Well we haven’t had a weekend like this for a while. The sky is at best a murky grey and at worst resembling the depths of night time. We’re dashing out between downpours to feed the animals. The horses are inside a barn so I am dry when I am working with them however yesterday was soaked and filthy from putting them in and out of the field and taking their rugs on and off. The ducks and geese aren’t bothered by the weather of course!
Friday night we braved the cold (but thankfully not wet) to go to Sunderland illuminations. It took us around 40 minutes to get there and we then used a park and ride to take us into the main event. It was a pleasant evening but bitterly cold as it is by the coast. The kids enjoyed themselves and we headed home. A late night for the kids means they would be tired Saturday.
Before we left on Friday I checked the sheep who was poorly. She had a really runny tummy, I’ll spare you the photos. I cleaned the muck off the ground just in case it was diseased and it means I can keep an eye on new ones to see if they are runny. On Saturday we picked up some coarse mix feed for them and she came over and ate it which is a great sign. She seems so much better so let’s keep our fingers crossed for her.
The place we got the lamb/ewe mix from sells chicken and horse feed too, so I am pleased we’ve found somewhere else in case our current supplier is closed or whatever. The sheep were happy under the tree (puzzle tree?) staying out of the bad weather.
Jack and I took the puppies out for a walk when there was a break in the weather and coming back we saw the most stunning rainbow. Typically, and very unusually, I did not have my phone so when we got back I ran in and got it, dashed back out and got a few pics as it was starting to fade. Here’s a photo of Jack in front of the house too, for a nice memory for us both. It really was beautiful and so vivid.
Also our Vorwerk hens totally free range and of all the places to lay an egg, she chose to do it on top of the empty bedding bags!
In the picture of the ponies in the field, you can just make out the brave chickens wandering in and out of their legs. Brave? Or stupid? I’ll let them decide 🙂
Today I have felt off, having gone to bed with a niggle of a headache that was still there when I woke up. I felt quite short tempered all morning which isn’t normally me. So when I got home, I got in with jobs thay I knew being in a bad mood is good for. Cleaning! The kitchen got an overhaul and I started to feel better. I then took the puppies out for a lovely long walk. Despite it being a really blustery afternoon, we had a lovely walk out. The dogs found fox holes and something large has been wandering through the previously 3 foot high grass. I then put the ponies in the field for an hour, put the potatoes in the Aga for jackets, went back out and mucked the ponies stables out. Steven and I caught Barbara, one of out sheep and checked her feet as she’s developed a limp. There wasn’t anything obviousl so I iodined them and she was free to go. She seemed easier on it just 30 mins after so whether the iodine worked I don’t know. Fingers crossed she’s fully ok tomorrow. Once the ponies were mucked out, I fed the chickens and got the geese their tea. In between this, Steven had to go for an appointment and we had tea when he got back. After tea I went back out to finish the horses and Ste went to his boxercise class (rather him than me). I collected the eggs and noticed there was a chicken egg in the duck house. I think they’re trying to confuse me.
I’m all finished until the morning now, in the house in my own which is very strange. The kids are at grandparents tonight so I am having a shower and washing my hair before I have to work 8 to 10. I do my evening work from home and it’s not hard, so I won’t complain.
In the photo with the chickens. Can you spot the odd one put? Our cockrel isn’t supposed to be in here! Cheeky.
When Steven called in to the neighbouring farmer to buy some corn he enquired as to when the new additions we’re supposed to be getting from him will be ready to leave and his reply was they should be ready soon. I think a farmer’s “soon” is as noncommittal as my “maybe” to the kids! Anyway we should be getting them at some point in September! We’re really looking forward to it. It really feels like we’re starting to build up good foundations to really run our home as a smallholding. I’m a bit conscious that we’re getting them later than I hoped – by that I mean we’re moving into Autumn, darker nights and if things go wrong, less daylight hours to fix it (or find them if they get out 😉 ) but we will manage and enjoy it.
3 of my bought in hens have recently started to lay eggs now they’re old enough. The next lot will start to lay early October, so not too long to wait. The breed of chicken is called Vorwerk and are classed as a rarer breed than most. They are really pretty and the 7 of them have free ranged with Ryan, our house goose, since we have had them. So given that they free range across the whole smallholding, it will be interesting to see where they lay their eggs! We have 4 hens and 3 cockerels in that group, all of which are getting on fairly well though I suspect at least 1, may 2 cockerels will have to go. They won’t make good table birds, so they will probably be sold. They make me laugh every day with their antics. It’s so lovely to have them wandering around the place doing what they wish. Of course Mr fox may take advantage of it one day and we’re know there are foxes around as we’ve seen them, I just hope the 8 geese we have is enough to keep him at bay.