Sunday, July 28, 2013

Another week gone...

Once again time has flown by with great bluster.

I guess the biggest news of the week for us was that we made the decision to re-home our two beautiful girlie goats.  I really do think it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  To some they may be 'just goats' but to me they were pets, part of the family.  I am a firm believer that an animal is for life and finding the girls a new home went against everything I believe.  But, with a heavy heart, I know it was the right decision.  I don't want to go into two much detail (tears are welling up as I type), but the decision was made based on circumstances.  Rosie and Pixie didn't get on with Poppy's new babies at all.  They just wouldn't accept them.  At one stage there was a particularly nasty attack on the little girl baby where she was cornered by Pixie whilst Rosie hammered down head blows upon her.  Fortunately Poppy dived in to the rescue and Joseph and Lee were out there to sort things out and separate the two groups.  I don't think the squeals of that baby will be forgotten any time soon, but thankfully no physical harm was done.

We only have a limited amount of land here and have to be choosy with what animals we wish to have share it with us.  The larger same species animals need to be able to live harmoniously together because I don't want the land to be divided into pens to keep individuals separate.  I'm a firm believer in free-ranging wherever possible and giving animals as much space as can be.  I'm also not sure I could settle with the knowledge that the animals could possibly escape and harm another.

It was a real shame and they are very much missed.  Regular readers of the blog will know that we bottle fed the girls from the age of 4 days old.   They lived in the house with us during the awful weather we experienced at the beginning of the year, and we well and truly became bonded.  With humans (young and old) Rosie and Pixie were wonderful, we really couldn't fault them.  It was rather like having two lolloping dogs following you around the place.  Pixie in particular loved offering nose to cheek kisses.  When Poppy arrived they got on really well with her.  At times she would stamp her authority as the older and wiser one, and they knew their place and respected her.  They just wouldn't accept her babies, I wouldn't have been able to ever leave them unsupervised.

Anyway, Rosie and Pixie are now in a truly fantastic home, about an hour away from here, with a lovely couple who have kept goats as pets for 17 years or thereabouts.  We have visiting rights whenever we wish and there is an older neutered male goat for company.  They all live together in a lovely large field and have a couple of shelters to choose from.  I am more than happy with where they are, it truly is of five star rating for goats.  I have spoken to their new owner on the telephone and via email since they left us on Thursday, and I have seen pictures of both girls looking really contented, munching away and with their new friend.  I have no worries about them.  It eases the difficulty of the decision somewhat but the tears still flow.

This place sure is quiet without them.

So our goat numbers have dwindled to three, but what a lovely three they are!

Poppy's babies are growing really well, she is a wonderful mama and we have been able to pretty much leave her to it.


We have had mixed weather here today.  Outbreaks of beautiful sunshine, with scatterings of very heavy showers. Poppy retreated to the safety of her stable...


Bless her.  I was stood on the summerhouse step taking shelter myself and she was bleating away at me.

During this, Tiegan continued to stay on the swing...


Clearly, rain doesn't stop play for anyone in this household.

It wasn't long before the rain was easing and Poppy had to make the decision as to whether to stay put or venture back outside...


I think she is looking in great condition, and she appears to be a happy soul, although a trip to the hairdressers wouldn't go a miss!  Will have to see if I can fit in a trim in the week sometime.

So what else have we been up to this week? Well, much of my time has been working on the Classroom Free website.  It has been given a much needed overhaul and there are lots of plans and ideas being hurled around behind the scenes.  It is all very exciting (for me at least) and I really hope that the site becomes a welcome and useful resource for home-educators.  In between time sat on the computer, we have visited the library, read a lot (a lot) of books...


Talked about various prime-ministers and their affect on this country during their time in power, ambled around the lanes, talked to piggies, rescued snails from a fateful squishy death, played games, used the microscope to look at the various flies and moths we have found deceased, hunted for eggs since the now free-ranging girls don't know where to lay them any more, cuddled animals, played with kittens, and planned out a couple of lapbooks for next week. We have also put tents up, just for fun and snoozing in...



Of course there is plenty more but that is just what I could think of off the top of my head.

Yesterday we visited a new (to us) farm shop in a nearby village and I fell in love with the place.  It was really well stocked with home-grown produce and the prices were comparable with the supermarkets.  We will definitely be buying the bulk of our weekly shopping from there and the local market.  I really want to stop funding the supermarkets as I feel we are creating powerful monsters.

Today we have spent a lot of time outside, either on the land or walking the lanes.  We harvested a few of our potatoes...


with a certainly little four-legged friend offering assistance...


Taisia was very pleased with herself as she found buried treasure...




We spent some time observing the animals.  I like to do this from time to time, just sitting or standing quietly allowing the animals to move around or rest unhindered.  It helps me to get to know them and their individual characters, as well a being able to judge 'normal' behaviour so I can tell at a glance if something isn't right. Today I was armed with a camera so I have photos to share.

Charlie chicken is looking well.  Her 'bum' feathers are growing back nicely and she no longer has the plucked chicken look going on.  Betsy-May appears to have decided to leave her alone now.  She never plucked feathers out of aggression, but rather out of some sort of silly habit.  I used to watch her doing it sometimes and it was just an opportunistic tug as Charlie strolled by.


Doorstep duck is still with us.  She has acquired the name of 'Sally' but we are all aware that she doesn't truly belong to us and may choose to venture off at any moment...


For now though she is seemingly content to live amongst our flock of feathered friends.

Bumble, Pip, and Doris our Runner Ducks are doing really well and looking great.  I caught Pip having a rest earlier on...


I think she is beautiful.  They have a night time routine now where we just have to slightly follow them and they know it's bedtime.  They will then get in a line and play follow the leader to their bedroom for the night, safely tucked away from after dark predators.  Doorstep Duck on the other hand tends to lead us a merry dance.  Some nights she will just trundle in unhindered, whilst other nights it's one or two laps of the garden first.  I have told her that whilst she lives here she has to live by my rules, and that includes a night time lock-in.  She doesn't seem to want to listen though.  I just couldn't rest at night knowing she was out on our land alone.

Hmm, who else shall we talk about?  Oh, how about Miss Molly?



Mabel was around too but she didn't feel up to a photo-shoot today so Molly stepped in and did a fine job.  These girls are such characters.  They follow you around, pecking at your feet, and seem to love human company.  They can be a little bit tricky when it comes to lock-up time though. Take this evening for example.  All is quiet in the field, no sign of chooks strolling around, it's all peaceful.  Tiegan and I head up to the coop to check all is well and secure the chickens in for the night, and wham bam hello.  Two chicky girlies come running out of the door and galloping up to us upon hearing our voices.  Cute, but then we have to play round up to get them back in again.

Meanwhile, the latest behind the scene gossip from the coop is (and you heard it here first...) that we have a rather moody broody...


Yep, dearest Clarabelle has decided that she would like to be a mama.  I have tried having 'that' chat with her about the birds and the bees, but she doesn't seem to want to listen.  I've tried explaining that a little affair with a young 'un of the opposite sex might be needed, and as we don't yet have any it may be a little difficult, but it fell on deaf ears.  Don't tell Clarabelle, but *whispers* I have ordered some (hopefully) fertile eggs for her to sit on should she really be serious about doing the mama thing.  I've told her that she is too young and they will only tie her down and restrict her future (well, for the next 21 days at least!), but she is adamant that she wants to be a part of the great motherhood gang.  Like any good mama I have to be supportive of her choices huh?

Of course, with the plenty of rain befalling upon us today, comes rather fun puddles.  Taisia couldn't wait to don welly-bobs and get out there...



Bless her.  It really is the simple things that keep that little happy.  Puddle jumping, cardboard boxes, pen and paper.  She really doesn't need all this fancy pants all singing all dancing stuff.

This evening we headed out after dinner for a stroll with the dog.  This time we all chose to go, teens included.

Our walks are very, erm, how shall I say it?  Huggy.  A certain little person likes nothing better than making hug demands on everyone else.


Of course no hug is ever refused...


We took time out to just observe...


 And to take joy from nature's bountiful delights...


and peacefulness...


We reached home just before 9pm, a little wetter than when we had left, but with a little more joy filling our hearts.

Once home it was time for the evening animal check, lock down, and quail egg collection.  We then headed inside for hot buttered toast and tea, and a very tired two year old who headed straight to bed.

Roll on Monday, I'm sure ready for you!

3 comments:

  1. I kept goats for 18 years for lovely fresh milk everyday. Then when it was just 2 of us and we didnt need much milk and rules and regs on breeding got complicated we gave up. 3 years ago and I still miss them.

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  2. its lovely to meet all you animals. i would find it hard to part with any as well. I would have so many if i wasn't strict with myself. the garden has been taken over by animals and i sometimes wish i had some of that space back. but could never part with my pets xx

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  3. Your photos are beautiful. Very lovely views, you are lucky to live in such a lovely place,

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