Back at the Farm.
I am back to work after my New Zealand adventures. The animals look surprisingly good after their bout with the terrible cold. A few older chickens died and there is frostbite damage on a few combs but other than that the animals did OK.
BooBoo was overcome with happiness when he saw me arrive and has not let me out of his sight since.
Sheila gave me quite the growling, she was actually quite loud in her remonstrations for a time then after accepting my apologies she went back to making her bed. She is very fussy about her bed and resents having to share with Molly but by topping and tailing they both manage to fit into their tin shack.
The three little pigs are in excellent condition. They are eating well and have grown out of their baby house. When I arrived home in the night they were sleeping peacefully in the deep straw. I have still got them on free feed and this has made all the difference for them. The cold did not set them back at all.
John noted that one of the calves was coming out for his hay a little slower than the other so I watched closely for the day yesterday and one did seem to be lying in the warm creep for longer. So, I brought Aunty Del in for milking to test her milk and inspect her udder. Though there was a little milk present she gave no milk at all to the milk bucket which makes me think that either she is drying up or both calves are drinking from her and the little one (her own calf) is not getting enough.
Her udder felt fine so I am leaning towards the latter (knowing Inky). Also I think the weeks of extreme cold while I was away may have taken a toll on the calves energy levels. So I am going to provide grain for the calves in their calf creep for extra energy. Everything is about energy – getting it and losing it. After a few days of that I will separate the calves from the cows for a few hours, then milk Aunty again and see what happens. All are eating well and shiny so I am not too worried. Just keeping a close eye.
Just as soon as it thaws I will begin to clean out this hazardous cow shed and spread clean straw. All of these little piles of manure are frozen solid. It is hazardous for cows ankles.
The skies were leaden with unfallen ice yesterday. Only a little fell during the day (enough to make the paths very slick) but in the night I could hear the icy rain falling with its soft persistent ping of ice curtaining the windows against the night. Frozen rain makes for a dangerous day. However this morning I can hear dripping so already it is melting. At the time of writing – it is 33F/1C – our high for today and a welcome relief for those who have been ravaged by awfully low temps while I was away in New Zealand.
Though we can now expect MUD.
The forecast tells me this area will get as high as 50F/10C by the end of the week. We need to adapt to these wild oscillations in environmental conditions (no more gasps of shock) and make plans to guard against cold and health hiccups in the animals when it plummets again. And I am sure it will. We need to plan for it. I was caught unprepared for that much cold in December. That was not good. I know better.
Today looks like being OK, once the fog lifts there may even be sun.
Sheila my Petal.
Above is TonTon standing very sturdily on the ice. He lost a bit of weight while I was away as did Tane so I will make some changes in their diets now that I am home. Tane the crippled kunekune boar needs to be encouraged to walk out of his pen and be fed separately from Tima. John was unable to do this. He moves very slowly but I did manage to get him out and yesterday he had a good feed without fat Tima stealing his food. Ton just needs more food and more rest.
Wai (the potbelly rescue pig) has done very well. Due to his hibernating behaviour in the cold (no scraping the scabs off on his walks) his back has been healing very well. There are no cracks in the skin which is great. I was expecting the worst. He refused to come close to John at all while I was gone but he jolted out of his hut when he heard my voice yesterday morning. He padded across for a scratch and a moan to me – ate his apple and banana and went back to bed.
So, that is good.
I hope you have a lovely day.
I am looking forward to getting out amongst my animals again today. It is good to be back at work.
Both Boo and Sheila look very pleased to see you. Welcome back!
Thank you – yes it is good to be back (now that the brutal weather has passed)!
You got lucky!
So pleased to be back on the Farmy 🙂 Glad the animals are tougher than we think 🙂 Laura
Yes- how they manage to thrive in that cold beats me
So good to see the farm again, and know that everyone did well! Welcome home Miss C 🙂
Yes! Back onboard again.
No doubt all animal and human forms are welcoming you home Celi!!! John had much to deal with while you were away, no doubt breaking water and packing water to all the animals, just as we did. A little break in the freezing temps is certainly welcome! And we finally got some much needed rain yesterday as well! It’s great to have you back!!! 🙂
Rain scares me in the winter / it is inevitably followed by ice up here
Welcome home. It must have been nice to be greeted by the animals.
Yes! I have to say Sheila and Wai and Boo were the most voluble
So good to hear about the progression of Wai’s healing!
Welcome home, Celi, though I am sure getting off the plane and being smacked in the face with the cold air was not the welcome home you had hoped for!
Expected though. Not to worry I dress for it.
Love the shot of BooBoo and so glad that the rest of them all did well. And Wai! He’s really bonded to you. So sweet. Welcome home.
Wai is presently standing at the barn doors looking out – thinking about melting snow I am sure
Everyone at the Farmy & all of us are very glad of your safe return. Boo says it all. Welcome back, Celi!
Yes – thank you / boo is pretty happy about it
And how pleased we are to have you back. You sure enjoyed your trip to the family but now its back to work time…You are having very cold weather but here it is mild and sometimes sunny.Usually January is the time for snow and all the locals are wondering just where had it got to and why is it not here… Personally l do not like snow and cold…its too slippery Lots of love to all…xxxx animals as well
The slipperiness is an issue. I think my mother in law has stayed inside the whole time i was gone- just afraid of the ice.
That Boo, flying towards you in wild delight 🙂 I suspect Miss Sheila and Wai are equally glad, but have a more reserved way of showing it!
Yes! Boo us all about wild delight
It’s good to hear the animal gossip. 🙂
I’m glad it’s warming up a bit for you. It’s hard enough coming from warm long days to cold short ones. If the cold is a deep and hard one it’s just misery.
Yes. Misery for all involved for sure.
Wonderful pictures my friend as usual. And Sheila…. hubba hubba. She is all woman pig to me…. like my Miss Piggy ❤ XOXO – Bacon
She is a wonderful pig- though not fond of Molly – she much prefers to bunk with poppy. Funny girl
aaww shuffles hooves. She could always bunk with me… ❤ XOXO – Bacon
Glad your back safe and sound. 😀
yes safe and sound after a jam packed holiday
all your animals look great- and Boo Boo’s affection and happiness is so obvious! What a dear one he is!
He is a darling boy..
All-round, pretty much wonderful news, C. Hopefully this thermal roller coaster slows down soon; bad enough to go through, but I expect it will be even more of a shock since you’ve been in the warmth of NZ. LOVE the Three (fuzzy, shiny) Little Pigs’ pic!
I think the roller coaster is the way things are now – we have to get used to it.
Awwwee . . . a dog’s welcome! Isn’t it the greatest!!
Yes – it certainly is..
So glad to see you made it home with all the airport craziness going on due to the weather. I was certain your farm family would be so happy to see you even if they had to scold you first for leaving. 🙂 Now you get back into your normal? rhythm. A little rest for all then forward motion. Have a lovely day.
Yes – exactly – forward motion..
Thank you for a good solid update on all the animals. I love hearing about each one and their reactions to having you home. Honestly it brings a tear to my eye and a sting to my nose. I sure hope your return will improve Ton’s appetite. I remember you said recently that he had lost some weight. He does look thin.
I usually feed him much more than Boo gets – then separate them maybe John forgot.
Good morning and welcome home.
Welcome home C. Brrrrrrr! Red cell for Ton and everyone! 🙂 I was worried about Wai and so glad you gave us an update that he is doing great!
Yes – he is doing very well.
In case you didn’t know, WE MISSED YOU! I feel like Boo Boo, “She’s HOME! She’s really HOME!” Glad you got your batteries recharged! Hope you have fun re-acquainting yourself with your surroundings! Welcome home!
Yes – being back to work is a good thing..
OH the SILLY BOO! I’m sure John had the same excitement inside as Boo expressed. Men just don’t click their heels like animals do.
not this man anyway.. c
Great update! And a wonderful photo of Booboo. That’s joy, right there.
Yes it is – joy – a lovely word..
Welcome home Celi. Good to check in with everyone again. xx
Thank you and I agree – I needed to see how they all were before I could settle
There is nothing like an ecstatic dog welcome when you’ve been away. Wai coming out when he heard you tells me he loves you very much. Sheila certainly missed you too. I’m glad the bitter days are past, we’re still kind of stuck as the front walk is turning into a glacier and the back driveway is slick and we have to wait for the thaw to get out. Smoky didn’t like the bitter cold, going out to do his duty was something he avoided as long as he could, I don’t blame him, I didn’t want to go out either. Glad you had a wonderful trip and enjoyed being with family. Brace yourself for the mud.
Hope your ice melts soon – walking on that stuff is a danger!
Welcome home! Loved the photos – as always. Good point about ‘getting used to… and ready for’ crazy weather from now on. ; o )
I am ready for it! That is for sure.. c
Anticipating travel, visiting and catching up are lovely to do but the time comes when our feet and hearts lead us home and we slot back in seamlessly almost like we’ve never been away, that experience becoming shiny memories we pluck and examine until the next time. Welcome back. It’s nice to see all is cold but well there.
I was home. and it was lovely – my footsteps felt so much more natural in my own country.
Well you have been firmly shown and told where ‘home’ is and where you are wanted and needed 🙂 !
And then I had to leave all the ones who want and need me again – life is so split sometimes..
It sounds as though you were greatly missed! And that picture of Boo Boo tells it all. Welcome back!
I fret for the animals when I am away so it is good to see that they are well and good.. I know the humans can take care of themselves but the animals are IN my care – so good to see they are all well.
Just went through your Instagram from the last couple of days. Saw the picture of the saw by the woodstove. Wow, it sure doesn’t take long for men to go feral does it? Sounds like something my big guy would do – but only once!
Chris S in Canada
I think he is just a teensy bit annoyed that I am back and he must behave in a civilised manner again. Poor fellow.
Glad to know all are well and that you are back safely!
And we have a few warm days coming up to catch up on the tidying-
Really enjoyed your roll call of the animals and how they have fared while you’ve been away.
I feel forJohn. Here was his chance for some guy-talk with my two favorite characters, Wai and Tane, and they ignored him. And then seeing Ton-ton’s loss of spirit (moving photo!) coupled with Boo’s high energy greeting (Great image! I think many of us feel that way about your return) might have enkindled a bit of jealousy, or –as I prefer to imagine– rekindled that old inner warmth at your presence.
These descriptions of the animals and the weather make the farmy’s uniqueness real again for me. It’s such a special place, created in a great part both by your artistry and by your easy identity with the real world of nature. So glad to see you home again, Miss C.!
Yes, n ow the mud. (but how can you scold a muddy pawed dog who is that ecstatic to see you…as are we all!)
I loved hearing how your animals missed you, and each one’s way of of welcoming you back. Reading this blog entry made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Welcome back!
Hey Celi … welcome home! Such a lovely post. I’m sure your animals missed you very much. Not sure about that welcoming cold though 🙂