Monday, 1 October 2012

It's been a couple of weeks since the last update, so I'll give a run-down of the happenings.

The geese are still sitting on six eggs. I think Burke is geting bored. This weekend was the expected due date, only a guess really. I'll wait for Wills to give up before I move them on. There's always the possibility that she didn't start really sitting until later than I thought.

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The cattle are all fat as butter and swanning around like royalty. Ziggy stirred things up last Friday by crawling under a boundary fence and forgetting to come back. There was much bellowing and galloping up and down fencelines, and in the end we had to cut the fence to get him back inside.

In the process I noticed just how much grass the neighbours have, and I might approach them about renting some pasture for a bit.

Ziggy and Edo had leading practice on Saturday. Both survived the awful indignity. Ziggy even discovered that a good scratch under the chin could be had if one stood still long enough. Jack has also finally given in, but his sweet spot is, oddly enough, the underside of his tail. I pick his tail up and brush the underside of it and he starts weaving his head back and forwards with delight. It takes all sorts. Normally the tail is just a burr haven and they'd rather twitch it right out of your hands.

 Big Moo & Flora at the hay ring

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The sheep have been doing fine. I am still supplementing the triplets a litte three times a day, just to make sure all grow well. Min is looking a little underweight and I think I'll sneak her a little extra food to help offset the demands of those three ruffians.

We castrated the ram lambs on Sunday. Not one of DH's favourite activities, but these little guys get going so young the alternative is to wean them at four months.

Cleo is still holding out. She had about half way made up in the udder but doesn't yet have that "over it" look the ewes get when they are about ready. Once her lamb or lambs are born everyone can be vaccinated.

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The roosters, Brewster & Shadow, have started sparring, I think the spring weather has brought it on. They are very earnest about the fighting, so we have tipped both their spurs to limit the damage. The apostle birds love to dive bomb the fighting pair and they find it very hard to maintain the rage with little round grey birds swooping and jumping at them.

I brought home five light sussex chicks on Friday. We'd set Mama Chickie up in the chick run with some fake eggs the night before as she was broody and would try and return to her chosen spot unless we locked her in and got her sitting in the right nest.

When I came in with the chicks I set the carrier underneath the nest box so the peeping noises came from underneath her. Then after about ten minutes of her peering around and lifting up to look at the fake eggs I put her in the outside section of the run, stole the eggs and put the chicks in their place. She spent five minutes sitting at the top of the ramp crooning before I let her in and she took the chicks right under her wings immediately. Mission accomplished.

She's doing a sterling job, even saved four of the five from a crow attack when they got caught out in the open. She would have successfully defended all five, but just as the cavalry (DH) reached the beleaguered family one chick darted in the wrong direction and the crow snatched in and flew off at great speed. I'd been tolerating the crows stealing eggs up until now, but that one crossed a line. I think we need to take some action as they are becoming too bold.


Mama Chickie and the four remaining chicks

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The cats are all busy finding the best napping spots in the warmest ray of sun. They look so content I am very tempted to join them.

Tenchi scored the jackpot with the catnip I bought to plant for them.

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DH replaced the five tape gate in the forest paddock with a real gate. This should save a fair bit of time as the cattle are let out in the morning and in at night, and this meant undoing and doing up five individual electric fence handles.



In other news, we finally had some rain, 31mm. Another inch in about five days time would be really useful. The vege garden is going really well, this will be the subject of my next post.

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