Put the Beads Away

On one episode of the Dr. Pol marathon this past weekend, the clinic was overrun with parrot problems. When one lady brought in 2 parrots, this story came to mind.

A woman went to the parish priest and said, “Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing.”

“What do they say?” the priest asked.

“They say, ‘Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have a some fun?'”

“That’s obscene,” snorted the priest. After some thought, he said, “I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to read the Bible and pray. Bring your two parrots over to the parsonage, and we’ll put them in the cage with Francis and Peter. My parrots can teach your parrots to pray and worship, and your birds will soon stop saying that awful phrase.”

“Thank you,” said the woman. “That sounds like a splendid idea.”

So the next day she brought her female parrots to the parsonage. As the priest ushered her in, she saw that his two parrots were inside the cage holding rosary beads and praying. Impressed, she walked over and put her parrots in the cage with them. A few minutes later, the female parrots said in unison, “Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have some fun?”

Shocked, one male parrot, looked over at the other male parrot and said, “Put the beads away, Francis! Our prayers have been answered.”

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What Really Happened on the Ark

This is one story about life on the Ark that was never taught in Sunday School.

After Noah closed the door of the Ark he called a meeting with all of the animals. “Hey, listen up,” he said. “There will be no sex what so ever on this trip. All of you males take off your penis and hand it to my sons. I will be at the small table over there and will write you a receipt. Hang on to it in order to get your penis back after we land.”

A week into the journey, Mr. Rabbit hopped excitedly into his wife’s cage and said, “Quick! Get on my shoulders, look out the window and tell me if you see land yet?”

She hopped onto his shoulders, looked out the window but said, “Sorry, no sign of land yet.”

“Damn!’ said Mr. Rabbit.

This went on day after day for the next week. Each day Mr. Rabbit would excitedly rush into the cage and ask Mrs. Rabbit if she could see land yet. Each day the answer was the same. Eventually she got sick and tired with him asking the same question and said, “What’s wrong with you? You dang well know that it will rain for forty days and forty nights. Only after the water has drained will we be able to see land. Why are you acting so excited?”

“Look,” said Mr. Rabbit slyly, producing a slip of paper from his pocket. “I’ve got the horse’s receipt!”

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An Unlucky Bull

I’ve noticed that out here in Virginia there is no set calving season for farmers with a beef herd. Just as many calves hit the ground in late summer and fall as there are during the traditional spring calving season. This account happened a short time ago near Luray.

A local farmer had loaded his prize black Angus bull into a truck to move it from the bull pasture near his farm to a rented pasture where his cow herd had spent the summer. Coming down a hill on state highway 340 just west of Stanley, a tire blew out and sent the truck into the ditch, overturning when he tried to pull it back onto the highway.

State trooper Miller is known to have what he thinks is a secret hiding spot nearby to watch for speeders, luckily was at his ‘post’ that morning. Upon getting the call, being nearby, he arrived shortly at the scene of the accident where he found the bull with two broken legs. Using his service revolver, he went ahead and put the bull down.

Coming around the vehicle, trooper Miller found the farmer lying on the ground. With his revolver still in his hand, he asked the farmer, “Are you okay?”

Onlookers at the scene are reported to have said that the man jumped to his feet and while brushing himself off said, “There’s nothing wrong with me, officer, nothing at all!”

Evidently, he knew trooper Miller all to well.

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Wayward Sheep

The year was 1978 and Langford, SD was looking for an agriculture instructor to start an agricultural education program in their school system. The Pickle Queen’s two older brothers had an empty farmstead 14 miles out-of-town where we could move onto. It was just a few miles from their places and they had added this land to their operation and didn’t want the buildings to set empty. So, we loaded up our belongings and moved from a new home in Fairmont, MN to an older farm-house in windswept SD.

We had neighbors about a half mile to our west. An empty farmstead sat half a mile to the east. Between us and the place to the west sat a slough that provided excellent duck hunting in the fall. A stock dam sat in our pasture between our building site and the empty place to the east. Deer liked to travel between the rushes of these two water sources via the grove of trees surrounding our place that gave us some wind protection on all sides except the south. But, I digress.

The Enstad’s, living on the place west of us, had a dairy operation with a small farm flock of sheep to give the kids some responsibility. They had no problem with the dairy cows getting out, but the ewe’s were another story. Anyone who has been around sheep know that there hasn’t been a fence built that sheep can’t find a way through. It seems that it was a weekly chore for the Enstad’s to round up the wayward sheep and return them to their pen.

It was a colder Saturday afternoon in mid-winter of 1980 when Brownie, our ‘farm dog’ started raising a ruckus. Knowing that coyotes were a common occurrence in the neighborhood, I grabbed my rifle and headed out the door. As I rounded the trees to out east, I seen the Enstad’s with their flock of sheep on the other side of our frozen stockdam. Evidently, the coyotes had scattered the flock and they were in the process of trying to get them back home. I walked over to them and said, “Hey neighbor, what are you up to?” as if I didn’t already know. I had seen them trying to chase the sheep  across the frozen ice, with no luck. I had seen them try to push the frightened ewe’s across the ice, also with no luck. As they were grabbing the sheep to try pulling them across I said, “You can’t take your sheep home that way.”

He replied, “I was just taking a shortcut across your frozen pond. What’s wrong with that?”

“Nobody pulls the wool over my ice!” I answered.

Think about it, he had to.

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Massanutten Bacon Candle

A recent news headline read something like this,’PETA Asked Why Anyone Would Ever Eat Bacon.’ A few politicians jumped into the fray, but I won’t join them. I think they may have a twitter account and are willing to go off half cocked like some of our ‘leaders’ do now-a-days! So, if you don’t care to eat the bacon, just save the fat and throw the bacon away.

Let me set the picture for the guys who are reading this. It’s your anniversary and you are making a special romantic meal for your wife. You get the meatloaf in the oven along with the baked potatoes wrapped in tinfoil, and go to set the table. Oh, No! You don’t have a candle for the center piece. No worry.

Everyone has or should have a jar in the kitchen cupboard where you pour and keep your excess bacon grease just like your mother did. I am one of those people who can’t bear to throw away perfectly good bacon grease. Someday you’ll need some and you may not have any! That day is today. Taking the jar out of the cupboard you notice that there isn’t any wick in your ‘candle.’ Again, no worry. Knowing that all you need is a piece of natural fiber for a wick, you decide that you have two choices. You could tear a shred off your T-shirt or cut a strand from the mop hanging in the closet. Knowing that you’d be in big trouble if you tore up a T-shirt, you opt for the mop strand. You grab a chop stick ( or any thin forked stick) and jam your mop strand (wick) into the jar. Be sure to rub the top end of the wick with a little of the grease to make lighting it a little easier.

No bacon grease? Once again, no problem. Take a package or two of bacon from the ice box or freezer. Tear off the fatty pieces and pack the pieces into a jar. Go back one paragraph to see how to solve your lack of a wick problem. Now, not wanting to waste the meat portion of the bacon slices, you take the meat loaf from the oven and poke the meat pieces down into the loaf. My Dad always said,  “Everything tastes better with bacon. Even a dog turd.” How he knew, I don’t know! I do know that the smell of bacon is almost as good as the taste of bacon.

If you are a gal reading this, skip the anniversary scenario. If you need an emergency candle because of a storm or for what ever reason, these two processes will work for that also. The Massanutten Bacon Candle will burn for a comparable time of a regular wax candle of the same size. It just won’t have the girly smell.

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New at Farming

We were in Rural King, a farm supply store similar to a Fleet and Farm, the other day and had to stop and admire the baby chicks for a few minutes. For some odd reason, this story popped into my mind.

A northern city slicker moved down here to the Massanutten Mountains and decided to take up farming as to become self-sufficient. He heads to the local Rural King and tells the man, “Give me a hundred baby chicks.” The RK counts out 100 straight run chicks, places them in a box and the city slicker heads home.

A week later the city slicker returns and says, “Give me two hundred baby chicks.” Again, the RK associate complies.

Again, a week later the same city slicker returns to Rural King. This time he says, “Give me five hundred baby chicks.”

“Wow!” the RK man replies, “You must really be doing well!”

“Naw,” says the city slicker with a sigh. “I’m either planting them too deep or too far apart!”

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Other Poultry For Your Flock

My granddad was a rural mail carrier in northwest Iowa for over 40 years. My Dad was his substitute carrier for many of those years until he was appointed postmaster. Back then, most farms had a poultry flock that not only provided eggs and meat for home use but also provided grocery money when excess eggs were sold. Every spring a lot of these farmers ordered their chicks from hatcheries that shipped them in 100 count, ventilated cartons via the postal service. I couldn’t wait for spring to arrive so that I could ride along with Grandpa or Dad with a back seat full of peeping baby chicks. Seeing dozens of cartons full of chicks the other day at Rural King, a farm supply outlet, reminded me of those enjoyable times I spent on ‘the route’.

Baby Chicks, A Sure Sign Of Spring and More Baby Chicks, A Sure Sign Of Spring were two posts that dealt with chickens for your poultry flock. This post will give you some ideas of other types of poultry that could be a fit for your small  poultry flock.

Broad Breasted White Turkey – is the most common domesticated, fast growing turkey used for meat. Besides having great feed conversion, it is easy to quickly dress and clean. I had one of these white feathered turkeys dress out at 52 pounds.

Orlopp Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey – has the coloring of a wild turkey. It is a fast growing bird and a great choice for turkey meat.

Pheasant – Sometimes called a common pheasant, the Chinese Ringneck pheasant is a great meat bird. It can also be used for training hunting dogs or released and hunted. Check your state laws before purchasing.

French Pearl Guinea – is a game bird that is great at alerting against predators in the area. It does an excellent job at controlling insects. There are guinea recipes available for those wanting to consume the meat.

Bantams – are colorful and great for using as ‘cluck’ hens. These ‘setters’ are a good addition to a farm flock or used as show birds for 4-H projects. They are a variety of colors and plumage in this type of poultry.

White Pekin Duck – is the most common choice for duck meat. They are fast growing, docile, and a great egg producer. My grandmother used the eggs for baking. This white feathered bird is a good addition for your all-purpose flock.

Rouen Duck – is almost the same color as a Mallard but are much larger and more domesticated. These birds are good foragers and a moderate egg producer for your baking and eating needs.

Khaki Campbell Duck – has a lovely khaki color to its plumage. It is a calm duck with high egg production. Another good choice for a farm flock.

Indian Runner Duck – is a good choice if you want to add a little uniqueness to your farm flock. This ‘penguin’ duck tends to run rather than waddle like most other ducks. This gray/brown feathered duck is a great egg producer and forager for your all around flock needs.

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