Monday, April 11, 2011

News from the Zoo

Lots has been happening at the Koons Zoo recently.  Spring means zoo expansion time, at least to me GI Joe may disagree.   Here are some of our latest acquisitions, prepare yourself for a shocker at the end. 

GI Joe picked up some chicks, blondes and redheads.  Who knew we had such an open marriage?

We've been getting chicks, ducklings, and baby turkeys to raise for the past 6 years, it's definitely a highlight of our spring.  And we've been largely successful in raising them, just further evidence that we almost real farmers. 
If you thought your kids grew up too fast, check these out, just a week and a half later...
Whoa..puberty.  And just in case you're wondering, these are hens purely for egg production, not for fried chicken.  They are also Dakota's 4H project.  She is anxiously awaiting fair time when she can "show" her prized chickens.  I, on the other hand, am anxiously awaiting fair time for the cheese curds and corndogs but to each their own.  :)

A few weeks ago, GI Joe called me and told me he had a surprise for me.  I love surprises as long as I don't have to wait very long for them and I didn't for this one.  SHE came the next day. 

Nothing says love like a llama. A GIRL LLAMA, at that.  Brokeback Barn and Grill is officially closed.  The minute she showed up, at least 2 of the 3 boy, formerly gay, llamas were very, VERY interested.  For her safety and so that we don't end up on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for llama gang rape , we are keeping them separated for a bit.  But she's a girl ya'll, a REAL girl.  I was going to post a picture of the "proof" but GI Joe thought that was inappropriate blog fodder.  Whatever, just trust me on this SHE IS A SHE.  She even had a baby last year so she's an experienced mother as well.  This time next year, a BABY llama at the Koons Zoo?!?  Oh YES, please.  When she came to us from her previous owner who had bought her for his daughter, she had NO NAME.  Can you believe that?  What kind of people don't name their llama?!?  We quickly remedied that situation and her name is Loretta Lynn Llama.  It goes with our old school country llama name theme as our boy llamas names are Carter, Cash, and Wally (formerly Dolly but remember that epic misconception?).  She's warming up to us quite nicely and a pink (obviously) llama halter is on the way.  Also, saying Loretta Lynn Llama gives me boundless joy. 

And then there were bunnies......

Weird faced Blade and E.B., you know like Easter Bunny?  Have you seen the movie "Hop"?  You'll understand.

Yet to be named bunny

And lastly, are you sitting down, THIS.......

That's Hormel the Hog.  Hormel is NOT a pet.  Hormel will be in our freezer in 6 months or so.  Hormel is NOT cute and pink, Hormel is NOT adorable, I do NOT want to pick Hormel up and carry her it in my purse everywhere, and I will NOT get attached to Hormel.  Seriously.  After feeding a farm full of animals every day with no direct benefits besides being able to pet a wide assortment of animals at our leisure (which SOME don't consider an actual profitable benefit), GI Joe mentioned that he'd like to actually get something back from all the expense.  And by get something back he meant bacon.  This has been in the works for awhile so I've had time to prep, research, and put iron walls around my heart. We figured we'd get our feet wet in the pool of being real farmers and eating what we raise with a hog, for a couple of reasons.  1) We love Bacon and 2) While adorable when they're little, hogs aren't typically known for being cute and cuddly for long.  Feel free to tell me I won't be able to go through with it and I will get attached because if someone tells me I can't do something, that makes me a million more times likely to prove them wrong.  Isn't that right Dad?  As for the kids, two of them are completely on board with the whole raise a hog to eat situation.  So much so that Dakota drew a rather detailed diagram of Hormel's life cycle that consisted of a picture of it now as a piglet, an axe, and then a ham.  Ryder is the only one not so on board with it and I think that's because he carried her from the auction to the truck so now he's constantly saying, "we ain't eating Hormel, I love her and she's our new pet."  I still have hope though because he used to love Holy too but now wants to throw him on the grill and have steak.  And in case you're wondering why we named it if we're just going to eat it here's the rationale:  if we didn't give it a name, I would instead, by default, call it "sweetie" or "baby" or "girl" and those would not help matters in my quest to NOT become attached.  So instead it is named something that will constantly remind of us of bacon, sausage, and other delightful pork delicacies that will be ours upon it's demise.  In my brain, I'm excited to be able to eat something that we had complete control over what went into it and with none of the hormones and other crap they put in food these days. And the article I read yesterday in the paper about how the price of meat has increased 25% since last year and is continuing to increase, doesn't hurt either.  AND it kinda makes us more like "real" farmers and we all know that's been a lifelong goal of mine.   But my heart, is dreading October.  My only caveat in the situation is that GI Joe just do it and NOT tell me ahead of time that he is taking it to the locker.  I don't want to know, I don't want to think about what happens there, I am just focusing on the bacon.  Mmmm..bacon.  And this is probably the last you'll hear of Hormel until the "mission is accomplished", if you know what I'm sayin', because GI Joe is discouraging the taking of pictures of it and in order to remain emotionally unattached I can't speak of it much. 

Eye on the prize...


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