When I returned from buying feed yesterday morning, the guineas were shrieking up a storm. Imagine a highly strung young matron throwing her apron over her face and running screaming in circles, then you have a reasonable description of the guineas when they see a hawk. The guineas do not yell at cars or stray dogs but they absolutely hate hawks. The peacocks were at a safe distance hooting in response, it was a regular barnyard protest. Minty calling for attention. The birds all screaming like harridans at this hawk.
As I approached with my boomerang stick this tall arrogant bird flew slowly away. Then I saw the body of a little chicken at the bottom of the post. Quite dead. ( I don’t know why I say ‘quite dead’, you cannot be a little bit dead can you.) Anyway I went to the chook house to check on the rest of the newly released young chicks to find one more dead and dismembered, and one crouched in the long grass outside the pen, wounded. They are a good size. They should have been alright.
So I gathered up my remaining brood and returned them to Fort Knox. Fed and watered them and made them a perch with my useful broom. Then tended the ripped sides of the injured one and set her in a box of her own beside the others. Hens will trample and peck at a wounded bird, so if she is to recover, she has to be isolated. But if I am to release her back into the flock she has to maintain her presence. Hence the cage with the cage. As of this morning she is doing OK.
Maybe I will try and make one of those arks, and we can start a new flock that rolls across the pasture. They can turn over new gardens and fertilise the fields. But I am no carpenter so we will have to think on it.
Later in the evening TonTon and I were doing the rounds and we came across this. Now this little fella was a complete mystery. He had been hatched and abandoned. Ton and I looked at him through the fence. I said “We need to go get him and find his Mama”.
I went out through the gate, through the yards, through another gate and into the paddock where the chick was, to be met by Ton gently laying the slightly soggy tottery wee fella onto the grass at my feet. He had brought it to me. The terror of the chick must have been total when Ton jumped the fence and lowered his mouth over it’s entire body. The chick’s head must have been sitting in the roof of the dog’s mouth, his little legs wriggling between his lips. TonTon pushed him slightly with his nose to encourage him to stand upright, then backed up and watched. I guess TonTon took the words ‘go get him’ seriously. I have got to stop thinking aloud around that dog. We found his Mama and two others under the yard car.
The first cut of grass hay was raked yesterday afternoon then a spring storm blew in last night and rained all over it. Misery. Hmm. I will spread it back out to dry today. Not a small job. Then we will start again. One way or another it has to come up off the field. The second cut of hay is the one that I am after.
The tractor cometh. The tenant has begun to work the fields around the house. Noisy dusty thing. Soybeans this year.
Good morning. So far our collection of little chicks are still alive. I will drag Fort Knox around the grass today. It is no ark but it will have to do for the moment.
You can see already what my work will be today. Plus we are doing bees this afternoon, so grab your veiled hats. It is fine, the wind and rain is gone. The sun is up. And weeding after a rain is always a pleasure. All good on the farmy at the moment.
Have a lovely day.
PS. My Senior Son came to the rescue and entering the frey on TradeMe, NZ, bought three pots of Marmite at a vastly inflated price. So all is right with the world again. He tells me that Marmite is an investment product in New Zealand with thriving black market sales. What a thing!! And thank you so much for all your offers of help. I am so grateful to be on your team. You readers and commenters are the best. I am a lucky Farm Girl to have such back-up. Now off to work for me! c