Farmy Walkabout

We are not looking directly at Daisy, in fact this shot is of Peghorn.  Do you see him.  Bottom left.That little patch of orange feathers. 

Apparently Daisy is doing a Mama and not looking at us either.  She is being so good, and so patient – her udder is just so enormous now that it is chafing against her inner thighs. So I need to put powder in there and keep it dry.  When I start to wriggle my hand in beside the udder she quite literally raises her leg so that I can dry the area off and dust it. She balances on three legs until I have finished,  then when I go to the other side she lifts that leg out too. I was astounded when she first did this.   Now she does it the moment she sees me pick up the powder.

Hairy Maclairy’s scabby knees are recovered. And he is allowed back out into the playground.  As long as he promises not to play so rough. 

Kupa.. well what can I say.  He has taken to howling out  at the guineas when they start their screeching and they stop, just like that.  If someone slams the screen door he has a shout about that too and calls out when I call to the dog.  He is insistent about maintaining a peaceful farmy.  As I am writing this i heard the roosters begin their morning crow then his huge shout of Shut Uuuup! and they all immediately fall silent. 

You were right, he really is ruling the roosts!

Now you need to learn to  tell these two piggies apart now.  Sheila the Babe, as well as the spots on her ears,  has a red beauty spot beside her right ear and another above her right eye.  Also her ears seems droopier but that may be an age thing. Sheila is also the piggiest of the pigs. 

How naughty could a face be! She is going to be trouble!

Charlotte on the other hand is more lady-like than Sheila.  Daintier and longer. She has a perfectly white face, with pixie ears  and a much sweeter attitude.   When they came yesterday I thought they were going to hurt themselves they were so terrified, hurling themselves against walls, they had never been touched by a person, however they are quickly learning that my voice means food and that my gumboots are tasty.  

My girl came yesterday and stood at the gate and just stared silently.  We will train them together but she will work with Charlotte.  She was just kept looking across at me and grinning. She is not a big talker. I left them to it.

Look at this ..  the promise of grapes!  they are looking good, much better than I had expected after that bad frost. 

Both the bee hives are hooning along. Hauling in the pollen.  Both hives are already filling the top super so I have to keep watch for over crowding and also as Dad said I need to check for Queen cells one more time. Hopefully today while I have Our John home.  Supers full of honey often weigh over 40 pounds, so the job is just so much easier with a helper.

And here is Mama, flanked by two of her fat lambs. She is putting on weight and looking great.  The strangest thing happened with Mama yesterday. I was inside writing and heard her call out. She has a distinctive voice, older and more gravelly than the others and she was  baa-ing loudly and insistently. I went out to the verandah and she was standing at a side gate staring straight at the house calling out. I walked through the garden towards her, she looked straight at me, called again, went silent, waited until I was closer then galloped to another gate and baa-ed straight through that gate. Looked back at me and did it again. It appeared to be considered.

So I went into the paddock with her and looked through the North gate and saw that her lambs had all crept through a gap that Minty had made for them in the gate cover and were all sleeping in the sun on the far side of the barn. But Mama could not get through the gate to get to them.  She called out to them again, but they pretended not to hear. So I went through the gate and shooed them all back and fixed the hole.  Mama said thank you very much and trotted with her tribe back into the long grass.

Now, this is a sheep, yet it appeared that she had called me over to help her retrieve her lambs.  What are we supposed to make of that?

Good morning!. For Stage Two of the journey of Mama’s fleece  from wool to woolen hat, we need to zoom over to  Punkin’s Patch and look at Mama’s wool all carded and fluffy. You will love it.  There is a lot of work in  getting a fleece ready for knitting. Sara your work is beautiful.

Today the teenagers (teenagers never walk alone) and I are going to work on the outside pig palaces.   The plan is that one small field a year is given over to the pigs  for the summer, then tilled and resown in good pasture. The pigs will have rooted through it, turned it over, eaten all the roots and bugs and fertilised it for a season, with the chickens following along behind. This year it will be the salad bar paddock, which already has the chook house run in it. This field has a lot of stones in it, so as the pigs root them up, we will pick them up and wheelbarrow them out onto the drive to fill the Chicago sized potholes.   The big pigs are about ready to start their summer jobs.

Pat’s Paddock was cut for hay yesterday, so that will be turned this afternoon.

I just looked out the window of my summer study and there is a peacock in my garden waiting! I had better get going.

Have a lovely day.





68 Comments on “Farmy Walkabout

  1. I can’t believe you can grow grapes that far north, it seems wrong somehow. Although I know that there are grape farms in MO. I could have done with a Kupa the other week when we were camping and being awoken every morning at 4h30 by a wretched cockerel. I think creatures are far cleverer than we give them credit or would be comfortable accepting. Mamas too. 🙂

  2. Kupa is sounding more and more like Lucy. She, too, has a set of responses, each dependent upon the noise she hears. She responds to everything from the tapping of my razor when I shave to my calling Max in from the yard. Kupa sure is “filling out” nicely, though. As handsome as he is now, he’s going to be a real stunner in a few more months.

    Have a great day, Celi. I’m heading off to another farmers market. 🙂

    • And the making of the pasta too.. that Lucy.. she is such a treat! Very envious of the farmers markets you have.. now I must go and weed todays garden! c

    • They have all put on weight since going into the Dairy Mistress Paddock, it has piles of lambs quarters (the weed) and they just love it!! so we will call it a forbe as it is so good for them! c

  3. I love the image of Sheila. You are right. She does look like she’s going to be a lot of trouble. Charlotte on the other hand, looks a lot more angelic. Your farm reminds me so much of Charlotte’s Web xx

  4. those piggies look like a real handful! i don’t know if you follow this blog but i think you will really like it.

    danni had her llama sheared last year and one of her followers turned the wool into yarn and somewhere on danni’s blog she links to the whole process. if you can’t find it just ask danni for th link if you are interested! her blog is wonderful.

    don’t keep king kupa waiting!

    • I shall pop over, i love the recommendations! I still want a llama.. they are so good with sheep but not this year by the looks of it! c

  5. Hope the big pigs aren’t going to bully the new Girls. Wouldn’t it be exciting if the Plonkers unearthed truffles for you – I know it’s not the right setting – but what if? 🙂 Laura

    • Hilarious thought. The Plonkers plonking truffles into a basket. Though if I could train them to put the stones into a bucket that woudl be even better! No calf so far.. (sad face) c

  6. Angel decided to read with me this morning, and when we got to Kupa’s photo, she just *stared*…then ran and grabbed her copy of Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (it has buttons that play the animal sounds) so we have had Peacock Yelps at our house this morning, too!

    Enjoy your beautiful day, and all your smart, wonderful critters!

    • That is great, I love it when little kids enjoy the pages.. sometimes it reads like a kids story!! c

  7. What a wonderful Mama story! I think animals are quite capable of communicating with us if they need something. Just like you in that particular situation, we just have to take the time to observe and listen to them. Mama knows that you’ll always take care of her and her family and I guess she’ll speak to you as best she can!
    P.S. I agree, that Sheila’s trouble!!!

  8. What a delightful farm! I’m visiting from Idiosyncratic eye! I love your piggies. I had a pet pig as a child. Sally was a great white, and I was four or five. I rode her like a horse.

    • Welcome Jester and what a thought, a kid riding a pig, maybe we can include that in one of the training schemes!! c

  9. I agree with Christine’s comment above that your animals instinctively know that you are there for them and love them. After all, you were there helping Mama through the birth of her lambs. It makes sense that she would call to you for help when the lamb take off too, right? It’s amazing and wonderful!.
    Your Bees look fabulous! Have you ever thought of collecting the bee pollen? It’s supposed to be great for allergies. My John has awful allergies, has researched it and is trying it now. Sure hope it works!!! xo

    • I have dreadful hayfever too, i heard that a spoon full of your own honey a day will help you build a resistance to the local pollens! It kind of makes sense. i don’t think I could steal pollen from my hives though! let me know how that goes! c

      • Supposedly there is a special pollen extractor that scrapes the pollen off to be collected as the bees return to the hive. I need to research it. We won’t be doing it this year, and most likely will take very little honey, if any, this year so our new hives have plenty for the winter. Taking a spoonful of honey every day is great, for so many of our bodies needs! But taking about a teaspoon of bee pollen is supposed to be particularly good for people with allergies. We’ll experiment with My John and see if it works! 🙂

  10. Good morning, Celi. I have heard the honey trick, usually given here as “local honey” since there are wars in town about whether people should be allowed to keep bees or chickens (Some do anyway). The Duke of Kupa is looking quite regal these days. Do the hens call, too, or do they leave all that to him?

    • I think i have head the hens call out but I have never seen them do it, I think they honk I am sure all will be revealed! c

  11. Poor Daisy, and I’m sure your hot weather isn’t helping her to feel any less pregnant! Loved the picture tour this morning. The pigs are adorable and it’s hard to believe they will grow so quickly and get so BIG.

    Love that Kupa keeps a noise ordinance. I need him in our neighborhood!

    Have a lovely day! ~ April

    • After all the warnings about the way they make so much noise I do have to laugh at him stopping the others making any noise!! funny.. morning april.. c

  12. I hope for Daisy’s sake that her date comes sooner rather than later. She must be beyond uncomfortable!
    Now what a clever sheep Mama is – love it!
    Can’t wait to see how training goes with the piggies and Kupa’s tail feathers are growing so quickly!
    🙂 Mandy

  13. So many things to say…
    The bee “shadow on the upper right of the photo is too cool.
    Kupa is becoming so beautiful!
    About Mamma calling to you…it happened at our farm once; Camille an experienced mom delivered a cria; yet she was reluctant to accept that fact, that she(cria) would not get up ~ Jenn my daughter and I went out to the pasture to care for the poor babe…to discover it was lifeless…as we were walking back to the barn, contemplating what to do…Camille gently nudged Jenn back in the direction of the cria.. time and time again until Jenn gave in and went back with her. Camille the nudged her lifeless babe – looked up at Jenn..then repeated this action. Jenn and I just stood there with rivers of tears streaming down our faces – there was nothing we could to help this grieving Mom. Animals are amazing some times.
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

    • Oh no, she was definitely asking.. poor wee thing.. yes.. animals do surprise us all the time.. lucky us in a way! c

  14. It sounds as if Dr. Doolittle taught you a few tricks about speaking to animals. What an amazing story about mama calling to you for help. And Kupa saying to everyone: “keep it down, will ya?”
    All you have to do is tell us next that the bees talk to you!

  15. oh good! so you did not know of critter farm. you will love it. danni doesn’t post every day but when she does it is worth the wait. i love her animals. she has the cutest donkies. i think the donkies and the llama were rescued.

  16. The little piggies are cute, and I can see their differences. Isn’t it something that you already see some particular personality traits. They will be fun to watch. Are you familiar with the old television show “Lassie?” You may not know it (I have no idea how far and wide that cultural reference has spread). But even today jokes are made about the collie Lassie who seemed to be able to “talk” to humans with body language…I immediately thought of Lassie with Mama coming to call you to the rescue! I think it’s so true…they trust you to hold all the answers to their helplessness. That’s a lovely relationship. So glad to see those bees buzzing, too! 🙂 Great photos-all! Debra

    • Morning debra, yes they had lassie in NZ but we never got a TV until i was 12, but the one or two episodes i did see were memorable.. my mum thought the tv would give us radiation or something!.. c

  17. You report back on your animals lives so well – I can imagine each and every scenario my friend!
    Peghorn – first time meeting with such a bright fellow 😀


  18. i knew i spelled donkeys wrong! hehe! we just had a micro burst which sent my giant umbellas flying and broke a buch of my veggie containers. oh well, mother nature!

  19. It will be interesting to see who will be the shining star or will the two new members of the farmy be comfortable costars in upcoming visits to the old folks.

  20. Reading about Mama, I recalled something I read about sheep intelligence. It feels odd for me an Aussie talking sheep to a Kiwi but here we go “Scientists at the University of Cambridge discovered that sheep have brain power to equal rodents, monkeys, and in some tests, humans.” The whole article is an interesting read. For myself I think your farm and it’s inhabitants is a wonderful synergistic community with Mama, Kupa & the piggy minding cats esp Mary’s Cat being recent illustrations of this 🙂

  21. Your animals are quickly learning to trust you. What a good practice for Daisy to learn that when you touch her udders, it’s to be helpful. This must make milking easier. I loved seeing the difference between the two little piggies, and laughed at how Kupa is ruling the roost.

  22. These are just gorgeous pictures today Celi. So vivid and happy. And do you think Kupa would work with small children too? LOL. 😉

  23. You have such a great relationship with your animals, how they know and trust you to care for them. And Kupa! That is just too funny!

  24. what a lovely walk! I hope the pigs do a good job of turning all the soil over for you 🙂

  25. Today’s post is filled with charm Celi. I sometimes think of you as a Doctor Dollitle character – you talk to the animals, and in your case they respond.

  26. What a charming story of farm life 🙂 It reminds me of the book Charlotte’s Web I love as a kid. Happy to see bees doing so well 🙂

  27. Thank you for the pictures C! That smart Momma sheep…….and those naughty lambies – they act just like humans!

  28. Your connection to these animals is so strong, so loving…that they trust you inexplicably. No surprise that Mama called you for assistance. I expect that moment made your heart melt.

  29. Hopefully the animals have forgiven mankind. Animals know exactly what they are doing – especially when they are in the presence of a human they know they can trust. Fabulous stories. Just a minute ago, my cat Duc who has been coming through the ravages of hyperthyroidism came and banged on the window”. He hasn’t done this for a month! I went to see if he wanted in. Nope. I was to go out with him and be company while he laid in the sun on his pallet of long, sweet-smelling grass. He was letting me know that he feels better.

  30. (I’m trying to catch up on my reading!) The piggies are so sweet – that Sheila face!
    Funny – the animals have figured out how to communicate with you – obviously they are smarter than anyone thought! ( but a great farmy makes inhabitants encourages all to utilize their abilities?)

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