No sun yesterday but I was still emotionally topped up on the abundant sunshine from the day before so we had a good day.
In the night I put on my rooster gloves and went into the chook house and caught the last three big roosters trying to hide in there amongst the hens. They go straight out the door then go to perch in the Rat House or the barn. Once they were gone, and with no lights so as not to startle the little birds, I wired the little chicks dog crate door open, I make it so it will stay open so the little ones can come and go at will in the morning. I wire it open with just enough room for them to get out but not enough space for a big chook to get into their hidey hole. And with plenty of wire in between so the door is propped open. The tweens get a bit bullied in their first few days of freedom so they have to have somewhere to run that is safe.
When it was very cold just before Christmas a few of the young roosters got frostbite on their combs. It shows up as all white at first then as the weeks go on it dries up to black and then after a while the affected part of the comb drops off. It is best to leave this process to nature so the comb stays sealed and breathing throughout. I have heard talk of trimming or vaseline. But I feel it is better to let it be and avoid the risk of infection and trauma.
It does look like a very well maintained mohawk though doesn’t it. When I buy layers I try to bring in birds with shorter combs, the short combed birds do much better in the cold. But sometimes the farm bred birds revert.
Speaking of chickens I need to report that no hens have slept in the boxes since I brought in the two dollar plastic laying mats. All my eggs are clean now. I am well pleased.
Yesterday I took out the piglets blue plastic fish tank house, they are getting too big for it now. I gave it back to Tima and Tane. (Who refused to sleep in it because it smelt funny). Then, with the tractor, John brought one of the tin huts up from the field and to the door of the barn and I very, very slowly dragged it right around the barn and into the center of the pigs area. Into the piglets open plan bedroom.
I worked slowly for two reasons, I was surrounded in a swarm of excited piglets during the whole procedure plus it is heavy. Small women can shift big heavy things, we just work slowly and not being able to rely on brawn we use our brains. I prefer to do this kind of thing alone so I can control the situation and take my time. Then there are no accidents due to speed and temper outbreaks. I just plod along at my own pace. After a while it was in place and straight and there were no squashed piglets and everyone is still happy. I filled the hut with straw and the little pigs looked like little pigs again when they were all snuggled into it last night. Warm in a little hut inside a big airy barn.
No more Fish our of Water, they will grow fast to fit it but it will last the winter. I love these Port a Huts and really must get two more when John is off work again.
Here is a better shot of the calves feeding gate. Txiki (on the right) takes after her Dexter mother – she is a very sturdy little heifer. These Angus/Holstein calves have already caught up with her.
Last night when I checked the barn on the way back from the Chook House I saw that Tia the calf was lying next to Sheila the biggest pig again. Sheila makes her big high sided bed, then pushes through the center of her bed making a kind of two sided ditch to sleep in and Tia leans up into one side of it, her back to the big hog. So they are not actually touching, with the layer of hay between – cows do not cuddle up like pigs do – but it looked to me that Sheila would be able to feel the warmth of her calf through the hay.
They often sleep like this – there is a photo on instagram somewhere. Which reminds me, if you scroll right down this page and right past the comments and to the bottom of the blog you will be able to see the latest instagram picture even if you are not a part of that social media spiders web.
I hope you have a lovely day.
The weather forecast is for another mild cloudy day. We are aimed at 41f/5c. So it will be another busy outside day.
PS. Don’t forget: If you read a good book or have written a good book leave us the name of it in The Library page. And if you have a small home based cottage industry leave the link on the page Our Cottage Industries. Just a few words is fine so there is plenty of room for others to add their links too. Plus if you are a brand new commentor go to Join Us and introduce yourself – we would love to know a little bit about you. (You will find all my social media details there too). These are all readers pages. No pressure though – of course!
I love the pig house in the barn – it reminds me of the farmer who built a castle in his barn because he didn’t have planning permission 🙂
I would love to see that! c
Sorry, it was a haystack and not a barn. They made him pull it down after several court cases:
You got to wonder why he didn’t just get planning permission in the first place? A great builder though.. c
I think it’s farm land and he wasn’t allowed to build on it …and he knew it.
Man, what a story! A very good lesson here, to beware of wishes… lol Poor guy should have just purchased a piece of land without restrictions and he’d have had no problem getting permits to build. The house itself looks rather ordinary, nice but ordinary, from the front but the back is stunning. A real shame to have to tear it down.
Are the port a huts bottomless? That would make for easy cleaning.
Yes they have no base, though I don’t need to clean them out often – unlike cows and sheep – pigs will never mess their beds, they stand up and move away. Some Cows will poo when they are lying down resting! . Usually all I have to do is add more straw as the pig bed as it compacts down. c
I raised feeder pigs when I was in high school to make some money for college. I’d buy them young and feed them to about 200 lbs then sell them and buy more. I must have done something wrong. They didn’t seem potty trained. I periodically had to shovel out their houses during the winter. They didn’t get the memo to go outside.
You had a lazy bunch – when it is cold sometimes I have to remind the middle sized pigs to take it outside.. they don’t like the cold. The huts would have been perfect for you then – you could have just shifted them! c
I had a big chuckle over this, ” I prefer to do this kind of thing alone so I can control the situation and take my time. Then there are no accidents due to speed and temper outbreaks. ” One of the most difficult things for My John and me was to learn to work together. And there were accidents….I was the one who usually got hurt! And also loud disagreements, and perhaps even a little screaming on occasion. But, thankfully, we have learned to work together, and all usually goes well these days. I now always demand to know ‘the plan’ before we start! 🙂
I laughed as well. We are still working on that skill together. One thing I have decided on is, nether person can be hungry or tired.
Very good advice indeed Kim
I laughed too, it seems to be a kind of universal thing. I have, on occasion, simply stated ‘I’m done’ just to forestall any explosions.
Oh Celi, we would get along so famously. I would rather do things myself too, it does avoid accident and conflict. It never fails when I have to have help that something happens or someone gets angry.
I love the port a hut, I would love to find them near us so that I could finally raise a couple of pigs as my son and daughter keep begging for me to do.
Like you, I leave frostbitten combs alone and let them dry and fall off, though so far this year, I have been lucky and even when we had single digit temperatures and wind, no one got frostbitten, though I did keep everyone inside those days and did not open the coop but once a day to put in food and replace the frozen water with fresh thawed water.
You must have a good coop! The Port a Hut people have dealers all over the place – have a look at their site and see if you have any close by. I am going to start calling around when I get back from the UK. They are very sturdy and last forever. I do recommend them. c
I spend so much of my time educating my girls, that I put my own educational (reading) needs aside. So I decided to change that. Some moms in the homeschool group and I have started a book club. We’re not going for the latest and greatest on the market though. We’re going to read the classics, starting with Pride and Prejudice. Sadly, as I looked thru the list of classics, I realized I have read less than a handful in my lifetime, so I’m very excited about it. Of course this means I won’t be adding any books to the Library here, as I’m quite sure everyone here is more than familiar with these books. However, I will be adding them to my own library 🙂
Good for you, Deb! You can go on rereading P & P & Jane Eyre & Anna Karenina (I’ll be rereading that for the 3rd time this yr with an online group – we read War & Peace this past year & found many relevancies to our present day trials) all your life. I’d go ahead & post your classics on the Library for others who might want to read or reread them. They are Moveable Feasts.
Yes. We all know their names but how long has it been since we read them! c
About 2 months ago, in the case of Pride & Prejudice, and about a year for Jane Eyre… I get on a classics jag and work through all the ones on my shelves 🙂
I learn something almost daily from your posts. Who knew roosters’ combs got frostbite? Not me.
Not me either until 2014! c
Are the combs like toenails I hope so that the roosters don’t feel any pain. Yes flare up is a regular problem in a putting-together project. I won’t go into details but suffice it to save we eschew anything that says “assembly required “
I get you on that one! It does seem to hurt the birds initially, i have seen them shaking their heads and rubbing the comb on surfaces – but maybe it is itchiness as it heals – hard to tell really.. c
I’ve been moving heavy things my whole life with my brain. Indeed. Physics: a handy tool for women that men don’t use half the time because they CAN just muscle it in 🙂
That is the quote of the day! I’ve been moving heavy things my whole life with my brain!!! great! c
It works metaphorically too. For me, at least. I can’t always move heavy thoughts in my barn-head right out the door, but with brain-work I sometimes succeed in keeping them from messing all over the place.
Haha I do like that. I recall moving a 6 year old gelding who’d never been inside a trailer. My ‘helpers’ tried the muscle man approach, they really thought they could out-muscle a 1,000# beast. I finally chased them all away and sweet talked that horse right into the trailer. Both the horse and I were much happier, and calmer!
I remember doing exactly that with Queenie – stupid men.
I love the way things just sort of happen in a constant forward motion at your place. Nature pulling you along, and vice versa at times, it seems. Mr. Flowers (Is that who that is?) is looking 1. handsome 2. philosophical 3. quizzical 4. all of the above. Love that shot. It’s been dragged to my desktop for further contemplation. Inside that tiny brain is some form of intelligence at work.
That is Geraldine – you need to add the soft chirping noise that comes with her. Nature does pull us along. c
Boy, do I understand how, sometimes, it’s just better to do it all by yourself…slowly and with determination. I know my husband had no patience and once he put something somewhere, he’d have a fit if I wanted it somewhere else. He had a temper like cute Frenchie!
As always, loved reading your post. As Nadia said, we learn something knew constantly from you!! ; o )
Frenchie temper! I have seen a few of those! c
I have that Frenchie temper myself if pushed too far!! ; o )
o yes, the fine dance of working with a helper.. totally agree with you, smaller combs on the roosters is a very good thing in the colder areas. Your mixed calfs are growing beautifully..
I look forward to seeing how they turn out – c
Hmmm, I’m the impatient, short-tempered one of our team so I come up with an idea then mostly step aside so Mr Meticulous can execute it.
Interesting – Mr Meticulous, aye?!
Aka Mr Over-Engineer! 🙂
Yep, I do it all myself, very few arguments that way 🙂 Just catching up 2 days … “Be the change you want to see” is my favourite Gandhi quote. Laura
I have that one on my fridge
I always hate it when the rooster’s combs get frost bit. So far, none of our new chickens have had that happen yet. BUT, the winter is just beginning.
Yes I also fear that winter is on its way. But I am ready! As long as it does not snow us in on the 5th! c
Love your photos again today. Kitty, in the header one, with the light that was there is a real beauty. The cows are so handsome and Geraldine does have a quizzical look about her. Who knows what goes on in those little brains? A high of 4c expected here today with a heavy cloud cover, not so different from your weather… and not unpleasant at all. Hope your day is a good one too. ~ Mame 🙂
Yes! Not too bad! c
The Fellowship’s right in confirming your [slow and steady pressure + reasoning = or > brute force] work ethic here: ‘Leverage’ is the intelligent less-burly-person’s middle name. Often women or youngsters, yes, but anybody who doesn’t have the muscle mass/technique to just bulldoze things into place, benefits enormously from recognizing how to get around obstacles or shortcomings for the desired effect. How I’d love if a large number of people on the political and social scene these days would remember that the same applies to getting things done in *non*-physical realms as well!
Yes absolutely – tools!! clever we are.. c
“Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world”. Archimedes had it right; you just need to know how to come at a job and you can shift anything. Heavy lifting doesn’t have to be testosterone-fuelled.
When I go to the feed store next week I am definitely going to look for those laying mats! Thanks for the follow-up report 🙂
I am surprised at how well they work.. c
Intersting — I hadn’t thought about the big single comb as being the natural/dominant “configuration”, but that makes sense. My dearly-departed Mister Chicken had a rose comb, but all his offspring have the Orpingtons’ big ones. They’ve all been lucky — no frostbite!
This is just a theory of mine – just from observation – I also am wondering if some of the combs are more resilient and that size is not the only factor.. c
such a delightful read- especially the bit about accidents and temper tantrums ( I know you did not use that word ) My sweetie works best alone and so do I! Have a great day!
You are gorgeous .. a well maintained Mohawk! Wonderful images Celi .. just adore that new cat .. pat him for me please 😃