The days are getting shorter as we are weeks away from Christmas. This makes looking after our hens a very mathematical challenge.
Monty likes to stand in the daybreak and call the world to order. The fact that no daylight turns up before nine in the morning makes him confused. This means that some mornings you can hear him tooting away at six am, some mornings you wake him up at eight. When that happens he gets very embarrassed and overcompensates and his voice brakes. Monty has grown a lot this autumn and is now a handsome cockerel but he still tends to sound like Tarzan, at times.
Having a chick in the house is fun but when it's a mixed breed it's difficult to know if it's a boy or a girl. With our Little Beep it's been a guessing game, back and forth, back and forth and last week we finally decided that it's Lisbet. So to show us how wrong we usually are, Lisbet grew massively in one week and Eric it is. To really drive home the truth, Little Beep's voice broke so now our little chick sounds like a beeping drum. We have two cockerels in the house and all we can do is hope for the best.
Monty does not seem to mind as he follows Lina around, telling her what a beautiful hen she is. This takes up most of his day and Lina is getting used to it, a bit. She pecks him when he walks too close to her but most of the day she is fine with it. Last night when I said goodnight to them Monty was not in his usual place, on his bed in the sheep pen. I looked for him, thinking he might have fallen down in to the hay (he can do that...) but then saw that he was in the hen house. First time in his life Lina had invited him to lay next to her and he was stock still, trying not to rock the boat. It just goes to show that persistent flattering can work, eventually. So we just have to hope that Lina accepts Eric for the little boy in the group he is and that Monty is too much in love to care. And that's Cows Will Fly!
Feeding our hens is another math challenge. They start eating when daylight brakes and stop in the dusk. This means that we have to serve dinner an hour before the sun goes down or they go to bed hungry. Lina is the only hen that eats in artificial light and she is still giving us an egg every other day. But as we want her to stop and have a winter break, there is only a dim evening light on in the stable for now. This light is for the sheep and they turn in early too, so it's lights out and nighty night at seven, seven thirty pm in their house. By then the hens have slept for hours, dotted around the stable and some even in the hen house. Wishing Mindy, Mandy, Molly and My a good night has to be done in a whisper or Eric wakes everyone up, asking if it's morning and what's for breakfast. I guess he is a teenager...
Our dear sheep likes autumn and the cosy atmosphere it brings. Due to constant warmth and stormy weather, winter seems to make us wait, this year. We spend time indoors, chatting and fixing. Mindy loves her hens popping in for a visit, Molly steals their food and all is well in their world. We just wish the rest of the world would get there, as well.
A blog about a small holding in Southern Finland. Each original story is accompanied by a stunning watercolour illustration or resplendent photographs.