Once again – huge punishing storms in the night. So much rain again. But (and I have written this sentence three times as it sounds so naievely optimistic). I think the weather might be settling soon. The last few days we have had longer periods of dry in the daytime – it IS warming up at last. I have a feeling.

Poppy’s wallow is legendary this spring!

Because of all the rain the grasses themselves are waterlogged – growing too fast and leached of minerals so the cows are eating a lot more of their mineral blocks and literally trying to lick the salt out of the barn timbers. I have three kinds of mineral choices out for all the cows now just to keep them healthy.

So, for many reasons I am looking forward to a few days of dryer weather.

If June 10 is the last day to sow most of the organic corns then it had better dry up soon or no more polenta! In ancient times we would be hoarding our stores in case of famine.

Lucky for us the organic grains markets are unaffected by tariffs ( we find our own markets) so if we are forced to plant more soybeans we will be able to sell them. That being said I am discussing planting buckwheat in my field. Just imagine the bees and butterflies in there!

But something needs to get into these fields soon or we really will have a weed problem.

Everything smells damp, we smell like a yacht – like badly dried sail-cloth.

In the last few days I have sold four piglets to good homes. So now Molly’s Eight is a Four. Poppy continues to grow downwards – though her first farrowing date is not until sometime in June ( I need to look that up).

Today I will create an in house pen for the ducklings. I am lucky to have had them in the chicken tractor for this long with no attacks. They will hang out in the Quack House for a while, at least until they have some grown up feathers. They are at the Ugly Tween stage.

I have devised an indoor pool for them that won’t make too much mess. They are happy with anything to do with water.

I hate to lock them up but there you are – it is not for long. And they need to begin to blend with the big duck flock. ( the big ducks will go in to sleep with them every night). We will see how that goes though – the big ducks roam far, I am not sure whether the ducklings will keep up or get lost so I am going to try and keep them close as long as I can.

The Easter Eggers have come out of the turkey house and are in a small cage inside the Australorps Tin House. After a few days I will set them free in there so they blend with that flock. They look like owls. And are impossible to get a photo of at the moment – too scared.

The Thistle Eaters.

Ok! Off to work for me!

I hope it does not rain today. Rain is getting boring.


O. Well, I guess that was a Fat Chance. But soon I think. Maybe tomorrow it will dry out a bit.

44 Comments on “WALLOW ABOUT

  1. We went from water-logged and cold to dry and ridiculously hot in a single week. Low 60’s to near 90 in 3 days. Climate change is brutal.

  2. Now personally I don’t think that ducks have an ugly tween stage. One minute they’re cute ducklings and the next they’re all grown up, with only a couple of minor tufty bits en route. But chickens however….

  3. I wonder if a nice mud wallow would be good for my arthritic joints and wonky back? It looks rather lavishly comfortable. Do grow buckwheat – as you say, the insects love it. I was amazed to read that it’s a relative of rhubarb…

  4. You know Celi, every time I read about your animals the thought occurs that if there is reincarnation and I am relegated to the animal kingdom, the greatest blessing would be to belong to you. Lovely thought.

  5. Your indigenous bees and pollinators will love you for the buckwheat. Hope all the new and old flocks blend happily for you. Laura

    • I agree! I totally believe in the native bees. Imported bees hate it here and we have something like 500 native species in Illinois. All pollinators – you don’t have to be a honey bee to be a pollinator. There just aren’t enough wild flowers around – too much mowing. Did you see the enormous bumble bee in yesterday’s header? They love that crimson clover.

  6. I think we are going to have to change the start and end dates. Weather changes seem to have made summer start later and end later. Everything has shifted. It’s still cold and wet here in Oregon unlike the last few years. I’m expecting a brutally hot summer as well. You know I read everyday because I love the visit. I keep good thoughts for you and yours even though I rarely leave a comment.

  7. Wow, your life is action packed;i hope you get a lot of help; there’s a big spot in my heart with a sign: “keep C and the farm safe!”

  8. I know that you have explained about pig’s skin and how sensitive it is and easily burned by sunlight, but all that watery then caked-hard mud?!!

    On second thought, I recall walking with my grandchildren just after a raimstorm; mostly they wanted to stomp in mud puddles. “Oh Poppy,” they laughed when I objected. “It’s fun!” Yes, one of my names too. And to be honest, I’m becoming an admirer-from-a-distance of the muddy Poppy. Maybe I can learn from her, at least about the imoortance, not to mention pleasure, of emotional wallows.

    • WaiWai’s skin is very sensitive but the Hereford’s are a good brown so they are really tough as pastures pigs in the sun plus I think the mud is a natural sunscreen!

      • This is my third attempt to be “published”. Can WaiWai wallow (fun to say) or is that not good for his skin? I’m glad he is the genius we know him to be–able to knock off his grain from the shelf. Shame on him for fibbing to you though. No one likes being lied to!!

  9. That bee from yesterday was sure in 7th heaven! ALL that clover! It’s raining here AGAIN/STILL!. Had more snow higher up in the mountains, too – and this is California – ‘Land of Sunshine’ – blub! Be safe – stay warm and dry – when you can!

  10. There’s still so much rain in our forecast, although a lot of the days are 40-60% chance, with periods of sun, as well. I’m hoping we’ll start getting some real warmth around the middle of June.

    My Easter Eggers are all fairly stand-offish, even the ones I hand raised. (The exception was my rooster, Jellybean, but a fox got him, so being stand-offish might serve a purpose!) They’re good layer, though, and I love those blue eggs!

      • Miss C – if you really want to see all the different blues an egg can be . . . do wander over to darling Susan Hays at My French Oasis and be surprised ! A wonderful British family living an organic lifestyle in SW French countryside . . oh Susan’s chooks lay eggs in a wonderland of colours and she does know who does which . . . 🙂 !

      • My EEs all lay the same blue eggs, even the second-generation ones my hen hatched last year. I get more variation from my brown layers! I’ve got a hen currently sitting on a couple of brown eggs, and IF they hatch and IF there’s a pullet, I’m super curious to see if the brown-egg hen x EE rooster will result in an olive egg layer. Although I think my hen Lucky is probably Buff Orpington x EE, and she just lays small brown eggs.

        • Hmm. Well that is interesting – it will be a while before I get any eggs but I do look forward to seeing what develops. Even lots of blue will be fun for the chefs I think!

  11. I’m impressed with Wai’s genius in knocking that bucket of goodies off that shelf for himself. Does he ever “wallow” or would that be not so good for his sensitive skin. Yes and the ducks are darling brown fuzzy guys and gals.

  12. Oh I love hearing Tane is back to his healthy self. And WaiWai is feeding himself off the shelf. A genius, he is. Although no one likes to be fibbed to.
    The ducks are so cute brown and fuzzy. Such cheerful creatures.

  13. We’ve had the worst spring I’ve ever seen in Cataluña – Easter was a wash out. However, it looks like it’s improving now – I hope you get the same.

  14. I would love some of your rain…it’s been a lean year so far.

    • A number of years ago, in the 70’s perhaps, there was a story in (I think) National Geographic. It was about a family that decided to have a pet pig – but not a little one – a full size pig! In the backyard they had installed a child’s wading pool, sunken so the pig could get in and out easily, deep enough for the pig to wallow. If I recall correctly they explained that pigs love mud (or water) because they do not perspire and this is how they cool themselves. As a nod to the 60’s they called the pool “Bay of Pig”.
      Chris S in Canada

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