*insert a snicker*
Well, I have chickens and bees. Both livestock. Sure, they may not have four feet and chew the cud, but they are live stock.
I'll let you in on Racheal's method of livestock keeping...
First off, I tend to be the lazy keeper kind. The way I see it, critters can pretty much handle themselves and since they did before domestication, I consider that they will be stronger and healthier if I don't pamper them. That being said, I am not a careless livestock owner either, nor do I abuse my animals. I most definitely see to it that they are fed...and since it has warmed (and dried!!) up, I attempt to clean the chicken coop once a week--that is, when I am feeling up to it. If I don't, well, those birds can keep right on living on week old+ straw and you know. They really don't seem to mind, but then again they do kind of like the new straw--if only because they scratch through it and find whatever lurking wheat berries might still be in it. That's a chicken for you--put down a nice layer of straw and in an hour you can see the mud again.
Second off, I talk (sometimes goofy) to my animals--chicken and bees. I can talk chicken fairly well, but understanding the bee's humming is summing I haven't quite gotten the hang of yet. I imagine it's kind of ridiculous, but I stand with an elbow on top of the hive, my ankles cross and say nice, encouraging things to my bees. I ask them questions (I know, I sound like a dope)...for instance, "How's your Queenie doing?" and stuff of that ilk. Naturally, they don't answer me, but I enjoy my idiocy, even if they don't. This serves a double purpose--comfortableness around bees and so, perhaps, they get to know me as something other than a threat. I don't know...but it's an interesting question: can a bee tell one human from another?
Oh, and speaking of livestock, I should be getting my meat birds (finally!) tomorrow morning. All one hundred peeping baby birds. Now, that's a racket for you! I do look forward to it, for, as stinky as chickens can be, I rather enjoy raising the noisome, nosesome critters. I also, I must confess, thoroughly enjoy eating them as well...and it is rather hard to get emotionally attached to any in such a dramatic number as 100. Cows, perhaps, but not chickens. While it is true that chickens do have different personalities, cows are so much more personable--and more easily distinguishable from one another--maybe, if you don't have a pure bred herd--which has never been the case with our cattle as far as I am aware.
Hopefully by tomorrow I shall feel good and full of energy (unlike the past two days) and be all properly enthusiastic, as well as having the brain power to do something useful. I need to make more rompers...but that's another subject for another time.
Here's to hopes that all my chickies make it alive!