The Rising of the Ark

Not the 2 x 2 Ark we have had no rain for a while but the 47 Chickens On Grass Ark.  Scrapper is unimpressed.

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Kupa is just not the bird he used to be.  But my vase of peacock feathers is glorious. Don’t worry they will grow back in time for spring and next year his tail will be longer and fuller.

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Friends came yesterday to start building an Ark that I can drag across the grass behind the tractor, changing its position twice a day, so that the chickens we are growing for lots of family freezers get to eat grass and fertilise the fields during their short happy scratchy lives.

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They are coming back today to finish it.  It is going to be great!

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Sheila wants to show you her nose. She stuck it through the fence and Charlotte bit it.  Though I don’t think Sheila was trying to be nice. She goads Charlotte.The animosity between these two seems about equal. Charlotte is much healthier and stronger  and does not bother me or the dogs but she and Sheila cannot get on so far. It is a conundrum. I am hoping time  and being closer will sort it out, as long as the gate between them can take the bashing which is unlikely.

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Tilly.

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Good morning the Fellowship of the Farmy out there in the world. Mama is limping again, so she has thankfully gone into solitary (she often gets better when she is penned up in the barn  after her hoof has a good clean and trim, though we went through this only a month ago) and Tilly is out with her sisters. The hoof splits and is getting smaller and smaller as I trim off the flaky bits and rub it with oil.  She gets dried mud caught up in that soft cavity in between  her toes and it gets sharp as a knife. So I clean out in there as well. All her hooves get attention about four times as often as the other sheep because of this one bad foot of hers. But Mama does not like handling and hates you to touch her feet, you will remember this story, working with her hooves is traumatic  for the old ewe and I need to work fast.

But she is looking good, old Mama. And will be better after a nice rest and her pedicure.

Have a lovely day.

Your friend, celi

 

 

42 Comments on “The Rising of the Ark

  1. Can you patent the ‘Grass Ark’? What a brilliant idea! And Sheila, haven’t you heard of ‘Don’t put your nose where it does not belong’ huh? Both you and Charlotte should be put into ‘naughty pens’, I bet Charlotte’s offspring is better behaved!! ni ni from Down Under . . . hope the aftershocks in Wellington have died down . . .

    • There are lots of arks out here, they also call them chicken tractors though i think they should be called chicken trailers but there you are, They are a brilliant idea. My friend across the way puts hog panels around her hay rack (trailer) and pops all her turkeys safely under there and rolls it out across the lawn! I really look forward to feeding my wee birds grass, or rather WEEDS!! c

  2. Those Shush Sisters! Hard to believe they were once so close, even inseparable. I hope they make amends before the gate gives out. That opening shot of Scrapper is a good one, the perfect shot for mid-August. Looking forward to seeing the Ark completed. What’s the next building project up your sleeve? 🙂
    I’m off to the famers market so that Max can have his weekly date with the crossing guard. Have a great day, Celi.

  3. Afternoon miss c. Hope the wounded ladies heal without complications, and that you have a good weekend. 🙂 Laura

  4. Oops, seems like my comment may be have been sent to junk folder? Laura

  5. what about a boot for Mama’s foot. This will protect and keep out the dirt…. Poor Sheila , that naughty Charlotte should feel very sorry for you and make amends by being nice. As for Kupa..oh my…hide yourself away my friend until the finery returns….The house for the fatter chickens looks super. Shame that it will only be for a while….love to all on the Farmy xxxxx

  6. oh those poor pigs…i hope they will get along sometime soon! i wish i lived closer and could buy my chickens from you!

      • Me Too!! Just back from the farmers market – bought minced (ground lamb) for shepherds pies, minced beef for curries, a chuck roast for the slow cooker and a chicken. All in the freezer for the winter. Meanwhile I try to eat mostly my home grown stuff and eggs. Have a feeling this winter is going to be a snowy one for some reason.
        Would love to be able to buy my stuff from you Celi.

  7. Sounds like poor Mama has a misshaped hoof, I wonder if there are YouTube videos about trimming sheep feet to correct hoof abnormalities. I know there are ones about horses and I would guess cows, although I’ve never looked to see for sure. If you could figure out why that hoof collects mud, it is possible that you might be able to trim her hoof in a way to cause it to grow correctly. This type of trimming takes a while to see results and you have to do it frequently to encourage proper growth, but you are having to work with her often anyways.
    It is too bad they don’t make the pheromone collars for pigs like they do cats. Or pignip so they could get happy and relaxed together.

    • That is good info about her hoof, i do trim often but not with a Plan! I shall do the research. thank you. And maybe the shush sisters should have a beer together!.. c

      • I like the idea of a beer. I understand that some farmers are feeding some of that “Wacky Tabacky” to their animals. Some funky music and some munchies might do the trick.

        • Ha ha ha that is brilliant.. medicinal herb for pigs!! i wonder if it is illegal to grow herb for the hogs!! What a laugh! c

  8. Poor Mama. If there’s a open area/hole you can trim out/away to help keep dirt from getting packed back in, that seems to help a little and even better if you can put a few drops of iodine in the hole several times a week to slow up the bacteria which keeps eating away. We have a little trouble with this when it’s been wet and little pieces of gravel work their way in, much like a horse.

    In case you haven’t seen this, very funny! http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/16/212620462/so-baaad-its-good-sheep-protest-video

    • Thank you, an excellent idea, i have been pouring iodine in between when i am working with her. The wee hole is a good idea. She kicks and bucks the whole time so it is a bit of an operation at the best of times. c

  9. I did not realize sheep hooves had to be watched like horses’. Happy feet are important.
    Love the portable ark for the field. This chicks will have happy lives.
    Pig wars. Just don’t know what to think about that….Children! Play nice!
    Hope your day is delightful

  10. Those poor pigs! Don’t tell them I’ve just been to the Boueria and bought a giant chorizo de bellota (made from free rango acorn fed pigs).

  11. Celi, I experienced the male shift in poultry and geese. I can’t understand how they can be hatched and raised together only to turn into hellions with each other at puberty.
    But why have the Shush Sisters had this split? Perhaps it is the instinct to protect her babies? Even against her own sister… ??? Too sad.

    So very glad you rescued Mama and company.

    • It may be, because Mama was in with the cows, keeping the sheep away from Hairy and they had made a mess around their water .. it got quite muddy and for a few days i just did not catch on. So I think we may have had the same problem, her feet have always been a bother for her, this is why she is on the dry concrete now, with no complaints. I have John home tomorrow so he will help me trim and dry the hoof. c

  12. I remember the story of how you found Mama and reread it–every sad word of it. Just so strange! Usually animal abuse is accompanied by falling-down barns, animals wallowing in their own excrement, starving, total neglect but Mama’s experience was just the opposite. Rich folks who haven’t the first inkling of taking care of sheep. Really strange!

    Maybe there’s jealousy between the Shush Sisters–one has piglets and the other none. Sheila wishes she had piglets and Charlotte wishes she were footloose and fancy free.

    • They are separated by a whole field now and I can hear them shouting st each other from the house. I think it is a territorial thing. The piglets are far away from them and not in the picture now. They are becoming quite a problem… c

  13. I didn’t realize they called those contraptions arks. When you first said Ark I was thinking boat, which we could use here about now. We have a 20 inch rain surplus and it’s raining all weekend. So good to see Mama again. She always makes me smile.

  14. A great deal of interest going on as usual. Poor Kupa – becoming a humble peacock instead of a proud one for a while!

  15. Poor Sheila and Charlotte. They used to be such good buddies. Tilly is a beauty.

  16. Hey! We need a REAL ark here with all this rain we’re getting. DeDe don’t even want to go outside to potty.

  17. I remember reading in Michael Pollan’s ‘Omnivore’s Dilemma’ about the ‘chicken tractor’ and I have been wanting to see one! You and your farmy are so inspiring. X

  18. Love the ark and the thought of the chickens having fresh weeds each time it’s moved. We’ve had small versions of the ark here for guinea pigs and rabbits, and pulled the ark (think we called it a hutch) around the grass.

    • we did as kids too, i still cannot understand keeping rabbits in a cage above ground, all ours were dragged about the yard!

  19. I missed Mama’s story on my catch up read of thekitchensgarden, I’m so glad you linked it… I had tears in my eyes. The chooks’ ark is cool but I think the whole of the Farmy is a true Ark, Noah style, maybe not animals 2 by 2 being saved from a deluge of rain but a sustainable enterprise on the modern world basis 🙂

  20. I feel sorry for the person who tries to go near my Pete’s feet – he is INCREDIBLY ticklish and just talking about it makes him cringe so he will definitely sympathise with Mama.
    Oh dear what to do with Sheila and Charlotte C – do hope they can become loving sisters again soon.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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