Where do I start?… Everyday seems to have more going on! Today it’s the 16 year old Burmese cat that is driving me nuts… I’ve just given up listening to her yowl… she needs to go… but she is warm by the Aga and her litter tray is in the porch by the front door so muggins here has to lift her up & carry her to her indoor toilet – her way of telling me that her toilet should be beside the Aga where it is warm… if I don’t lift her the rotten little madam will piss in the dogs toy basket… so then I have to wash all their toys!
Chicks are hatching out everywhere… we nearly had a tragedy yesterday but the Aga saved the day yet again. The goose gets very aggressive and grumpy just before she lays… an egg every other day.
If she decides she wants to go into a nesting box that a mummy hen is already in she will think nothing of picking the poor unfortunate chicken up by her tail feathers and start flinging it around – I’m usually alerted to this when I hear a huge kerfuffle, involves me to drop everything and to then gallop up the garden to the hen house. What I’ve done to try and stop this huge panic is to put little grills at the openings – so Goosey goose has access to the one that is vacant…however yesterday, a family of chicks got in to a muddle and must have tried to get through the rails rather than round…I found one lifeless with it’s head stuck… it was so cold, but I felt a little tiny flutter when holding it my cupped hands, then a gasp for air, blowing on it all the way down the garden (the gallop in reverse!), quickly got it down to the ‘hold’ oven in the Aga, 10 minutes later it was chirping, so many times I’ve had a live chicken coming out my oven! This morning with it’s mummy & the others as if nothing had happened!
Quite often when I open up the nesting boxes I find an array of different sized eggs!
Clarie Chops is becoming quite stubborn, she’s 9 weeks old tomorrow, I’m hoping in just a couple more weeks she’ll be weaned – it’s a great tie 3 feeds a day. She is becoming more interested in grass and her sheep nuts now, but she is so very good at being the wrong side of the gate – I want her to go in with Esme, she’s to big to man handle now, so leave her that side – 5 minutes later all I can hear is a bawling lamb, she does now want to go in with Esme…
It’s a very hard time of year and frustrating for farmers with grazing animals, the grass hasn’t really started to grow yet – very nearly there… then when it does come through it’s too rich so can cause problems. I’ve opened up the field I had closed off for 8 weeks to rest it and let it clean itself, so now I should be able to start cutting down on oats, sheep nuts, hay and other foods – I think they are getting enough nutrients from the grass.
We had to smile yesterday, we were doing quite a few jobs up in the field and all the animals put on an act, the goat playing with the goose was unbelievable we’d never seen that before, the lamb with the 2 Jacks and the poodle playing together and Esme on her pogo stick legs in the field… here are some photos of them all… by Mike of course!
I have the opportunity of being given 2 Angora goats which I think would be rather nice, so we’d have 4 goats.
We do have a bit of a problem with the 2 pigs… they don’t exactly do a lot except eat and poo a great deal – they make such a mess of the field as they have disgusting habits to include whilst eating they poo at the same time. I am seriously thinking that it is time to let the pigs go. It’s been quite interesting having pet pigs but believe you me there isn’t a great deal going on up there, they don’t interact except for food, the poo in the summer just attracts lots of horrible insects that bite the other animals… I may have to be grown up about this and fill my freezer. Sorry all you Veggies but they have had the life of Riley… if we do go ahead it will be here and they won’t know a thing about it as I won’t transport them… I know they can sense it when they arrive at the abattoir. Anyway it’s a dilemma and we are thinking about it… when the cockerels were dispatched the other week I didn’t get upset at all as it was so quick they didn’t know a thing about it… before when we have had to cull it was bloody and horrendous, so as long as it is quick and painless with no stress.