Yesterday I strung up the Plonkers new field. Then shifted the Solar Panel and earth rod and electrified it. Then took down their old fence and invited them across.
Eventually they found their new home and I closed the gate.
Within an hour they had gathered their courage and were exploring the old root cellar with its very, very deep bed of straw.
When I went in there to check how they were doing I was very surprised at how much warmer it was down there, at least 10 degrees warmer and when they are all in there it will be toasty. The lack of ventilation out the back is my only concern but there is a big open doorway in the front and I will be paying close attention.
The new field has created a corridor from Sheila’s Salad Bar Field right through the Rat House Paddock, through the Middle Field (that the piglets have just left) and out into the big Pats Paddock. This will be the stomping ground of the little black and white herd for the winter. All the young cows. Bobby T (Lady Astors steer), Txiki (ALex’s heifer), Bobby T3(the new black steer) and Tia (the new black heifer). They were all born this last summer and are about the same size, so they will grow together for the winter. They have the lovely new shelter in the Rat House and will share the fields with Sheila who has her own house that they are too tall to enter. Their daily hay will be thrown over the fence right down the back of Pats Paddock. This way they will still get lots of exercise.
So now these two groups of animals are settled for the season.
Lady Astor and Aunty Del are still in the milk maids fields. I had a feeling that one of them was in heat yesterday. Too late in the year to breed anyone and I could not quite put my finger on who might be coming into heat. I have seen nothing like this in months so I will be watching closely over the next few days.
Last night I took the group of young pullets (they were hatched by a wild hen in the late summer) and put them in with the layers. Night time is the best time for this. They will spend a few days in a cage in there until the flock is used to them. To further protect them I caught and threw out all the big roosters SEVEN of them – there are always too many roosters. They will live in the Rat House now and make a nuisance of themselves in there. To acclimate the new hens to the old hens, in the big chook house, the door will remain shut for a few weeks, (so the little ones learn where home is) and the roosters are too hard on the hens when they are shut up. Plus they eat too much and produce nothing at all. The roosters this year are huge.
I was very pleased with my progress yesterday. And my fitbit told me that I achieved 21,000 steps without even leaving the property. My daughter helped me buy the fitbit a while ago, she has one too and it is another connection that we have, watching each others steps on the app on our phones. Once again tehnology helping families divided by geography maintain communication. It makes for milk competition but also wonderful encouragement.
Very soon I will shift the last hatching of seven chicks into Kim’s now vacant little baby chicken house. At present they are still in the turkey house with their mother but that is too cold and not designed for long term. She is a very protective mother hen so catching her first is always the challenge!
Also today I will string up the electric fence for Poppy’s brood. Time they learnt about electric fences and got out on the grass while it is still there. The trouble with Poppy and fences is that she was not trained to them as a young piglet. She did not develop respect for the thin white string.
The high forecast for today is 50F/10C – very warm!
I hope you have a great day.