Lotta's two chicks are now six weeks old and very nice they are too. Lotta is doing a good job, bringing them up all on her own. Their father is around but he is not a shining example of an active father figure. At the most he can claim some fame by the fact that he talks to his offspring. These are not long chats about football and sports cars but thoughts about worms, sheep and beetles. The food issue is close to Monty's heart and our sheep pop into the conversations because you have to warn small bundles about sixteen hoofs coming their way.
Monty means well but he hasn't got a clue how to behave around his family. He dances around Lotta until she nips him and sends him on his way. He could probably collect some food with the young ones but as they are so quick off the mark themselves, Monty's helping hand is not needed. So he talks for a while and bobs about until Lina the hen informs him that it is time to go. The rest of the day you can find Lina, Darya, Henrika and Monty doing a bit of exploring and compost turning. They have also started popping over to our front step for refreshments. Sunflower seeds, the odd biscuit, and a sip from Mr. Chip's water bowl are what they need to keep them going. This is a good thing, as we then know where they are. They have always done this as a spur of the moment thing but now it seems to be a regular feature. I think it's their way of taking a break from all the young hens and motherly tempers that flies around the henhouse. They also crave company, so when they hear us doing something fun they turn up.
With Lotta tending to her pride and joy and Pippi laying on her egg and stone, the egg production has diminished noticeably. I planned to use up some old milk on Sunday, so an oven pancake was the answer. As it was a fine day with lots of things to do, the hens made it indoors late in the afternoon. By five thirty pm we got two eggs and the pancake making could begin. It's a charming way to live and the eggs are nice and fresh.
The two toddlers took up mountain climbing today. They found the big stones lining our wide, deep ditch that leads water past the stable, to be a perfect playground for them. They jumped and climbed all over these boulders, managing not to fall into any of the small caves, along the way. It looked wild and their mother stood calmly by, nibbling on some nettles. I had to leave as my heart was in my mouth and I wanted to make them stop what they were doing. Had I stepped in, the result would have been two startled chicks falling into a deep hole amongst the stones. So I went home and had some strong coffee instead. The chicks seems to be living on ants, at the moment...
Once our famous five start producing eggs, we might get 9-10 eggs a day if everyone feels inspired. That is a scary thought, if ever there was one! I like hens and their sense of humour but I'm not so keen on many eggs a day. They are beautiful, though...both the hens and the eggs...
The little chicks are, unfortunately, not afraid of cars. They tend to step out into the road to get a closer look at the passing car. This is not the smartest thing to do when you're small, sweet and difficult to spot. We have had words about this but they forget the conversation as soon as they see the next car coming. Luckily our road is not exactly busy but it's still not safe for small bundles. By the by, our chicks look a bit funny at the moment as all the exercise they get has given them chest muscles. They look like tiny body builders who forgot to change their routine at the gym. Their mother looks like she could do with a break.
Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My find all this summer activity slightly tiring. "The sun is hot, milling hens everywhere, and not enough bread for them" they tell me. The fact of the matter is that we feed them lots of treats and they have nice, shady places to rest in. It's just that they have to be where the action is and that way they get tired. We let them in to the stable in the early evenings just so they can enjoy some nice, quiet time on their own, before all the hens arrive back indoors, for the night. Our four dear sheep are feeling their legs as well. They eat all day, ending up looking like Shetland ponies and that can't be good for their joints. They will have to slim down a smidgen, in the autumn. At least they eat a lot of berries at the moment and that is good for older sheep, I'm sure. We love our, sometimes very loud sheep and autumn will be here soon enough with cooler winds and rainy days. Then they will want the sun to warming their lovely faces, again.
They also love our little bundles of joy so that's why they follow them around so much. It's just a shame that chicks speed around the place like wind-up toys and our sheep are not so keen on this exercise regime. But off they go, looking out for their little friends, because they are such kind animals. I have not had the heart to tell them that it might all start again, if Pippi has a little chick too. Then our four sheep might have to check in to a spa for a rest. We will probably all want to do that, once darling-Pippi gets going, ordering us around. Animals are lovely, though... And I can't see the charm in spas...
The snail is one of the slowest moving creatures on earth. They can see but they can't hear. Their ribbon like tongues, called a radula, has thousands of microscopic teeth with which they rip their food into tiny pieces. Very handy and now we know why they don't greet us back in the mornings. They do not hear our cheery "Hellos!"...
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.