Yesterday morning I went across to the West Wing to feed the four calves there and found that the little-ist one, who last week scoured so badly she was coating the walls in a bloody mess, was laid down shivering.  The nights have been cooler but not that cold.  She got up for her bottle then went and laid down again while the rest of the calves did their post- drink frolic:literally kicking up their heels and leaping about. Harlequin Bobbi just laid there and shook.  (When everyone was sick I had to write names on the bottles so there was no cross contamination and called this one Harlequin Bobby because of the markings on her face.  Though as a rule I only name animals I intend to breed). Harlequin has always drunk well since the sickness but still does not thrive.

So I picked this little calf up – she makes Little look chubby – popped her in the back of the car with the dogs and brought her back home. I put a jacket on her and got her to drink some electrolyte as warm as she could have it and laid her in a sunny pen. After a few hours she gathered herself back up again and her shivering calmed. She is now in with Little so she can join his three times a day feeding schedule.

She is so small.  So skinny. calves and cows

Later I took her coat off and pushed her out into the sun. After introducing herself to everyone she and Little Bobby found a corner of tall weeds and like good calves made a warm nest and went to  sleep for the afternoon with TonTon on watch.

calf and dog

Yesterday, while Pania was out walking I took her eggs away, (feeling like a robber) gave her four chicken eggs and put the peacock  eggs in the incubator.   I have a wee waiting list for peachicks so these ones will be sold.  And Hugo flies in from Marseille, France tonight, and this means he might be able to see a hatching too!   Hopefully in a few weeks.

Hugo will arrive late tonight. He is eighteen (the youngest working guest I have ever had to stay)  and keen as mustard to get to work.  He is coming from France to stay here a few months and as well as farm he also wants to learn English. So like Fede he will go home speaking American English with a Kiwi accent. I think he will be an animal person – everyone finds their niche – we will see.  But I have a feeling that he will be adopted by this lot! This swarm of squealing pig-ness. piglets

They will charm him for sure. Naomi

Naomi is growing into such a handsome heifer. Hopefully this weekend John will help me shift her across to live with  the steers.  (I cannot fit her in the back of my car!) She is very tired of living with pigs and these little calves are just too puny for such a boisterous heifer to play with. She needs a herd and Daisy’s Bobby will be off to the abbatoir in early September so Queenie’s Bobby will be needing the company.  Queenie’s Bobby is a beef cow so she gets to grow for another year.


This morning when I began my chores Sheila and Poppy were both sleeping together in their hut. Both with their heads facing outward into the light of the rising sun.  Both totally relaxed.  I was so pleased to see them reunited like that. Do you remember Charlotte and the terrible bloody battles  she had  with Sheila after I weaned Charlotte from her piglets.  That was awful. This is so much better. This is the way it should be.  Much calmer.

I have learnt a lot over the last few years.  And Poppy has done us proud.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm,



22 Comments on “Harlequin

  1. I don’t think any of those little cows would have survived without your care. It’s good to see all the animals out in the sun. I’d adopt all those piglets 😉

  2. i begin to wonder just how many set-backs anyone can take. You seem to have your fair share and then some more. Reckon the good Lord must know what He is doing as He has always said that He would never ask anyone to take on anymore than He knew they could cope with. Going by that statement i reckon you must definitely be Super Super Woman…..I do hope that everything will turn out fine…..great pictures and love u loads xxxxx

  3. Poppy has indeed done well. Celi, you need never worry about putting on weight. Each day brings its one trial to keep you on your toes. yesterday it was Harlequin Bobby, but I am sure you will sort the problem in double quick time. Wishing an early ‘Bienvenue’ to Hugo! With so many sniffs, snorts, coos and licks, I am sure he will settle in really well. May his stay be fun, productive and full of learning.

  4. Those clown markings on the side of that Bobbi are amazingly clear. Poppy has been this summers’ no 1 success story, I just want to hug those fat shiny piggies. Perhaps we will all get a chance to improve our French with Hugo’s stay 🙂 Here’s to a plain sailing weekend for the Farmy and you. Laura

  5. These young animals have such a tenuous hold on life early on. Kittens, puppies, calves, foals – all so fragile, their little flame snuffed out so easily. You shield them from the cold winds of life, pull them back from the edge by sheer force of will. That’s your gift, I think, a gift for life, and fostering it in others when other people would have given up. If I ever get really sick again, I want Celi-power pulling me back into health! A loud, cheerful Farmy welcome to Hugo, I hope he will find happiness and contentment in his labours there. I wonder whether he has any skill in the kitchen – will he be 1940s Kitchen Mama too?

    • He told me he LOVES to cook – in fact this is what swayed me to accept him – he is so much younger than my usual visitor.. so we will see! But it looks hopeful… c

      • He will love having all that fresh cream if he is a good FRENCH cook then!!! I mean I’m just old fashioned home cook that loves fresh ingredients, and i’m drooling over the fresh milk, cream and garden items you have not to mention the chickens!!!!

  6. I like very much how Aunty Del and Harlekin say hello to each other.
    You are a burglar. Aren’t peacock eggs much bigger than hen eggs? Would Pania accept that deal? – Nice to see Naomi again. I think she has changed very much but looks lovely.
    The piggy hut is nice. One more reason to wish to be a pig at the Farmy sometimes. I’m glad that Poppy and Sheila love each other as before. Sleeping that close together!
    Oh, we can be proud of you having managed all that…
    I wish you a warm welcome with Hugo and a very well arriving at the Farmy. So young he is…

  7. I’m glad you will be getting help soon. Any word on Fede’s exams or if he will be allowed to come back? Those poor calves just can’t seem to get a foot hold on life. You have gone farther than anyone else would to save them. I am certain they are trying not to let you down. Keeping good thoughts.

  8. Goodness, 2 steps forward, one step back. I hope she rallies soon. I love that Ton lies nearby to keep watch over them.
    I will have to go back in the files and find the stories about Charlotte and the awfulness of when she had piglets. I know she was a raging mess when she was still nursing them.

  9. With all the chaos in the cow world, I’m glad you have peace in the pig world. Can’t wait for more pea chicks!

  10. Poppy is a superstar. So is Sheila for that matter! Glad that your magic is working so far on Harlequin Bobby. I thought Bobby’s were always boys, did I get that wrong?

    • Usually they are all boys this is true. but these are freemartin heifers – they will never breed – so they are being grown as bobbys. In fact I may grow them and sell them. We will see. c

  11. Oh I’m so relieved you caught Harlequin Bobbi before it was too late. I’m so hoping this sunny weather will restore her. So cute Poppy and Sheila! Animal personalities. Aren’t they simply amazing. And Naomi looks terrific. I sure hope Hugo is a big strapping guy who can help you with the heavy lifting and the frying pans too.

  12. Bonne chance with Hugo – sounds promising. Poor littlr Harlequin, but if anyone can pull him through it’s you. Lovely to see the animals enjoying the sunshine.

  13. how is boo/ don’t answer this directly; too much time; can you throw his status in one of your blogs? total best wishes!

  14. Even with Harelquin Bobbi’s trials, there’s a feeling of peacefulness today. Poppy and piglets have come though with flying colours, Poppy gets to have a rest and hang out with Aunty Sheila, Little gets to return the favour of nurturing. All being well, you’ll have time to enjoy the visitors and help that is on the way 🙂

  15. Welcome to Hugo: first there was the Argentinian influence . . . now all of us will be part of a French one . . . . am sure the four-leggeds will also be charmed . . . a good ‘getting-to-know-you’ weekend to all of you 🙂 !

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