Peachicks and sunflowers

Yesterday while working in the barn I heard a chirping that sounded both out of place and at the same time familiar.

It was the chirp of an emerging peachick. I was sure of it.  I climbed up the ladder to the loft to check Mrs Flowers but she  was giving nothing away.  mrs flowers

Maybe tomorrow we will see some chicks up there. Sensibly Mrs Flowers has created her nest in the Peacock Palace in the well between old hay.  She is safe there. I can shut the door.  I can keep the cats out of there.


But Pania as usual has made her nest out in the top of a hay stack. Right in the open. Watched by cats. From every corner.  They will get the chicks. So I am going to have to take her eggs and incubate them. It feels so mean, but those chicks won’t last a morning with five cats working together.

Poor old Pania. I will work it out though.

The piglets and all were eating sunflower seeds all afternoon.

piglets and sunflowers

Poppy and her piglets were separated yesterday. Poppy just followed me across the fields. This was miserable for Poppy, though deep down I think she knew why, the piglets, left in their house, just ate everything in sight and lay about like little fat pigs.


I gave Poppy a few beers, and some rescue remedy and she seemed to settle down for a while.  She was already quieter by evening. (Probably hung over poor lovey). Weaning is so hard. For animals and humans.



Tane got all excited  about Poppy being out in the field and began chopping his jaws at her so I took them across to the barn.  One change in the ecosystem of the farmy and everything is out of sync.


Then terrible weather came in like a whirl and I put everyone I could into the barn. Luckily we missed the worst of it. Later in the night I  went out and opened the doors up again. We get some wild weather this time of year.

I pick sunflowers every day, the whole heads. The chickens, both the meat chickens and the layers and all the pigs love munching on them. The sweetcorn and sunflowers have been wonderful feed for the animals.

I hope you have a lovely day,

Your friend on the farm




41 Comments on “Peachicks and sunflowers

  1. Look at Boo snaking through the gate. I hope this means he’s on the mend… Poor Poppy must feel like a mum waving her babies off to their first day of school. Proud, but sad and a bit anxious how they’ll get on without her. I think a nice beer was probably just what she needed. Interesting that you feed sunflower seeds to your chickens; I was always taught that they brought on a moult because of the oil in them. Obviously one of those old wive’s tales!

    • I never heard that but they have been in a moult for a few weeks now so maybe the sunflowers will hurry them through? I have always fed them to the meat chickens though.. and piglets.. c

  2. Have Poppy and Manu been introduced yet? Those sunflower heads are huge 🙂 Looking forward to seeing the peachicks. Laura

  3. Weather is mad for certain glad you all are doing well. Stay safe.

  4. Hop and Pop will be very thankful soon, no doubt! It will be interesting to see if she has calmed down for good, or if she’ll be up to her old antics soon! 🙂

  5. So glad to hear that you have some peachicks hatching! Hope Boo is on the mend. I love that you gave Poppy a couple of beers. I hope she does okay without her greedy brood!

  6. Oh, hop and pop Poppy, poor girl. Is she and Sheila still buddies? I know relationships all change with motherhood…. trust me, I have lost many a friend after they became Moms since I’m not a member of the club. 😉

    Boo, what talent he has!

    • That is such a sad thing. At present Sheila and Poppy are wary of each other, they forget. But as the days go past they will reshuffle and become gentle with each other again.. c

  7. Poppies piglets are getting big!! She will thank you down the road that you helped in the weaning process. What a great idea in giving the piglets the sunflower heads! Never thought about that!

  8. Maybe you could swap Pania’s eggs for something else. Like giving fake eggs to broody chicken.
    Poor Poppy, though I bet she’ll cheer up if she gets to go on long walks with the dogs 😉
    Sunflower seeds are exceptionally popular as human snacks in Spain – people leave little piles of the shells all over the place.

  9. Our cats don’t stand a chance against protective mother hens and ducks. Perhaps Pania could hold her own too?

    • I have seen these cats work as a pack, the moment the hen chases off a cat the other cat steals the chick from behind her..These cats are ferocious hunters. But if you think they will be safe I am more than happy to try. c

  10. if pania has been setting week or more, you may trade a baby from mrs flowers for her eggs.. put baby under her fter dark
    usually, with chickens, they think thier own egg hatched during night.. and then put her, and new baby in cat proof area, in the morning
    and put eggs in incubater

      • I sort of think you’ll have to give Pania fakes – or move her if you give her a chick. She might be devastated to think she’d done a good job hatching only to lose the chick to cats. I don’t trust cats – love them dearly, but don’t trust them an inch. Mine will drink my tea if I walk away, so . . .
        Chris S in Canada

  11. I planted giant sunflowers for the birds, but I hadn’t planned on squirrels eating the flowers while still buds. I even put “hair nets” on the ripening heads…which didn’t deter the squirrels. Don’t they know I would share the bounty with them too?

  12. Sunflowers were huge items in Ukraine; seed covers spill sidewalks; the oil from the sunflower seeds is incomparable; a woody, earthy taste maybe; it’s been a while; nothing here seems to compare; best to you and all

  13. Boo seems to be moving around just fine today. I’m so glad to see that. Best wishes to Poppy as she gets her figure back. She has done a wonderful job with her babies. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try some beer to ease my separation.

    Is that Difficult or Little? That baby is all leg!

  14. Beer for Poppy. I think that’s great. A wonderful soother for sorrow. Weaning really is so painful. I remember your lambs bleating so. When I read about dams being separated from their foals it is heartbreaking too.
    Oh I hope Boo is feeling better. At least he isn’t flat out on the verandah. He looks to be active. I am always amazed at how you know what to feed your creatures!

  15. This is life. Farmy life. So normal and yet so special . I like how you everything take into consideration, how you try to do justice to everyone here (or maybe better: how you try to meet everyone’s needs) and how you empathize with whom who needs it the most. So lovely. And lovingly.
    I do love all the photos of today. They are so real. Little always looks so forlorn though…
    Have a nice evening, Celi. Warm regards.

  16. Boo looks to be up to his usual activities. That wee calf is so thin, but looks healthy otherwise. You invested so much into those wee ones, it has to be encouraging to seem them coming along. Mrs. Flowers has made herself quite the safe haven for her chicks.

  17. One of the family stories about the G.O.’s great grandmother is that she was a great believer in and eater of sunflower seeds, she lived to be 98, a life sadly cut short by being hit by a train while collecting coal on the tracks… imagine the long life the sunflower seeds may have given her otherwise. So there’s a lesson we can all think on in our own way, eat the seeds but watch out for trains.

  18. To share a moment with a weaning sow, nursing a couple of beers together, sounds like an idyllic way to spend time on the farmy. Someday I will have to time a farmy retreat to accomplish this.

  19. I do realize the two-leggeds and four-leggeds truly are a family on the farmy, but sharing beers adds another dimension indeed! Oh my Hungarian ex was never without a handful of sunflower seeds and besides oils methinks there is protein and carbs there too: wish they looked more appetizing to me 🙂 !! Boo: news just great . . .

  20. It’s so true that you can’t change one thing with livestock without all sorts of other changes happening in reaction. I really appreciate the “lulls” when things are working well enough, everyone is happy, and the daily routine can be just that – a routine. Of course, those periods never last for long.
    Weaning is so hard. I’ve been lucky with most of my goats; could take the time to let the mamagoats decide for themselves. They all kept the milk bar open a little longer than I expected them to, but when they decided to shut it down, that was IT. No further discussion, and no apparent problems. By comparison, a couple of times I’ve had to separate kids and does for some reason, and the timing meant it made sense to go ahead and wean them. The endless calling, day after day…it would break a harder heart than mine!

  21. Pingback: Peachicks and sunflowers | thekitchensgarden | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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