Monty is calling out loud and clear from the top of the manure-heap. He has found a spot where his voice echoes around the village so that we can all enjoy his jazzy sound. The air is crisp and it is one of those perfect days. Our hens are on a mission to make it around the grounds at least twice in one day so they can be seen rushing around. Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My are grazing and sunbathing, all at the same time. I'm on my third pot of coffee and enjoying writing this.
I have a little toe that is broken at the tip. It's so sore I could scream and it's all my own fault.
The mornings are beautiful at the moment and the animals are in such a happy frame of mind that I thought we should celebrate a bit. So I took some oats out to our sweet sheep while still wearing Crocs and feeling all hippy dippy happy. Oats are the best things ever for our ladies and I should have known better. Molly got over exited and butted me in the back of my leg. Mindy, on the other hand thought she would be left without her treat if she were not close enough to me. So she climbed up on my foot and snap went my little toe. Mandy and My take these kind of things in a much calmer fashion so they just stood waiting to be served. The result of my bright idea is me limping around, wishing I'd worn proper shoes for the occasion.
We started our exercise regime early today, Mr. Chip and I. Our lovely dog asked for a walk once the animals had been let out so off we went. Halfway through the walk I spotted a huge bird of pray heading towards our stable. It flew over the fields straight in to the yard. As I am limping and Mr. Chip has a wobbly leg there was not much we could do but to hurry home in our own, funny way. (We looked like a badly made sitcom about why exercise is good for you...).
A few minutes later I heard Mindy, our brave, white sheep scream. Dear Mindy is, as I have told you, loud as a foghorn but this was her making a completely different sound. She went for it full pelt and no other sound was heard from the yard. I dreaded what we would find on our return but all was well and the sheep were showered with goodies and high praise. The hens had all gathered under a big spruce and Monty told me that all was under control. Little Matti and Maja had no clue as to why everyone was in the same spot for once but bobbed along happily in everyone's feet.
The week has had its ups and downs for dear Mindy but the hens were saved and my toe will get better, albeit a little more crooked than before. Mindy is our hero of the day and is very pleased with all the extra attention she is getting.
Hens are very practical souls, which meant that half an hour later they were off on their ramblings, once more. They really can't stay in one place for long. Our lot could enter a half marathon and make it - the way they work on their fitness routine...
I'm starting to dread the winter ahead when fourteen beaks are to share a house with four sheep. We will have to build (I say we but we all know it's dear husband who will be swinging the hammer...) a lot of entertaining climbing frames and maybe one more playhouse. We will also have to provide two sandboxes, otherwise they will end up queuing half the day.
I have been thinking if some big plants could be an idea. Monstera and some other big leafed indoor plants, just to make it more festive. I will have to read up on that... Molly would of course eat them but if they were kept in the henhouse, it might work. I wonder if other hen keepers have tried this? No cactuses, though....
The big autumn cleaning day is coming up. Dusting, dusting and more of the same.... Then we can try an alternative to sawdust in the henhouse. Hemp or peat, I guess. Hemp would be a more friendly option for the environment, so we will probably choose that. Less dust is what we are looking for.
For now we will enjoy the fact that nature is providing the daily entertainment for our animals and hope for a long autumn season. The snow will arrive soon enough and if the previous years are anything to go by, it will all turn up within a few days.
Dear husband is celebrating his birthday next week. We are all looking forward to cake and merriment and we have a present. Our dear sheep thought some dry bread would be an idea, the hens thought dear husband would like some nice, colourful feathers and Mr. Chip said that you can never go wrong with a small chewing bone. I thought it better to add something to that list.
We are not alone for long in the forest, at the moment. The deer ked or deer fly has started moving around. It was named Lipoptena cervi by Carl von Linne' in 1758 and turned up in Finland in the 1960s. We would gladly send it back to wherever it came from as it must be making life a living hell for deer and elk. Thankfully, it does not like sheep, though....
Have a nice week, be well and hopefully dry. The rain is pouring down over here, once again. Maybe time to think about that ark, yet again...
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.