Sunday, 15 May 2016

Here and Now

While writing this I have to move my feet at times as hens want to dig under my chair. It might be good to point out, that I am sitting outside on the lawn. Our lovely hens have taken it upon themselves the task of food controllers. Anyone sitting outside eating will only be able to enjoy the meal for a short time, after that it's hens asking to join in and to be served some of the food. Our breakfast granola has been eaten by hens as they realised they love the taste of that. They leave the raisins for us to enjoy witch means that Mr. Chip eats that plus anything left by the happy hens. As you can see, Mr. Chip's diet is not proceeding briskly.

It's been a waiting week. Monday started with a spring-cleaned stable, everything ready for the new arrivals.  On Wednesday Mrs. Woolly and her two adorable lambs arrived. There are few creatures cuter than lambs and an exhausted ewe usually nurtures them. Mrs. Woolly was happy to settle down and have an evening meal, while her young ones bobbed about.

Credit: Dasha Dimitrova

Our dear sheep got sheared and are once again sporting a nice, tidy spring look. And boy had they put on weight! The early spring has done nothing to help their already round figures. How do you keep a happy sheep on a diet?

It turned out that weight watching was the least of our worries. Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My could not understand why we had to have new sheep moving in to their home. They were not only frightened of the lambs, they were completely petrified by them. Poor Mrs. Woolly tried to make friends with our lot, but got nowhere as four barrel sized animals fled far and fast. In the end the new arrivals stopped trying and did forest ramblings on their own. On the third day their owners came and took them home. Home to their own flock where everyone knew them and where Mrs. Woolly could hang out with other mothers and discuss her children's progress. It was the right thing to do, as sheep need a flock and our lot already felt theirs was a perfect one. All the sheep did meet indoors and the four M's were kind, polite and stiff with fear, they just did not understand the situation at all.

On Thursday dear husband brought home five young hens. At least we hope they are all hens, one of them is a bit bigger and very feisty so that might be a little male. Time will tell. They are a wild bunch, already starting their career as the Kings Knights, duelling and jumping about. The constant beeping is one of the nicest sounds you can hear, opening up the stable in the morning. They spent their first night tucked up in the stable sofa. The next morning they had their flying lessons by jumping off the sofas armrest. Every short flight was accompanied by a long beeeeep, and then thump. That was the landing. This went on forever and I still heard the beep sound in my head later on while driving in to town. Chicks are funny, full stop. And they eat like horses.... They now live in their own loose box where they do mountain climbing on a big heap of hey. I guess they will paraglide down from that so more beeps to come.

Our lovely sheep are back to their normal, calm selves. Mindy has a bad limp from all the running, Molly has the look off someone who could take on round two and Mandy has the bewildered expression on her face. She was the one who fell in love with the lambs when they were indoors but could not understand why they were here, at all. My liked the company and would have been fine with some sporty friends, in the end. But they all told me that what I tried to do was wrong and this is how things should be. Happy animals plodding along, new hens now and again and lovely naps under the apple three. Leave well alone and all that... Our sheep lost some weight, though...
Mr. Chip hardly registered the lambs so he's happy and as long as no one removes his bed, we can do what we feel like doing. As summer has arrived early this year our dear dog is in his element, looking for snakes and keeping us on high alert at all times. Terriers do not learn from being stung by a snake. They have Molly's view on life, looking for round two, Mr. Chip with the adders. The fact that he almost lost round one a few years ago does not stop him at all. "Snake hunter subprime!", that's our old dogs working title at the moment. Dear husband bought home more headache pills for us.

All in all a mind-boggling week. It did not go as well as we expected but I guess that's life with animals. The hens met up with the new arrivals and had a meal together with little ones, last night. We will keep them in separate lodgings until the young once join them outside in the daytime. Hens can be funny about new birds in the flock so better take it one small step at a time. I now run a Meet and Greet club for hens. Fingers crossed.

Text by Nina

Next blog post on the 22nd May. 

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