I am sitting here in the early morning, listening to the dawn (though it is not quite dawn) chorus of the chickens in their hen house. They do this every morning. Noisy calesthenics. They screech and bob and call out for up to a minute – the lot of them – not just roosters – the whole house hooting at the tops of their voices, an awful cacophony of shrieking then all at once as though by the baton of the conducter, they stop. Done. Over. And the usual small birds in the trees take back their thread of gentle morning song.
Lucky for me I always load the best of yesterdays images into the programme the night before. Then my bleary brain gets little clues of what i was going to talk about. Oh I know what it was! At last mine mind begins to catch up with my fingers – air. AIR. I was going to talk about air.
My pasture raised chickens, destined for the freezer then ultimately the table, need lots of air. Lack of good fresh air is one of the major contributors to ill health. When it is hot and close and sunny they need careful watching. So the tarpaulin needs to be positioned in such a way that they are protected from the sun but still catch whatever breeze is on offer. (I know there is no picture of the meat chickens this morning but I am always taking pictures that seem to have nothing to do with what I am talking about).
Or overweight pigs. We all know Wai, his sleepy eyes and his heavy metal blankets. His daily cream has a zinc component and his covers are heavy with it now, after weeks of covering his wounded back. An oil skin cloak for a tiny horse. I brought him a bag of pot belly food and he has scorned it.
Though it will not be wasted as Tima scorns nothing.
So what happened yesterday? Not very much. I clarified that the trade off between lots of air and too much sunshine is an important one. Too much hot sun can kill a fast growing chicken but not enough air can kill it too so we run a fine balance as they reach their final weights. The workers understand this now.
We received the third shipment of chicks for the year. The White Rocks. They are lovely fat little chicks. All settled in the turkey house with a white hot light. The evenings ahead are quite cool for this time of year.
Jake’s gardeners dropped off a truckful of old kohl rabi for the cows (they cleared the bed) and the cows gathered around the pile and ate the lot.
The tomatoes are coming in thick and heavy. We will hopefully sell a lot of sauce tomatoes and cherry tomatoes this week. The split ones are being devoured by the meat chickens (kind of funny watching those fat things grabbing a piece of tomato and waddling off at speed) and the layers and Lady Astor at milking time. I always plant extra so the animals get their share of goodness.
Though some birds just steal their share.
I hope you have a lovely day.
Newsletter: While I still have the workers I am carving out two hours a day to work on the Amazon and Zazzle shops- getting ready for the newsletter launch in eleven days. It will be a small newsletter with links to these shops to raise a little revenue for the hangers on like Wai and Sheila and the old milking cow Lady Astor who will live out her days here but still needs feeding and I bet there will be other rescues. I could not have saved Wai without your help. I am getting the first products ready for you. Now that I am getting the hang of it I am quite enjoying turning farm pictures into postcards and greeting cards, and prints for you to buy, and coffee cups and aprons and T shirts.
I can make the calendar on my gift site too so make sure to sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date on this news. Scroll down past the Lounge of Comments to the Newsletter Button. It will only come out once a month so will be easy to miss.
Weather: Rain they say. Now we will have to work out the trade off between air and rain. And look at those overnight temperatures. Chilly for little chicks. Good for fat chickens. Great for muddy pigs. Excellent for this little pig with exposed pink granulated skin. A lot of it now.
Thursday 08/03 90% / 0.3 in
Scattered thunderstorms this morning, then mainly cloudy during the afternoon with thunderstorms likely. A few storms may be severe. High 82F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%.
Thursday Night 08/03 60% / 0.37 in
Scattered thunderstorms during the evening. Partly cloudy skies after midnight. Low 56F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 60%.