Picture 142I had a great privilage yesterday.  I watched a master at his trade.  Since we started this business in earnest (as opposed to the hobby farming we did for years), I’ve had to catch and handle my share of chickens.  It isn’t always easy.  Especially when they are spry young layers during the mid-morning cool.  Sam, however, makes it look easy.  I was amazed.  The long handled net is helpful and I tried catching some while he was coming.  They are quicker than me, especially in the hen house where they can hide under the nest boxes and behind the roosts.  Sam had a cool technique for under the nest boxes: he slips the net under the bird, trapping her, then deftly flips the handle so the net closes over her and she’s nabbed.  Out in the yard, he ducked and dodged and chased and set the net so the bird would run right into it.  It was rare that he didn’t get his man–or rooster as the case may be.  He caught his favorite old rooster once just for fun.  The old bird showed his appreciation by back-handing Sam across the face with his wing when he took off.  Sam’s the “cone man” in the shop.  I’ve seen him ply that trade with self-confident ease as well.  Not even the crankiest, bitin’-est old rooster can escape his fate with Sam.  He’s smooth, efficient, and can run the outer shop all by himself if need be.  Sam will be 11 this month.  My boy amazes me.