While I was away in New Zealand several small groups of chickens decided not to go to bed in the chook house each night, choosing instead to set up shop in various other buildings on the farm. My garage for instance. So for the last few nights I have gloved up and gone out into the dark to catch them and return them to the chook-house where they belong.

Ton is very helpful in this enterprise. Boo we leave inside as flapping birds wings is way too exciting for him. Birds are easy to catch at night. The main problem is when they roost up high – so last night I was dragging a long ladder about with me.

We will see this morning how many are still on the loose.

Above you can see a most ungainly picture of Tia, lying on her side with her huge baby belly sticking up. She is at the uncomfortable stage. I don’t think she has been walking enough so I will begin to put their hay at the end of the field now that I am home.

Still only two duck eggs a day. John has admitted to not locking them in at night so they are back in their usual pattern, being fed more and let out last in the morning. Ducks do all their egg laying early in the day. Boo has put on a lot of weight while I was away leading me to believe that he knows where the ducks were laying when they were on the loose.

Aunty Del.

Yesterday we forked out a small mountain of old straw from the farrowing pen – this is quite a large space that the Six spent the winter in. I hope John will help me with more of this today and I will shift Molly in this afternoon.

She is ready to come inside. No udder yet but she is looking quite heavy with piglets. I hope the weather warms up for her.

My next job is to prepare the turkey house for chicks that will begin to arrive in April. I need to look up that date too. The cow shed is also on the list for a clean out.

Today seems to be dawning clear. Yesterday it blew and snowed and was appropriately gloomy. Today will be better I think.

I hope you find some lovely moments today.



37 Comments on “ESCAPE ARTISTS

  1. Running about with a ladder in the dark of night: yes, this sounds like an interesting way to pass the time. Wish I were there to assist you.

  2. (laugh) I am not sure Tia will be pleased you posted that picture! Keep reminding yourself that all that mucking out will produce great tomatoes next year. Laura

    • Yes! Good point Laura! I always find myself yearning for Celi’s compost piles, as we don’t have nearly the animal manure we would like for our own compost here on our small farmy. 🙂

      • As a city slicker I have to pay huge coin for compost that I am sure does not have the provenance of Miss C’s farmy and I want to weep. Laura

    • Morning Laura- I have some wonderful piles from last year all ready to put on the asparagus- poor John – he can’t believe how much work there is to do on the farm- I think he thought he was retiring to an easy lifestyle! Snort!

  3. Too funny about Boo getting super excited about the flapping of bird wings! Our heeler Dolly, and of course the bird dog Daphne are exactly the same! They both must be penned up when we are working with the birds! And speaking of birds, we have one of our Muscovey ducks sitting on a nest now and are getting super excited about the thought of ducklings. We are thinking that as soon as they hatch we should put her and the ducklings in their own pen for a while so the babies don’t get trampled by the other very large ducks. (I’ve never seen ducks as large as these Muscoveys!) Then later they can all be together again when the babies are bigger.

    • I think that sounds excellent. She will try to fight birds that come near and that is where the problems start. Plus teensy babies out there with predators about – can you build a cage or take the bottom off a dog crate and just place it on top before they hatch?

  4. It broke my heart to read that when you came home little Jude lay on your feet. He missed you so.

  5. Hopefully it won’t take too long to get everyone back into their proper routine, correctly fed, exercised and enclosed. It needs a firm hand on the reins…

  6. I have been struggling against a new system transition at work. It’s one of those things that feels like you can’t get your mind wrapped around and yet the work is still piling up. I long for the simplicity of there is a task – clean the barn – it’s hard work and then it’s tangibly done. And you feel like you have settled the world in a slightly different, hopefully better, place. I’m working on intangibles that never feel quite like I have settled it.
    AND even if I did settle it – what exactly was accomplished, again?
    Your life has both the immediate as satisfaction of a job done, and the larger satisfaction of feeding humans.
    If you are ever discouraged, please remember how valuable that is. Even when it goes wrong. Mostly, it’s right. You still manage to feed yourself and others.
    All of which is to say boohoo to me after a particularly frustrating day at work.

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