The Fundamentals of Working with Animals. My Mantra.

I took this shot for yesterday’s post and forgot to show it to you.  It is across the bonnet of the  Free Green Dodge truck and out its back window.  I know this is kind of abstract but  I find it really appealing.

Because I am going away for a few days I am making lists for Our John. He likes to have a list. But before we start on any list we need to know the Why of the list. The fundamental list.  The basics.  I have tried to create a kind of mantra for him to work by. 

  •  Animal
  •  Mineral.
  • Vegetable
  • Water
  • Sunshine
  • Contentment
  • Intuition
  • Cleanliness

1. Every animal needs to live with another animal. Any kind of animal will do.  As long as he or she has another heartbeat in there with him.

2. Every animal needs their minerals. In the red buckets hooked to the fences is the loose mineral. Do not let this run out.  If you take animals to a new area, take the minerals too. Each animal has a different mineral mix.

3. All the animals need access to fresh grass and dry feed and vegetables.  So make sure they have good grass and legumes, dry hay and some seeds every day. Think protein levels and variety.

4. Keep all water barrels clean and filled in each paddock and enclosure.  All animals, birds and insects need fresh water so  fill the assortment of dishes and bowls in the gardens for the birds and bees as well.  And around the barn, fill the buckets and pots for the chickens, dogs, cats and Kupa. 

6. Sunshine. All animals, and birds need access to natural light. Mama and her babies can come into the barn at night, but open their door to the field in the early morning.  All animals and birds need sunshine. Check that your fences are secure.

7.  Contentment.  Check your animals and birds every day for contentment. Ask yourself how they look. Look at their faces, are they looking back and  holding their heads up. Look in their eyes. Are they bright? Look at their bottoms. Are they peeing and pooing normally? Many signs of health troubles will show up in the rear first,  so don’t be shy.   Look at their feed, are they clearing their plates.  Are they content and healthy.  These two things do go together. Contentment and health.

8. Intuition. If you feel worried about an animal then you probably should be worried.   Investigate. Trust yourself. 

9. Cleanliness is paramount when you are working with more than one code of animal. We have Pigs, Sheep, Cows, Chickens, Cats, Dogs, Guineas, The Peacock and Bees.  So make sure you do not carry germs from one to the other. What is fine for a cow might make a pig sick. Wash your hands and the soles of your boots frequently during the day.

Good Morning. This is the first list for John.  It is hard to write what I do for someone else. So if I have missed something sing out. Let me know. You do this with me every day too you know. You are my workmates.  The day to day list is much simpler to write than the mantra.  Or maybe not. I will do that today.

I know I am only going away for a long weekend, but farming without chemicals means you HAVE to be ahead of the game all the time. You have seen how fast it  falls apart when I miss something.

We had such a calm day yesterday  it was almost unnerving without the wind. Almost. Mostly it was glorious. I was able to achieve so much more.  And eating outside in the calm evening is wonderful. I added radishes and closed chive flowers to the roasting veges. Divine!

Now off to work for all of us!  Good morning!


79 Comments on “The Fundamentals of Working with Animals. My Mantra.

    • Morning Rachel! Sometimes the speed of the day disables us from the reason for the day. It is good to think about the basics sometimes! c

  1. You were right about that opening photo, Celi. It’s captivating. Can’t believe that it’s early enough to see the strawberries in bloom. Your animal mantra is a clever way to care for your co-inhabitants. They sure are lucky to have landed on your farmy!

  2. I didn’t think there was anything that made pigs sick, if they’re living a ‘normal’ piggy life. An old Hog Farmer told me that once. He said pigs could eat heavy-metal contaminated feed, and continue to live and thrive.
    You couldn’t eat the meat if they did, but the pig wouldn’t mind a bit…
    Wonderful photos – I love the sky through the truck window. And, just LOOK at those strawberries!!!

    • Pigs can catch what people have.. if i sneezed on a pig he could catch my cold the way a child would. but you are right – if the animals are healthy and well cared for with lots of air and good food and exercise and dirt they are less likely to catch the cold.. enclosed, crowded animals are at a high risk for illness.. and glad to hear that they can eat nuclear waste as mine are eating hunks of concrete! Is that normal??.. c

  3. I am the mother of all list-makers. I’d be lost without my lists. It’s not so much because I’m forgetful but rather because I can organise my time better with lists, certain things I can better do in the morning, etc. I like your approach to list-making. It’s nicer than bullet-points. I hope that you have a good weekend. But before you leave, would you kindly just check your gmail inbox, please?

    • Just wait ’til you see the daily list! it makes me proud!! I will check my email right now.. thank you miss misky! c

  4. Morning, C. That first photo: it looks as though the cloud is coming in through the window.
    Our strawberries are in copious flower, ditto plum and cherry trees, but I haven’t seen a bee at all this Spring.
    Your mantra seems to be full of common sense. I just hope you haven’t frightened John into a nervous breakdown!
    Your wind (!): you have sent it here, and I don’t like it one little bit. We have had to put the shutters down as things are banging about all over the place.
    Enjoy your calm day in your calm way. V

    • Thank you ViV, i feel terrible that the wind decamped to you but I am so GRATEFUL for the quiet again.. and yes i also think a lot of farming is common sense and thoughtfulness.. c

  5. My head is spinning just reading the list. Even though all of it makes perfect sense, I can’t see how it can be undertaken by one person – certainly not if the one person should be me. Will you flying by plane to California or going by Supewoman’s normal transport.

      • It is my job, i am sure at your workplace you get lots done too.. I just don’t have to drive to work!! c

    • Roger, I don’t do the Superwoman transport anymore, that suit is just so itchy, someone stole my whip and I cannot see out of the silly mask, so i guess it will have to be a plane, well a bus and then two planes actually, it is a two hour drive to the airport. (downy face) c

  6. Oh, I LOVE this. Might I add — well, I just will — these are excellent rules also for raising CHILDREN of the human animal. Celi, I LOVE your blog.

  7. A wonderful mantra for animals and humans! Ha! John is going to be very happy when you return home. 😉

    Have a wonderful trip! 🙂

  8. First and foremost these are some drop dead gorgeous photos. Secondly, I do not know if I could keep the fort down in your absence. It sounds like a lot of work and hard to fill your shoes. Take Care, BAM

    • Nope Bam, it is pretty easy actually! As long as you keep your eyes open and your wits about you.. just wait for the actual list tomorrow then it will look easy ..c

  9. This is such a useful list of things to think about all the time. You bring so much joy and generosity to your work, it is contagious. That first photo is amazing, too- otherworldly.

  10. Any possibility Our John can guest post one day, simply to give his perspective on The Farmy? I thought not. I bet he’ll be counting the hours until your return. Love the cloud perspective through the back window of the truck. It takes an eye to see the beauty in the most unique of places.

  11. I love the sky through window image! It’s a great list, straightforward and to nthe point yet so profound. I think humans need sunshine too, we’re having some right manky weather at the mo. 🙂

  12. LOVE the first pic C! You have it all covered in your list there, maybe throw in a bit of love just for good measure and I think you have the perfect formula.
    Have a fabulous time away – I am also jetting off for a week with the family.
    Have a happy day.
    🙂 Mandy

    • I thought about love and settled for contentment which would be the result of loving care I hope. Because love is so nefarious. It is hard to hold down, you cannot teach it. have a lovely time with your family! Thank you Mandy.. c

  13. What a wise woman you are – and your animals are so blessed to have you as their care-taker. I love your photos; as always you capture the magic in every subject. Have a wonderful time on your short time away and good luck to John as he tries to fill your shoes. Incidentally, I can’t live without lists.

  14. John is taking time off from his other job – right? Could he perhaps blog about the machinery and the functions and history … with pictures 🙂 Oooh keep the Spring photo’s coming. Temps dipped serioulsy low today sending us all scabbling for our winter woollies, Jack Frost is coming 😦

  15. Yes, indeed a great list for all of us. I have been feeling lost lately, and perhaps it is because I have been not making lists as I used to. Thanks for the reminder and enjoy your journey.

  16. Love lists and particularly love your list here…a lot of common sense, experience and heart went into it. (Those teaching skills are still paying off: Begin with an overview, break it down into manageable pieces and recap. Mnemonics perhaps for the mantra? animal, mineral, vegetable > easy; then WSCIC?).

    You’ve made it easy for them, enjoy your visit. – Nik

    • Ues, i am an old teacher too! (laughter) we never give up do we!!! love the WSCIC .. even i can remember that!! c

  17. I guess to write a list for someone else you have to imagine them trying to walk in your shoes for the day, just like a novelist might try to walk in the shoes of his or her character mentally for a day to get the feel for them. 😉 Have a lovely trip!

  18. I love being one of your workmates, Celi! Your list is really great for every home with gardens, and most importantly animals/pets. The photo, too, is really compelling. I’m glad you included it! Debra

  19. Is it no wonder your animals and farm run so perfectly and happily? Your philosophy should be made international 🙂
    Great post to wake up to!

    Choc Chip Uru

  20. There are a couple more things that you do: 1) photograph them so that they know they are world stars, and 2) (this one John can do) Talk to them.
    Have a good break. I like the way you’ve done your list; nice and simple.

      • Hi Celia. Because I comment using my WordPress account, it takes you to my website, but not my blog, which is with Blogspot:
        I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to change that. If not, you can click on my blog link which is on my website home page, but that’s a roundabout way to get there, a bit like your trips after the road got closed off.

  21. I can’t even begin to imagine how much you have to list out and plan for your absence. That seems about as much as a days worth of work in and of itself. Love how you view “contentment.” 🙂

  22. That fundamental list is wonderful. (Got a chuckle over the mineral bucket comments – we used to have to watch those, too when I was little.
    (and that first picture is quite intriguing – it is surrealistic!)
    Oh, your little piggies got me started on a piggy trend – and found some cute long haired heritage hogs. (There’s quite a controversy about small farms and heritage pigs in Michigan – you might want to keep an eye on it – some links in my post. Normally don’t ask people to check back to my blog, but concerned about what is going on there)
    Anyway, enjoy your day!

    • Oh do send me back to your pages any time you want, you can even leave the link we are all here to learn stuff after all! i shall have a read about the pigs right now! c

  23. I love your list, especially that heartbeat one: explains why Macaulay loves living with a tetchy feline like KitKat.

    beautiful picture 🙂

  24. Superb checklist–your holistic approach to life on the farmy applies so well to life in general. A good mantra for ALL of us beasties!

  25. Pingback: Seedlings on a higher plain | Promenade Plantings

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