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The Country Mouse
By Tim Reid

here are some gays that believe that gay life stops at the city limits!  They feel that fashion, wealth and status are somehow important.  Then there are the rest of us!  The forgotten, overlooked and misunderstood rural gays.  Those odd ones that give up the trappings of Gucci to sprout the after dawn look by Co Op.  The get-back-to-nature type that insist on growing their own food surrounded by trees and nature.  It is to these brave souls I dedicate this column.

To all of us that have chosen this lifestyle, each day presents its own set of problems and rewards.  From the newborn lamb in the spring to the apple harvest in the fall.  I will be covering many of the questions that relate to the rural lifestyle.

Many straight people ask me what the difference is between gay and straight farming!  Well, it's a matter of taste!  The age old problem of taste vs. practicality comes into effect here.  A straight farmer will tell you about his egg production.  A gay farmer won't care as long as their hens look good doing it!  From colour coordination of their fields down to the style of the gazebo by the koi pond, gays do stand out first class in the rural setting.

From a barn raising to pruning fruit trees.  How to raise prize winning fowl.  Down to smoking a ham to building a house.  Useful practical info that helps in the everyday lives of rural gays.  Most importantly, the answers to all those annoying questions that pop up everyday.  What is the best laying hen?  What is the mildest mannered milk goat?  How to get the best price for your broiler fowl!  These are the just some of the items we will cover.

The most important thing is I will be here to answer any and all questions you may have on rural living.  So please feel free to e-mail me with those pesty problems at

This week's question comes from Mike in Renfrew.

Dear Tim:

I walked into my hen house one day to find half of my leghorn flock dead on the floor.  They were not at all sick and not a feather out of place.  Just dead under their roost.  The next day the other half were dead.

What happened?

Dear Mike:

This is a problem that stillleaves a lot of people in shock.  The answer is:  a weasel.  If you would have checked their heads you would have found little pin pricks in the skulls.  A weasel is one of the few animals that kill for the pure pleasure of it!  If you do have any leghorns left remove them and set large rat traps among the bodies with some peanut butter.  This should catch it.  Also, your hens will be thrown off laying for a week so don't be surprised.  Since the leghorn is a hybrid now they tend to be very neurotic and a loud noise or a sudden fright will stop them from laying.  One of the things to remember when ordering your chicks!

Tim Reid is Ex- Canadian Navy and a rural farmer.  He lives with his spouse in the county of Hastings, Ontario on a small mixed farm.  He may be reached at