Friday, 31 January 2014

Just bits and pieces of updates......

The goats...... the two little boy goatlings have become jolly little beings. At two weeks old, they are full of an energy which is enviable. We are not sure of their future at this time though. We can't keep three male goats here, one is enough. Lester is thinking of castrating them both, keeping one as company for our big boy when we have built him his own pen, and the other possibly into the freezer. Meanwhile, they have an abundance of life energy, which encourages us to spend many a long moment watching them. They definitely can consume our time.

We had another little girl goat born yesterday, which makes three little girls in total. Not sure what we are going to do with them either. Meanwhile, they will have the most of this year to grow up, to enjoy their lives, and to have fun as well.

Everyone else...... they have been inside for the last week, and are chomping through the hay at a phenomenal rate. The main field remains flooded, although the water is going down after it came up again, but did not come as near to the house as did the flooding two days earlier, and the side field is wet and puddly, and the grass is almost zero. So with the lack of grazing and the continuing wet weather, all our team are under cover. Of the twenty large bales of hay and straw we bought last October, four straw only remain, so it was off to the farmer man to buy another twenty bales, one of which has already been half eaten by our gang in four days. Our refusal to let our animals suffer the cold and wet requires that they keep warm and have full tums. They are part of our family. We watch over them.

A shepherd girl takes me half an hour twice a day, to pull hay off the hay bale. It is quite an art to unwind the hay from its roll, and requires a ton of patience to do so. We would put a bale in the sheep barn to save time, but the girls would end up using the hay as a mattress on which to sleep and the hay would become spoilt. Anyway, I was putting two bags of hay into their hay manger. The sheep were clustered round me, heads into the straw, totally focussed on eating, quiet, calm, and not in ditsy mode which sheep often have. So I had a tickle of ears, and a stroke of brows, and it was good. There is a peacefulness with sheep, when they are peaceful in themselves. 'Ditsy mode' is when they get a collective madness, and run hither and thither in panic, often for no reason.

We had mega trouble with their feet last year because we were totally unprepared for the extended wet season we had during Jan, Feb, March, and April last year. This year we are prepped. Their feet are holding good, which is a relief for us, and a relief for them. I like being a shepherd girl. I like being in the barn sharing the quietness of them as they eat.

A moving moment.......I am very proud of the way in which Lester is learning to be a DIY guy and a full time farmer man. Seeing him balanced up a ladder, hammering away at chiselling the old lime plaster off the wall, in a thick fog of dust, it made my heart move. He looked like a real DIY person, better than the pristine suit and tie office type worker that he was back in the UK. And the walls of the front room are turning out to be a surprise, with one wall being made entirely of white stones, well they will be white once they are cleaned up. Most people would not be bothered with preserving the cob walls, but would have plaster boarded over the lot. But we are not 'most people' so will carry on....

Minus one goose and one duck....... So when the large flooding started, the geese gang and Ducky went out onto the main field, which had by then turned into a lake. Late afternoon, off they went, refusing to come in for the night at dusk, wanting to stay out and play. We had to leave them to it. They were right out in the middle of the field, and no way were we going to be able to get to them.

10 pm, and with much flapping, squawking, and carrying on, in to the courtyard they all charged. They were counted and put to bed. Their numbers had been reduced. Lester went out to have a search for the missing ones. Heard Ducky quack, once. Then silence. A fox had come calling. We think that Ducky had herded his goose girlfriend away from the rest to do procreation activities. He was forever trying to mount her, and often did, although was not successful because he kept sliding off her back as soon as he was on.

We were quite saddened by his demise, and for the loss of one of our geese. They are not laying eggs this year for some reason, and Lester does not have the heart to put them in the freezer, so they remain as pets, not needing much, just roaming freely here and there, apart from out front where they have a passion for eating the winter wheat growing in the field beside our side field.

And the weather...... warm, around 10C, and wet. But it looks like we are in a cycle of two or three days of rain, then a couple of days of dry. This is alright by us. The land drains quickly, but the river can cope.

And the bees...... we still have them.

Hope you have a good day, and that you find corners within the hours of the day to tuck away and be peaceful.



rusty duck said...

Very glad that the water has retreated from the house. I also find being with sheep relaxing, not tried goats! But sad that you have lost a goose, and Ducky.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

ugh. hate the flooding. hate the losses - especially a lady goose. we will all just march thru this season. our weather finally broke today and it was not horrible. march on!

Vera said...

Jessica, goats are not so relaxing because most times they are squabbling with each other! Sheep are much calmer.

Ohiofarmgirl, it warms my heart to know that we are not the only ones having to 'march on' through difficult weather! Vx

Horst in Edmonton said...

Hi Vera, I used Windows Movie Maker, it came with Windows 8. I found it very easy to use. It was great fun working with it. I believe Windows 7 has it as well. The next video will be much better as I will carry my tripod with me at all times. I may even buy a lighter one in a few months.

Horst in Edmonton said...

Sorry to hear about your goose and ducky loss. I guess that's the way of the farmer. I'm glad to hear that you and Lester are enjoying a musical night out once in a while. Sounds like you had a great time.