Author needs ranching-related advice - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 33 Old 08-11-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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I get it. However as I mentioned in the OP, this is not a kid who grew up on a ranch.....he's eager to help but doesn't know his way around, and screws up something that would be really basic to anybody who has spent time around a ranch/farm.

The story isn't about ranching per se; it's about a kid finding his better angels, and overcoming a difficult family situation. So the "mistake" just needs to be something reasonable, that folks like yourself--or your teen-age kids--wouldn't read and think "Oh, GMAB.....like that would happen!"
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post #22 of 33 Old 08-11-2019, 01:58 PM
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Go with leaving a gate open, or simply not getting it latched properly. Even farm/ranch kids will do that a time or two.
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post #23 of 33 Old 08-11-2019, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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What do you think of the suggestion that he left the hen house (gate?) unlatched? A coyote gets in, kills 5-6 hens......?
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post #24 of 33 Old 08-11-2019, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjnick View Post
What do you think of the suggestion that he left the hen house (gate?) unlatched? A coyote gets in, kills 5-6 hens......?
In reality a coyote will kill only what he and his pack mates can take back to the den with them. A coon however, will kill anything and everything he can get his grabby little hands on. Their plan is to return several nights in a row to continue feasting on their kill. I have lost all 23 chickens in my coop in one night from coons when they only ate 2 that visit. I was ready for them the next night when they returned.
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post #25 of 33 Old 08-12-2019, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Yikes! So.....he leaves the latch open, a coon gets in, in the morning 7-8 are dead? Does that work?
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post #26 of 33 Old 08-12-2019, 10:28 AM
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Coon or stray dog. Chicken duty is the first duty we were given as youngsters and that was the age.

Horses are too valuable and big to have a youngster around without an adult supervising. Even if raised on a ranch.
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post #27 of 33 Old 08-12-2019, 11:15 AM
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Real life story:


Most farmers/ranchers are in the middle of nowhere so it's pretty common to burn your own garbage in a burn barrel (because you don't exactly have garbage service in the middle of nowhere).


When my aunts and uncles were kids, my uncle went to go light the trash on fire like he was told to do, and then he went back inside to watch TV. My grandparents had what they called a "smoke house" next to the garbage can that they used for smoking and preparing meats; just a small building. Also stored random things in it, like the shutters for the house. Well, said uncle didn't keep an eye on the fire like he was supposed to do, and the smoke house caught fire and burned to the ground. (Uncle didn't know this b/c he was in the house.)


My grandfather gets home although instead of being mad, he asked in his dry sense of humor: "Where's the smoke house?"


For author-purposes, you can change the grandfather's reaction. ..... but it's a true story!!
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post #28 of 33 Old 08-12-2019, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
Real life story:


Most farmers/ranchers are in the middle of nowhere so it's pretty common to burn your own garbage in a burn barrel (because you don't exactly have garbage service in the middle of nowhere).


When my aunts and uncles were kids, my uncle went to go light the trash on fire like he was told to do, and then he went back inside to watch TV. My grandparents had what they called a "smoke house" next to the garbage can that they used for smoking and preparing meats; just a small building. Also stored random things in it, like the shutters for the house. Well, said uncle didn't keep an eye on the fire like he was supposed to do, and the smoke house caught fire and burned to the ground. (Uncle didn't know this b/c he was in the house.)


My grandfather gets home although instead of being mad, he asked in his dry sense of humor: "Where's the smoke house?"


For author-purposes, you can change the grandfather's reaction. ..... but it's a true story!!
My parents' farm had an unused chicken house and the burn barrel was about 150' away from it. Mom went out one evening to burn the garbage, stayed out there for about an hour to make sure everything was out, then they had dinner and went to bed. Mom got up in the morning, looked out, and realized she could see the neighbor's horses when she usually couldn't.... and said "Hey, where's the chicken house?" So, yeah. And my mom is careful with fire! Thankfully, nothing was in the chicken house but some scrap wood and junk.
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post #29 of 33 Old 08-12-2019, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Every ranch kid knows, is practically born knowing, that if you open a gate or door (coop, barn) you close it again. By the time most kids are 4-5 years old, they're the ones jumping out of the car or off the tractor to open and close pasture gates as you go through to work. Same with the henhouse or coop, whichever you prefer, and barn. You open a stall door then close it when you step inside, open it to go out and shut it immediately. Open the main barn door, close it again (unless you live in OK and it's 105 F with humidity that makes it feel like 115 F then you leave that sucker open and turn on every fan you can find and pray the horses & cattle do ok. Same with chickens, some of them are very susceptible to heat. I've lost a couple birds this year to the heat. But yes, close the henhouse door and that's just a basic like no muddy boots in the house.
Hee hee... I went down to feed the horses this morning and realized I left my oldest horses paddock gate open. Luckily he's pretty much blind and didn't notice! LOL...
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post #30 of 33 Old 08-12-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, some great stories......I suppose I could add a "Silence of the Lambs" angle: "He is still haunted by the death screams of the hens......" (apologies if that's not funny.....)

Anyway, this is exactly what I need: the henhouse/coon/everybody's mad at him/he takes it really hard.

Please forgive me for asking such a basic question: exactly HOW would I phrase it? How about: "He forgot to close the latch on the henhouse door, and when morning came, there were 6-7 dead hens." That's not an example of my writing; I just need to know how to state it so I don't sound like a person who's never set foot on a farm!
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