GOD! Oh, oh no.”, while they frantically avert their eyes. Meanwhile, their children are looking up at mom or dad with questioning stares, wondering what’s wrong. Pigs, and our chickens, are not shy. At all. And if they feel it’s sexy-time, it’s on. They don’t care if you, your mum, your child, or a bus-load of nuns happens to be present. And a female sow comes into heat every 3 weeks, and our boar doesn’t pass up opportunities like that. We have 3 sows. Even if your math skills are poor, you can figure out there’s a lot of sexy-time happening with our pigs.
We have a few roosters, which also don’t care whose watching, and their mating is a lot more olympic styled. They often have to run top speed to chase a hen, weaving in and out around other hens and roosters who may also try to chase at this point, and quickly pin the poor hen down, for a very fast… piggy-back ride. Now for a bit of biology. Roosters, also known as cocks, don’t have… actual… um… er… wow, awkward here… cocks. So the method they use, is rubbing their semen (in basic terms) from their hole to the hens hole. Which makes for a lot of damp hens, and if the hen isn’t happy with him, and manages to get away, small semen puddles on the ground occur. Thank god for the evaporation, as our farm is feeling like a porn film set.
So if this doesn’t scare you away from wanting a hobby farm, hooray! Now, I have to go and wipe down a chicken coop, pull chicken poop out of our puppies fur, and NOT check the bottom of my shoes… and now you know why farmers wear rubber boots! Happy Farming!