Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Advertising
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Automotive Dealerships
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Barns and Steel Buildings
     None  Blacksmith
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dentist
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Dryer Vent Cleaning & Repair
     None  Drywall
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Equipment Rental
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Firearms
     None  Flooring
     None  Florist
     None  Food Products
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Golf Courses
     None  Gutters
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Landscaping
     None  Lawn Care
     None  Movers
     None  Music Lessons
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair


 
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
– Henry David Thoreau  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 10 October 2017  

None
None Adopt Me   None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs  
None Community Calendar   None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None FFPD News  
None From the Publisher   None Health and Wellness   None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business  
None News From D 49   None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life  
None Rumors  
None
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
None
 
  A crabby rooster; a mare’s fear of fireworks
  By Bill Radford

   Longtime local journalist Bill Radford and his wife, Margaret, live on 5 acres in the Falcon area with ducks, chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, two noisy parrots, goats, a horse and a blind mule. Contact Bill at billradford3@gmail.com.
   

   
   Our rooster is more cantankerous than usual.
   
   Perhaps it’s just spring fever, but he’s sure spoiling for a fight. We’ve always had to keep an eye on him, since he’ll go into attack mode if he thinks we’re messing with his hens. And that’s fine; being their protector is his job.
   
   But nowadays, you can’t turn your back on him. He races across the yard to attack; and, for the first time, he recently snuck up behind me while I was collecting eggs from the nest box and tried to claw me. He’s also been tough on his hens; we have a couple in quarantine who have been beaten up a bit in his efforts to mate.
   
   Google “dealing with an attack rooster” and you’ll find plenty of advice. Feed it handfuls of grain to show you are a friend, not a foe. Don’t stomp your feet or kick at it — the rooster will view that as a challenge. Carry a rake or other implement to keep it at bay.
   
   But the most consistent advice is to show the rooster who’s boss by grabbing it and carrying it around. Keep it wrapped up in your arms until it submits and hopefully realizes who’s truly at the top of the pecking order. You might need to do this several times; the trick, of course, is catching it in the first place.
   
   Last fall, we reduced our rooster’s arsenal by removing his spurs –- pointy protrusions that grow on the inside of the legs. Granted, removing the spurs means one less weapon for a rooster to use to defend the flock. But our rooster’s spurs had grown so long and curvy that we were worried about the damage he could cause not just to us, but to the hens when he was in an amorous mood –- and even to himself if he sat on them.
   
   We used the “hot potato method” of spur removal. Cut a potato in half and microwave it until it’s too hot to handle; then, holding the potato in a towel or hot pad, stick it onto the spur. After a few minutes, the heat and moisture of the potato will soften the long, outer cover of the spur so that you can twist it off; a small nub will remain. Our rooster didn’t protest and simply walked off when we were done; we did apply some medication to ward off any infection.
   Once it has cooled off, you can toss the potato out in the yard for the hens to eat. Double duty for the potato.
   
   Critters and fireworks
   The Fourth of July was one of my favorite holidays growing up in the Midwest. We'd go to a friend’s house at Weatherby Lake, beating the heat by diving into the cool, green water; we’d end the day watching fireworks explode over the lake to a chorus of oohs and aahs.
   
   Now, the holiday is one to dread, thanks to Nikki, our skittish paint mare. She’s afraid of everything from plastic bags to cows, so it’s not surprising that she is no fan of fireworks. We typically spend the Fourth in the barn trying to soothe her and worrying about the possibility of stress-induced colic; or, in a state of panic, hurting herself. Our dogs last year were also freaked out by the noise, so I spent the day in the house trying to calm them while my wife was in the barn trying to calm Nikki.
   
   Fireworks are banned in Colorado Springs, but out here on the prairie some are allowed (depending on fire restrictions). Those not allowed include bottle rockets, firecrackers and mortars, but people seem to routinely ignore that. The night sky typically erupts with both private and public displays.
   
   So what can concerned horse owners do?
   
   If it’s a neighbor’s fireworks display you’re worried about, “The first thing might be to talk to the neighbor and explain the situation to them,” said Dr. Randy Parker of Range View Equine Associates. Perhaps they might scrap their plans or at least aim their fireworks in the opposite direction. “Maybe they just need to be aware of how much it upsets your horse,” he said.
   
   He suggested keeping your horse in its stall rather than out in the pasture. “Perhaps a radio or some sort of other sounds going on in the barn might be helpful,” Parker said.
   
   If you’re certain your horse is going to have problems, sedation beforehand is an option.
   
   “There are some oral sedatives that you can get from your vet that might be helpful,” he said. There are also over-the-counter products, but he sees fewer positive results with those.
   
   One proactive approach is trying to desensitize your horse to loud noises and unexpected sights. It’s an approach Parker supports, although he noted, “It’s hard to desensitize an animal to something that’s going to happen once a year.”
   
   As for pets, particularly dogs, the American Kennel Club (akc.org) recommends keeping your dog inside, rather than out in the yard where it might jump a fence in its panic. If your dog is crate trained, put it in the crate covered with a blanket to make it feel secure. And make sure your dog is microchipped in case it does escape — collars and tags can fall off. It’s generally a busy time for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region and other shelters as they deal with waves of frightened dogs that have fled their homes and yards.
   
   With that in mind, have a festive, but safe, Fourth.
  
Bill Radford and his rooster
Photo by Margaret Radford
 
Facebook print this page      


  © 2004-2017 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. . About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy