Mama finds her voice again and Kupa is moved into the chook house

When I went out to feed the animals yesterday morning Mama had her front feet up in the feeder and was peering at me over the fence. What a welcome sight. And then in the afternoon  she found her voice and baa-ed at me for getting home late. This is the first time I have heard her speak since her miscarriages.  And I cannot tell you how relieved I was to hear her big deep voice. Every sheep has a different voice. Mama is a contralto. She has real timber in her calls.

But I have no pictures of her today because we went to the movies!  And I had no trouble sitting through the whole of The Hobbit.  I was ready to stand at the back of the theater (I know some people who worked on it you see)  but the Dragon was well worth the risk of an uncomfortable few hours. So now I can drive, go to restaurants and sit in the movie theater. I believe my injury is letting go of my life. sunday-006

I caught Kupa again this evening and carried him across the field to the chook house. He said not a word. He is not well poor old fella. I have no pictures of this move as it was done at dusk and I kind of had my hands full. He is gaping and rasping like an asthmatic. I have noticed that his condition worsens on the colder days (yesterday we had a high of 16F  (-8C) with a cold wind and last night we had a low of  8F (-13C) even colder). So he has gone in to live with the chickens where it is warmer and there is a hot lamp to sit under, also it will be easy for me to catch him again and take him to the vet this coming week if he does not improve.   The worms that were eggs when he was last treated will have hatched out now, so if that is his problem he will need another round of the treatment.  I am sure this is the first time someone has brought a peacock through the vets  door!


I was avoiding this move because he may have been infectious but Tui and Pania have no problems with the cold, are quite well and none of the barn flock is doing the gaping thing so I am risking it.  

On our walk yesterday morning I inspected under the bee hive. I cleared away the snow from their entrance and got a stick and pulled all the dead bees out of the way as they were blocking the door. There were a lot of dead bees. Hundreds of them. I became sadder and sadder as I pulled out the little frozen bodies. Then beginning very quietly and getting louder and angrier I heard a furious buzzing from hundreds of other bee voices. It was good to hear them shouting at me to bugger off!  Good wee bees, I said. You go back to sleep now.  They have piles of honey this year, I took none at all, so as long as they find the honey, there is a good chance they will do alright. Cold does not bother them, it is the fluctuations in weather that will cause the problems. So as far as they are concerned it is a good thing to get cold and stay cold. Losing some at the beginning of the winter is normal. So I am hoping this was not a bad sign.


We had a little more snow in the night, it is shaping up to be a very wintry winter.

Have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farmy


60 Comments on “Mama finds her voice again and Kupa is moved into the chook house

  1. Glad about Mama, glad about your bees and glad about your rear! Not glad about The Duke though, I hope he pulls through as he bring so much colour and pomp to the farmy!

  2. Celi, your first photo took me by surprise! At first I thought you were vacationing on a beach with white sands! What a change the snow makes to your surroundings by covering all the paths and fields. Beautiful!
    We are followers of the goings on of hobbits and elves too, so it is good to hear you enjoyed the dragon! We have yet to get into town and the movies. 😉
    I hope the vet will be able to help poor Kupa. I am impressed that you have a vet there that will look at birds. Here I have to drive 150 miles round trip to get to an avian vet!
    And OH, am I so happy to hear that you are on the mend and that you can sit.

  3. I glad to hear that Mama can join me in a big “Baa, humbug”. Glad to hear you’re on the mend. I’m glad you were able to sit through the movie in that your injury is getting better….on the other hand, I can’t imagine anyone sitting through “The Hobbit” or any other Tolkien/Jackson dollar drain. That wasn’t very Christmassy, Roger….there may have been very good friends of Celi’s involved in the very nice film:)

    • I am not a huge fan of the films due to their length mainly .. you know what Hitchcock said abut not making a movie longer than the bladder can wait or something like that, but I have sons and friends and future daughters in law all working for Weta in NZ. My brother is a sword maker too. And I am even called upon for stills for the artists on occassion. The Hobbit is only one of the films they have worked on. We all back PJ to the hilt as he brings his dollars home and employs many, many NZers. He is an industry in NZ. However I love it when you do your grumpy old man imitation!! and the dragon is pretty cool Roger! c

  4. I never thought about Bees in winter before..must get very cold for them..good thing they have homemade honey to keep them going,.
    I do hope that Kupa will recover…he is such a beautiful would be sad to lose him..

    • The bees all huddle together with their queen in the middle, they workk very hard to keep warm in there.. I think Kupa will do better with the domestic birds.. c

  5. my neighbor, the beekeeper, buys the 4×8 ft sheets of styrofoam, about 1 inch thick,cuts then to size, encases the hives with styrofoam to help keep bees warm.he ,leaves an opening at bottom for them to escape, and a vent hole in top super for moisture to escape.
    look like square,shiney spaceships, i call them spacebees when he winterizes hives

      • Interesting about turning the hive into space capsules! No doubt the bees are Happy Campers! 🙂

    • Hmm, I have thought a lot of doing something like this, for many years I thought duct tape was called Duck Tape.. and could never work out why, but I am never without it! c

      • Originally it was duct tape and used for…ta da…ducts. When I was a kid, I remember my dad using it for that only. But, that was a long, long time ago.

  6. You could most likely star in a Hobbit film Celi, with your small stature, curly hair and all! No doubt you’d be fabulous!!! But then again the farmy couldn’t do without you!!! So glad you and the animals are getting better!!! xoxoxo

  7. The bees are no doubt beehaving normally, glad Mama is back to being sheep-shape, but Kupa is a cause for concern.
    I think the Hobbit movie would have been much improved by leaving out the additions to the original story. The silly repetitive chase scenes, for example.

  8. Awesome news on your backside! Great news on hear talking to you and I hope they can find out what is wrong with him 😦

  9. So happy to hear that Mama is doing so much better. Good care with some love thrown in was just what the doctor ordered.

    As happy as I was to hear that Mama is doing better, I was not happy to hear that Kupa is having problems again. Hope some time in a warm coop does the trick.

    How wonderful that your bum is healed enough that you could sit thru a movie. And how exciting to watch a film you have a connection to.

    Our nephew is an actor out in New York, graduating from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU a few years ago. He also spent some time in London studying. He has done more on stage than in front of the camera, but recently that has changed when he was given a small role on the show “White Collar” and a bigger role in a made for HBO film with Julia Roberts called “The Normal Heart,” which is still in post-production. Of course we recently dropped our satellite TV service and haven’t been able to see the “White Collar” episode yet, but will watch it soon on the web once the TV provider unlocks the episode for free viewing.

    And now that I’ve written a book in your comments, I’ll stop 🙂

    • It is cool to have connections in the film world, I worked in film out of london for a while and it is always exciting to a name in the credits that you know. I must look out for White collar when it comes up on netflix (which I must renew too as I let it drop in the summer!) take care deb.. c

  10. Back in November when the cold started, I was over doing the last bit of maintenance to my friends veggie garden. She got bees this year, a birthday gift from her son (which worries the heck out of me as she is NOT a natural nature person at all!! This is the person I have to pull all the weeds in the garden before she eats them as she has no idea what is edible or not!). Anyway I wondered over to the bee huts and noticed several dead ones. I quickly emailed my friend (at this stage she had but no sugar water out for them and I had been reading your posts on providing this for them). Any way she said her bee keeper (who sold her the bees) said a lot of the males get ‘thrown out’ before winter as they no longer have a role to play! Found this very strange!
    Glad Mama is improving. Now to get that peacock on the mend!
    Glad you went to the movies, haven’t been in years! I did like the LOTR series though, to the extent I have named my cottage ‘Shire Cottage’ (but also because I was born in the Shires – Hertfordshire to be precise).

    • Your friend is right, the drones get the old heave-ho as they are of no use in the winter and as they are bigger they eat more and only have a short lifespan anyway, plus we have to remember that a worker bee only has a life span of about 2 months so there will be a certain amount of attrition as winter goes on. The idea is to get as many newly hatched ones right at the end of summer so they will carry her through the winter..this is another reason we feed them. But there is also a movement against feeding so only the strongest survive.. c

  11. I have been wondering for a while if, Peacocks being a bird of tropical/subtropical origins, wouldn’t be affected by the extreme cold prairie winter temps? However, Kupa should have acclimated as that is where he was hatched – interesting. Hope he recovers – just like Mama did. So glad she has bounced back. Laura

  12. We had a lot of snow this weekend too, it sure is a pretty sight. Hope Kuppa feels better soon. So sad about the bees, I hope they do well over the winter.

  13. Love knowing Mama’s a contralto. I’m wondering what TonTon is–and Boo too. My border collie was a tenor. Oh, I hope Kupa pulls through. I remember the day you got him at that country fair.

  14. Red raspberry leaves are excellent for reproductive ailments for both man and beast. My does gobble it down as if it is candy.

  15. You have had such a varied time since yesterday – poorly Kupa, dead bees but cured Mama and film show. We could never be bored by this blog! Glad your tail let you sit down in the cinema.
    Love, Viv
    BTW the ground up meringue in the Royal Icing is an enormous success, has remained un-concrete-like.

  16. We just nursed a chicken with the similar symptoms to Kupa… made a chicken hospital with heat lamp in a dishwasher box, then force fed her until she started eating. You can squirt the water soluble antibiotics along with some chicken Gatorade with electrolytes into his mouth with a squirty thing used for cats. Both are powders available from the feed store. By Jove, our chicken Rocky slowly recovered. It’s better when they are not using energy trying to keep warm and can just fatten up. And she is recovering! She was starving and we thought she was a gone-er. But now she is clucking and joining the chickens during the day when it’s warmer. We catch her every night and put her back under the heat lamp. Good luck with Kupa. It can be so sad when an animal is sick— can preoccupy one.

  17. Here’s hoping your local vet has taken an interest in avian diagnosis and treatment – I would count you lucky if he/she has. In the UK you have to drive a long way to find a poultry/avian specialist; even with the recent boom in poultry ownership our small-animal vets are sorely lacking in the necessary skills/experience – as I found to my cost. Maybe Kupa has a developed a secondary infection which is causing airsaculitis; finger’s crossed it’s not a Mycoplasma-based infection.

  18. Although I was born a flatlander, I have lived in or where I could see mountains for over 55 years. The sheer expanse of flatness of the plains is awesome. Like gazing out at the ocean. I love to watch the Hobbit films just for the scenery. Going to NZ is at the top of my bucket list….I think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Glad Mama seems to have recovered from the loss of her lambs. Now she will be a lamb sitter. We had a ewe that watched lambs while the rest went out to pasture in the mornings. Little lambs lay on top of her and all around her while they napped in the sun. Interesting about the bees. Getting rid of the drones when they have served their purpose. Mmmmmm. Nuf said. So glad you are healing nicely and getting back up to speed. I am sure the animals missed your extra care. Today we are bringing chicken waterers into the house to fill as the outside pipes to the garden and hen house have frozen. What a bother!! DH redid those pipes a few years ago and buried those pipes over 3 feet deep! Temps of 20 below at night have taken their toll. Keeping my fingers crossed that nothing broke underground. If you can’t fix the Duke, nobody can, I think. You are a natural healer.

  19. The vet I use (in California) has 10 acres that are divided into runout pens for dogs he boards, and maybe 3 acres of pasture for some ancient sheep and a couple of ponies. Last year a trio of peafowl wandered in, stayed, and raised 4 babies. It’s the most inhospitable habitat I’ve ever seen for peafowl, with dogs behind fences everywhere, but they show no signs of leaving. Even so, this vet knows nothing about birds. He has been feeding them cat food entirely. I gifted him a sack of game bird mix for Christmas and he called me and said, “Wow, you should see them eat this!” Duh. A good avian vet is so hard to find. We have an excellent diagnostic lab at UCDavis, but they only examine deceased subjects, so you don’t take a live bird to them unless it’s expendable. The most common thing that has shown up in their reports of examining back yard birds over the past couple of years is tumors, which is disturbing. If Kupa had anything the other birds could catch, it seems like they’d already be showing signs even worse than his, I don’t believe chickens are as hardy as peafowl. Let’s hope it IS something curable and in the meantime keeping him warm and close at hand sounds like a wise move.

      • Your vet sounds like quite a card, Jan. And also someone who does not mind input a helping hand!! lovely story .. c

  20. I just noticed that your post came to my mailbox at 4:22AM. You are up that early?

  21. So-o glad to hear that your back is getting better. And that Mama is on the way up too. Poor old Kupa… I’m sure the cold would get to him, as getting acclimatized is the work of hundreds of years of evolution, and I’m not sure the poor old cows have got used to the heat in the North after a hundred and fifty years or so…

  22. Mostly smiles ~ There is no way you could have felt pain in your back whilst watching what both your NZ sons helped create . . . glad you had the chance to see ‘The Hobbit’! And great about Mama: once thus far I don’t think she’ll backtrack – a contralto, well, well 🙂 ! One better, one to go – hope something can be done about Kupa – there is a long winter ahead!! But I would love to send a special hug for those beautiful snow photos around your home – for once so beautifully peaceful . . with that glorious pale blue tint on the snow!!

  23. Oh dear Kupa….sigh…I hope the trip to the vet helps you…poor soul…maybe the heat from the lamp will help. I feel sad for you…lovely big bird! Saying a little prayer for you!
    It was in the 30s here today and tomorrow it will drop once again. It was a nice reprieve though! Got more snow last night. Had to move it today…
    My squirrel is back and eating in his house I made for him! So happy about that! 🙂 Yay! Mama is doing well again! What a relief! Nice welcome she gave you! 😀
    I would love to be a fly on the wall when you bring Kupa into the vets office!!!!! Eyes will pop!!! LOL
    Baked 173 dog bone treats today. For Christmas presents for my children’s pups!!! Got some really cute Christmas buckets to put them in!!!
    Tomorrow I rest!!!! Ahhhhh…..
    Oooohhhh Harry Potter!!! I heard it was fantastic!!! Who doesn’t love Harry Potter! Glad you had a great night out and your tushie is feeling so much better!
    Take care! Love you!!! Hi everyone!!! Muah and a hug!!!

  24. Oh! oopsie The Hobbit! I saw the reviews. Looks great! Would love to see it too. Maybe after everyone has been there first! Then no lines!!!

  25. That certainly is good news to hear that Mama is talking again. Each day you bring news progress in her recovery. Now all eyes are on Kupa. I hope this next round of treatment helps him. It’s snowing right now, large fluffy flakes. I’m waiting for the weather report to see the latest on how much to expect. It’s been ages since we’ve had this much snow in December. At least it’s coming in separate waves and not all at once. We do not need a blizzard. Have a good night, Celi. Stay warm!

    • No, we certainly do not need a blizzard.. I love those big fluffy flakes, all we have got today are polystyrene balls! c

      • They said that we’ll get about an inch now and then another wave will hit at rush hour tomorrow morning for another inch. No mention of polystyrene balls, though. 🙂

  26. Oh, there’s is a dragon in The Hobbit (which will be released in Australia I think on Boxing Day)… both the G.O. and I enjoyed the first Hobbit movie (& me the LOR’s) but took our time getting around to it. However, a dragon will see us at the cinema sooner rather than later 🙂
    I’m really pleased about Mama, and a little worried about Kupa but you’ve managed to do the trick with a little… or a lot of… TLC so far.

  27. So glad your injury is letting go of your life. (That was a wonderful way to say it)
    We had frost last night. Some banana trees are limp and liquifying across the street – but still seeing monarch butterflies on the lantana which is bravely still blooming….warm (60-maybe70) for a couple of days before the nest front. The wide swings many sound nice, but confused the plants and not so good for my sinuses either…but ready for some sun..any little bit of sun…

  28. What good news that you sat through the Hobbit! Was this your birthday treat? And Mama is baa-ing once more. The snow looks beautiful.

  29. I am glad you feeling a little better, now don’t over do it or you will be in pain again. Low and slow recovery you little speed demon… LOL My little Buddy is also disliking the cold and even with his little red doggy sweater he shivers and does not want to walk. It is a whopping 9 degrees celsius here in Hong kong and that is cold. I actually had to wear socks. Take care, BAM

  30. The dead bee bodies sound normal. I have put insulation in the top of my hives and a slab on fondant on the crown board (just above the top frames). Do you have mouse guards on?

    Sorry to hear about Kupa.

    • I have little wooden guards, yes, with a hold for them to get in and out, and insulation on the two coldest sides, I will do the top today, i worry about condensation tho.. c

      • If your floor is an open mesh one condensation shouldn’t be a problem. If it’s a solid floor then you may need a vent at the top to provide airflow. Traditionally matchsticks were used under the crown board in the UK.

  31. Your snow is so pretty to look at. I’m glad Mama is feeling better, and Miss C is feeling better, now to get Kupa feeling better…

  32. So relieved to hear that Mama is doing well and that YOU are doing so much better, though am distressed for poor Kupa. Did you love the Hobbit? We plan to see it after the holiday. Your snow scenes are so beautiful.

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