Thursday, 13 February 2014

My family of animals...

Yesterday's weather was ridiculous, (I'm talking to YOU God!) Driving to collect the 9yo from school, (a 28 mile round-trip!) was like being a part of a disaster movie: Trees down, power lines dangerously low over the road, school without power. 'Nuff said! We move on, thankful that we live up a mountain and desperately sorry for those who are living in Waterworld.

This morning we have been treated to a chef's tasting menu of weather. The journey back to school this morning wasn't quite so treacherous, though the power lines near school were still a'dangling. Fortunately the wind had decreased from its 100mph racing and I dropped boy off (girl was already boarding) wishing him luck with speech and drama, guitar, singing, drums and the dreaded/eagerly anticipated Valentine Disco.

I would say more about the Valentine Disco but fear that this may have family repercussions.... I'll write something in my secret book and store for a later time. #briberyandblackmail.

Home again and the chickens looked well this morning as I put out their layers pellets. They are producing eggs daily now, happily using hubby's extension to the main coop as the nest box of choice. We call this space the bungalow, not sure why really. As this is the popular spot for laying, the girls queue outside the entrance on the conifer stump steps. They wait in an almost orderly, if slightly chatty/naggy, line, berating the current sitter for slowness. It's hilarious. At least I can find the eggs this week!

Next I went to feed the sheep. Oreo, her of black head, is a nightmare. She thinks she's a dog and bounds towards you, jumping up with the filthiest of feet.

Ewe nuts and a nutty ewe (well, yearling)
As if the jumping up wasn't bad enough, her hooves really hurt! This is the issue with raising cade lambs; they are sweet and loving as babies and you can carry them about. As they grow they still see you as Mummy. There's no way I could lift any of them nowadays!
 
 
I could only see 6 sheep until I heard a sad baaaa-ing. Cocoa was stuck in the hedge, bramble briers locked around her stomach. This is a really good reason why you should check animals daily. Fortunately I was wearing gloves and after a few minutes of pulling and tugging, with this yearling looking at me gratefully, I was able to pull her free to join the gang.

 
As you can see from the picture above, there was belting sunshine while I dealt with the sheep but two minutes later, with the alpaca, there was a mini snow-storm!
 
Here's Connie, the most intelligent and greedy of our girls!

Then there's Darcy, beautifully bred but also greedy!

 
We've come to an understanding, Connie, Darcy and I;
these girls are fed within hurdles to allow everyone else the opportunity
to chew their food more thoroughly, more peacefully!


LtoR: Baby Caramel, Shadow, Annabel and Bracken
 

 Gorgeous Fudge with her mummy, Darcy, behind.
 
An hour or so later, the snow departed and the sun came back. I popped out to the greenhouse and opened the door and windows, it was like a sauna in there! Roll on spring, I'm so confused.
 
If ever one needed proof of the ability of alpaca to guard chickens or sheep with young lambs, I had it today. Tabby, the chunkier of our two cats, came through the alpaca field on a mission to reach the front door and avoid the snow storm. The cats are usually wise to the alpaca, who seem to regard them, and any dogs, as foxes or wolves. They charge them, seeing them off swiftly.
 
Tabby was ill advised to take the short cut through the girls' field this morning. Good job he's a fast runner!
 
 [If you are reading this on an iPad or if you cannot see the photos, please click the title of the post to be magically transported to my blog where all may be revealed.
 
Also, if you have the time to comment on my blog, I'd love to hear from you. Lou x]


The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon