Buzzard's Beat

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Jail Break


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stella the Chicken(s) Update - Sad News on the FroBuzz Ranchero

baby chick - Barred Rock chicken in my backyard chickens operation
A Barred Rock chick who survived the heinous attack
This post was going to start out very cheery with an update on nutrition and growth about my Barred Rock chicks who are all named Stella.

But tragic news has struck the ranch - three little Stellas have left this Earth. 

I was going into town for a meeting at 6 pm and the roof on the coop had been closed all day so I thought they might be getting hot since it was 83 degrees today. I opened the hatch and left.

When I returned at 8 pm, I started feeding the horses and went to check on the chickens and top off their feed pan. Sadly, two chickens were lying in the coop dead and one other was missing. The two that were dead in the coop looked like their necks had been broken and bitten but their wings and legs were intact. Basically, I think the killer was killing for sport and took the third away for dinner. I'm not impressed. The seven remaining chicks were understandably huddled together in the corner and probably traumatized.

So, we've closed the lid and set a live trap for the perpetrator. I have no problem seeking revenge on whatever varmint attacked my baby chickens. I will punish appropriately.

The obvious sadness of my chickens, even though they're small, is that I do care about them. They were in my care and it was my job to raise them and I couldn't protect them - I feel horrible. On top of that, it's also a financial loss. Not a huge one but down the road, that's three fewer chickens to lay eggs. If I want to boost the flock, I'll have to go buy three more chicks (which I'll probably do but maybe I'll get a different breed. Suggestions?).

The next update will hopefully feature me bragging about my varmint catching and a more upbeat post about nutrition and growth of the baby chickens.

In sadness,
~ Buzzard ~

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Lions, Horses and Camels - Meat of the Future!

I've eaten some crazy things in my travels - kangaroo, antelope, caterpillars, crocodile, octupus - and while I think I've stepped outside my comfort zone, I am constantly reminded that there are crazier things being invented every day.

For example, would you eat a lion meat taco?!

lion meat taco in Florida
A lion meat taco at Taco Fusion
I did not stutter. Yes, lion meat tacos.

There is a restaurant in Florida, Taco Fusion, that serves specialty lion meat tacos that run $35 per order. That's a pretty penny for tacos but I think it might be worth it to try lion meat and to say you've eaten the king of the jungle!

The same restaurant, which is serving its exotic tacos completely legally and in compliance with food regulations, also serves tacos made from camel meat and beaver meat. I am not a fan of heat or humidity but I definitely think a trip to this Florida dining establishment is in my future!

I am not a big fan of change but I will try just about any variety of meat - including horsemeat (eventually)!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

p.s. I know I said there was a chick growth update coming but I am in Denver for work meetings and time got away from me. Monday, I promise!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - The Chickies Are Growing!

Growth and development update coming soon - and nutrition too!

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Monday, May 6, 2013

My Old Soul Music Bucket List

If you've been a long-time reader on Buzzard's Beat this post will make perfect sense and not surprise you in the least. My love of witty, meaningful lyrics, mellow harmonies and true musical talent (not T-Swift or Luke Bryan) comes up in blog posts a lot.

I constantly tell my friends and family I was born in the wrong decade. I think I should have been a late 60's early -70's baby. That's when real music was happening. I am positive I am not the only person who feels this way - many of my friends are also classic country junkies, although not many (only one that I can think of) adore classic rock as much as I do. Although I do enjoy Texas country and some current mainstream country, (think Eric Church, Eli Young Band, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum) my heart lies with the classics. For example, I cannot count the miles I traveled on the way to rodeos with this guy's tunes blaring out of the truck speakers:

Bob Seger - classic rock n' roll superstar

George Jones passed away a little over a week ago and I'm still struggling with being mopey about it. I feel like a part of my soul has been taken from me. The generation of artists that Jones represents still believed in real lyrical genius, harmony and not caving to radio pressure *I'm looking at you Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch (seriously, She Cranks My Tractor????) and Kip Moore - tsk tsk*

George Jones - country music legend -

The passing of George really opened my eyes to the fact that a generation of musicians who were the soundtrack to my childhood, adolescence and adult life are not only fading away from the spotlight but are also passing on to the next life. It's depressing and makes me want to rewind my life - I'm nostalgic. I can't help it. I have watched the video of Vince Gill and Patty Loveless singing "Go Rest High on That Mountain" at The Possum's funeral more times than I care to count and I think the only time we've ever seen Alan Jackson remove his hat while singing was during his rendition of "He Stopped Loving Her Today." The entire situation is heartwrenching.

So, one of my new goals in life is to see the following artists on tour before contemporary radio chokes them out of society and they're forgotten forever by the enthusiastic audience of Top 40 country.

The Eagles rock band - classic rockIn no particular order of preference:
-- The Eagles - Oct. 2013
-- Bob Seger
-- Garth Brooks
-- Journey - July 2014
-- Merle Haggard
-- George Strait - January 2014
-- Sammy Kershaw
-- Steve Miller Band - July 2014
-- Lynyrd Skynyrd
-- Doug Stone
-- Willie Nelson
-- Reba McEntire
-- Kansas - September 2013, August 2014
-- Alan Jackson
-- Vince Gill
-- Billy Joel
-- Boston - August 2014

Had I written this list a few months ago (that's how long I've had this blog post on the brain), I would have had George Jones' name on it - I'm even more saddened by the fact I was going to get to see him at the Ohio State Fair in August this year.

Willie Nelson - classic country artist

What are your favorite bands? Have I forgotten to put someone important on the list? I'm sure I'll add names to it - my lists tend to grow over time.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Raising Babies on the Farm

There are some new babies on the FroBuzz ranch... baby chickens! Now raise your hand if you thought I was preggo. Shame on you if your hand is in the air; tsk tsk. This uterus is uninhabited by any croissants, buns or mini-ninjas.

Holding a baby Barred Rock chick
I'm calling this one Stella; but since they all look the same I'll probably call them all Stella. I might name one or two Rupert just because I like that name.
Anyhow, The Ninja and I are jumping into food production on a smaller scale. We'd love to have cattle but right now it's just not feasible since we have very little land and what we do rent is under the reign of the roping ponies.
So earlier this week, we welcomed 10 baby Barred Rock hen chicks to the ranchero. We are excited to raise them and I have every intention of giving weekly updates on their growth and also provide info about what they eat, how we care for them and basic information about raising your own chickens.
Barred rock chicks - a few days old huddled together under heat lamp
Aren't my baby Barred Rocks cute?
There were several reasons why we chose Barred Rock chickens:
- They are good layers and tend to live long lives.
- Once they reach egg laying maturity at approximately 5-6 months of age, they will lay year-round (although decreased production in the winter).
- Cold hardy breed; which is great because it's been cold and rainy this week!
- A multi-purpose breed, they are also good for meat. Fried chicken here we come!
Our chicks are less than a week old and even though I didn't watch them hatch, I know this because they still have their egg tooth. What's that you ask?
Barred Rock chicks with an intact egg tooth.
See that little protrusion on the top of their beaks?
The egg tooth helps the chick break the air sac while they're in the egg and also assists in hatching. It falls off when the chicks are a few days old because it's no longer needed. A few of our babies don't have their egg tooth anymore, they're the big sisters.
 As you can see in the pictures we put down pine shavings in an enclosed shelter with a light and heat source. Chicks need to be 90+ degrees F for the first few weeks of their life so we hung the heat lamp low and made sure there were plenty of shavings for warmth.
Barred Rock chicks huddle under a heat lamp and bed down in shavings
The heat lamp and shavings will keep our baby
Barred Rocks warm in the unpredictable Kansas weather.
You can also see a feed pan filled with starter diet and a waterer. Anyone know why the base of the waterer is red? That's because chickens are attracted to red. Some producers will cover up injuries or bleeding cuts on chickens with Blu-Kote to keep their contemporaries from pecking at the cut.
What chicken questions do you have? I'm so excited about our new venture!
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

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