This is what happens when you survive the Polar Vortex. Your comb is burnt off, your wattle disappears, you lose the nails from your toes and sometimes the toes themselves. You are no longer pretty because maybe your tail feathers never grew back. But you never give up. Because you are chook and giving up is not in a chook’s vocabulary, in fact there is very little in a chooks vocabulary. “Food” maybe. “Scratch. Scratch” Certainly not “Give Up”.


And now my poor old Combless Chooks are going to have to endure another Polar Vortex in November. However we did it once so we can just jolly well pull up our wooly socks and do it again. We have three more reasonable days to get ready. So we will be busy.


The kunekune are ready though. They are like seals with their thick layer of lard.  And of course they have their Bat Cave.


I know I fixate on the cold but I worry. I worry about my animals and birds in the cold.


Marmalade does not worry about the cold. She has scored an inside berth.


Boo Nanny is wondering whether that little one on the end might be his kitten. But Marmalade says no. They are too little yet Boo Nanny.  But I looked after you when you were that small, he says. I know, says Marmalade, but it is still No.  Not until they are bigger.

I have shifted Marmalade and her six kittens into the Snug, which is the little room beside the lounge. Marmalade is much happier with this arrangement and spent much more time with her kittens yesterday.  Previous to that she had been pacing and searching and moving things around the house. I think Her nursery bed had got too small. I am happy to have them out of my wardrobe!


So BooBoo was sent back outside to play.


I hope you all have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farmy,


PS. For the US readers I have just launched Sheila’s T Shirt Feed for the Winter campaign. I chose Teespring because they do all the printing  packaging and sending of these very simple T shirts. So it is very hands OFF for me  which I am sure you approve of.  But we have to sell 50          which makes them a little cheaper) before the printing of the T Shirts begin. They take 10 days to print and send so if you want to reserve one or two for Christmas presents- go here.  It is very experimental, if we do not sell 50 then they will not  be printed, no-one will be charged and no-one loses any money including me.  No risk.

This is exciting! Now back to my calenders.

Later: 2.38 pm I have been corrected, Teespring will ship to international addresses! WONDERFUL.


46 Comments on “Survivors

  1. The link didn’t work, but I saw them on Facebook. I will order some when I know sizes, for grandsons, one of whom is travelling in Oz at the moment.
    Poor Chooks. Did you have any luck with the heater you mentioned the other day, the safe one?
    Enjoy your decent weather while it’s with you. Nice here today, so I went a walk this morning, welly booted to cope with the puddles.

    • evidently after you click on it .. the colon is lost .. just pop that back in and off you go. THOUGH I cannot see the image there .. sigh.. it is a nice wee pic of Sheila on the front and ‘I Love Sheila my big fat pig’ on the back.. white shirts with black ink.. Very simple.. hope your people like them!.. c

  2. I guess I’ll redirect to FB, also, since the links are not functioning. I just hate cold weather like they’re promising, but at least we have a heads-up! Everybody hunker down! Have you thought of knitting little hats (at least) for the poor chooks? 🙂

    • Oh you darling girl, these chooks are wild or they would be locked up in the warm with the others. Catching them, let alone fixing little hats on them just would not work, they would be terrified, they are all over the yard in and out of tool sheds up in the high barn loft and perch on rafters 30 feet up. Little hats would be ripped off or worse they would get hung up on them.. it might work with tame chooks in a safe coop, but not this ramshackle lot, though the image is worth a lot of smiles .. wonderful bev..

      • I know it’s impractical, but while we’re imagining them, I thought the Norwegian hats with the long braids down the sides and pompoms. If they only knew – some of us would like our wattles to disappear!

        • oh an even more gorgeous image.. Bev you should be painting these.. chickens in pompoms.. a lovely picture.. c

          • I thought straight away about knitting them little pullovers, I’ve seen chooks who’ve lost their feathers wearing them…….but no, that won’t work either 😦

  3. I have an idea, Miss C. Something for the cold weather…. You’ll have to wait and see.

    I just want to tell you and all the Fellowship how buoyed up I have felt these last few days by the kindness, encouragement and love that has poured out towards me. It’s been immeasurably helpful. I can almost feel the hum of power from all those positive thoughts! Hopefully tomorrow will bring some further news, and if it doesn’t, I shall behave like the proverbial squeaky wheel…

    Give those two bad piggies a pat from me, please, when you tuck them into bed.

    • I CANNOT Wait to see! We are right there with you for tomorrows or maybe the next days news. We will be in your pocket. Squeaking away with you. c

  4. I tried the link too — a period is showing up after http instead of the colon. When I changed that it worked!

    • thank you .. how weird.. I guess you have to change it after you clicked on it as it seems alright in the text.. … more mystified! c

  5. Aww Bless, soon, soon Boo. Kune Bat cave, looks like 5 star accommodation for the winter. Poor chooks, I see some people on the interwebs recommend coating combs with a layer of Vaseline. Managed to edit link, got onto site but no images available? Laura

    • I know.. weird, i will go back and try to reload it.. it is a very wee pic of sheila on the front and I love Sheila, my big fat Pig ..on the back.. i was so thrilled to find it last night I did it all very fast, and it worked fine for a while.. c

  6. Oh those poor chickens. I remember last year, the ice-burned combs…the missing bits. It was painful to watch. I hope, I hope there’s a way to help everyone get through this winter with less damage. The Bat Cave looks fantastic and the pigs themselves are too funny. So round, if it weren’t for tails and ears, it’d be hard to tell their backs from their fronts. Tima with her boytoy…Cuddle close.

  7. Just love the relationship between Boo and Marmalade and now, her babies.

  8. Is there nobody who can knit a jacket for the featherless chook….? I would do it myself if my fingers would let me..stay warm all ye farm animals

  9. Chooks have survived life on the prairie here in the states for probably hundreds of years. They’re a tough bunch! The bat cave idea is also an old tried and true way of seeking respite from the cold. I read in “The Childrens Blizzard” by David Laskin in the 1888 blizzard that took hundreds of lives (most of them plains children in the Dakota’s and Nebraska who didn’t make it home from school when the blizzard hit) that many of the survivors managed a night in the below freezing temperatures by burrowing into haystacks. I know we share the sense of urgency in the preparation for the onslaught of the Polar Vortex… I am so thankful for these many days to get ready!

    • What a terrible story of those children dying in the blizzard,and yes hay and straw are wonderful insulators, when My straw finally arrives i am literally stacking it in the hen house (which is huge) , it means dragging bales across to the barn when i need them but if they are in with the hens it will keep that space MUCH warmer.. c

  10. I’m always astonished my Boo’s expressive eyes. It’s a hard-study glare. Good morning, darling, and I hope you and the farmy stay toasty during your vortexy-thingy.

    • he is watching my eyes to see if I have seen the stick he has carefully placed at my feet.. he is more of an eye dog than a heeler this one!.. c

  11. YAY, Sheila t-shirts. I had trouble with the link also, but just typed and it came right up and then added a /mybigfatpig Hardy little chooks are they. I like the windbreaker in front of the bat cave. Those little pigs are so cute. Good luck with your hunkering down chores.

  12. Aaah, lovely Boo………….I have a heeler who is also an eye-er………..making sure I’ve seen her ball, such concentration and single mindedness, Give him a nose kiss for me please.

  13. For OS readers, the Teespring FAQs detail shipping costs including internationally. It’s a great idea, a Sheila t-shirt and crowd funded t-shirts in general 🙂

  14. Dare I even mention to you that we are expecting up to a foot of snow here in Minnesota tomorrow and temps well below normal for the next week? At least I do not have farm animals to worry about…

  15. Nanny Boo seems more than ready and waiting . . . cannot wait to see the photos of him beginning his ‘duties’ . . . And yes, had a long gander at your weather situation last night, trying to make sense of how it works on the Prairies and the Lake Country and am very glad to be in the sunny Southern Highlands with all week of sun, barely any wind and even temps of 24-28 C! All the best for coping! Well, what’s the choice!!!!!

  16. I am grateful the old dog doesn’t have to face another cold winter even though he always was so well tucked in and had elegant coats. When my horse got into her late 20’s I really hated the sub zero temps. My brother shared that his chickens in northern Vermont froze their waddles off , no pun intended !!!!!

  17. Oh those poor chooks. I do feel for them, seeing what the polar blasts did to their fine feather and combs. I guess every year you learn more about how to prepare. Marmalade at least is all snuggled up and ready for it.

  18. I’m so sorry you’re getting that dreadful cold again, Celi. The farmy doesn’t deserve another miserable winter. I’m glad, though, that no one is expecting this time around.

  19. Here’s hoping those different heating pads help in the chook house this winter.
    Ordered my Pig shirt, though like everyone else, had to tinker with the link.

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