John and the Matriarch want duck for Christmas dinner. But I bought a few extra so I could breed them too. Sadly two of the extra were dead on arrival. So we have four Orpington ducks. The chickens are a selection of cold-hardy layers. Next week the meat chickens come. By then the glass house will be empty and the chicks will be raised in there. These ones are on the verandah, in the meantime, in an enormous horse trough with a heating lamp, so they can take advantage of the lovely warm sunny days.
My friend and I shifted the old chooks and their ark over to the the Barn Across the Way. The lady who rents the house close to the barn is keeping an eye on them for me. She had a number of visiting children and they streamed out of the house like bright giggling ribbons caught in a summer breeze and proceeded to name all the chooks.
When children become involved with the process of their food I feel a deep sense of rightness. One little girl looked at the chooks and then looked back up. Can I have Spoiled eggs for lunch? She said.
I put the feeder pigs together yesterday, perfumed and coiffed and initially they were just fine, but later it all fell apart. The fighting was terrible. Blood was shed. Just between the Red and Number Three. (see! even when they have No names they have names). This big red fella would not give up, so after a number of hours, I gave up and shut the gates again. They were heaving, ill, exhausted. Hanging on each other like old boxers. So now Number Three has company. And The Big Red bad tempered one, who is growing at an astronomical rate, is on the other side of the gate by himself in his room thinking about how he could have Done Better.
It was hot yesterday, in the high 80’s. And we basked in it. Sheila and Poppy were basking a little too much so I put the hose in the wallow so they could get out the suntan lotion. Mud. So clever. Sheila was straight in there, oh she was so relieved to find the mud again. Poppy is still in the discovery stage.
Good morning. Look at these little ducklings. Sitting at the bar.
Life is good. I am worn out already. But good. I have also successfully integrated Mama and her flock with Queenie’s flerd. So now all the stock is in the good paddock and will stay out of the barn from now on. Deeply satisfying!
Have a lovely day.