In the mornings when it is sunny (and not too muddy yet) I let the kunekune’s Tima and Tane out for a walk. Tane goes straight out to the South field. Tima heads the other way – down the drive right to the end and picks through the field in the East. There was corn in there you see, last summer. There just might be a kernel of two left behind. And Tima works the corners she has some kind of system to cover all the areas where the big machines turned and possibly dropped little piles of corn.
As you know Tane will not be called back in, he comes when he is ready, usually by lunchtime I see him heading back to the barn then he lays about in the sun and out of the wind and waits for Tima to come in from her hunting and gathering.
The trick is to keep him in, if he wanders back out again and walks too much more his poor old dodgy hip begins to hurt and he is a limping old man when he gets up the next day and we won’t hear the end of it.
Tima will come when she is called but NEVER comes in by herself. She fiddles about out in her corner until the dogs and I walk all the way down to the letterbox about lunchtime, apples or carrots in pockets. She turns and watches us walk all the way down there to the letterbox collect the scant offerings of useless paper and once we are half way back down the track on our return journey, calling to her, ” Tima! Come Home! ” she will start to trot along in lazy pursuit.
She always stops at the puddles to stomp through the ice with big wacks with one hoof like splitting kindling, to have a drink of ice cold rain water, then continues on to the barn. With her escort of course.
Once we reach the barn Tane heaves himself up and leads us all into their apartment. Each little pig gets more apples and carrots and within minutes they are curled up asleep. Exhausted from their busy morning. They top and tail – almost always, curving into each other like worn slightly fuzzy-edged pieces of an ancient toddlers jigsaw puzzle.
Even though it has not been too cold for too long that bad night a while ago resulted in two cases of frostbite. Chickens with big fleshy combs like this are not well suited to a cold environment. The tips of the comb will dry up and fall off. War wounds in the world of chooks. They are still laying, and recovered well.
How do you think Mr Flowers knows exactly how long his tail is. He always lays down with his tail perfectly laid along a surface behind him. Like a girl on her yoga mat.
I hope you have a lovely day.