Miserable … Really …

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THIS was a bad weather day. Not dangerous … not freezing cold … just plain windy, wet and bone chilling. Even the jennies – who will brave almost anything – were feeling miserable.

I’m glad they are tucked into their own barns tonight. They spent the day with the goats. I found myself leaning on the kitchen counter – spying on them through the barn ‘nanny cams’. Dottie will attempt to push Rosie out of a room by pushing with all her might into Rosie’s chest. Truth is … I think Rosie likes that feeling. (Darby did back when they were little.) She’ll wait until Dottie turns away and then moves exactly where she wants to. The two of them have no problem cozying up together. Both Bella and MayMay keep themselves on the edges of the action. Most of the time the goats slept in the front room – and the jennies munched away on hay in the back. I’m glad we have the nanny cams. It is helpful to see how the flerd interacts without me in the picture.

We don’t have a nanny cam in this coop. This is Paddy and his girls. I’m so pleased with how this space is working out. The solid ‘Clubhouse’ section is a cozy and bright space. They love digging through the wood chips on the dirt floor. And they like exploring the ‘UP’ regions. Especially Mary who is still the most curious and daring of the bunch. I like knowing it is a sturdy weatherproof home for them. The door in the background opens onto a partially covered run. I’ve stacked straw bales out there to give the roof some extra support. It will need it when the snow arrives. The branches and stacks of wood are favourite haunts for this crew. At night I close that door to keep them safe from sneaky predators that might breach the run.

Mary always makes me laugh. There isn’t a ledge – crook – hole – bag – or bin – that she won’t explore.

Meanwhile, in the Palace the Orpingtons are settling into their new pecking order. This little Isabelle Orpington used to hide from the others. She’d only venture out to follow Norman around. You can see her comb has some dark spots? Those are likely from being nipped at by the more senior hens.

She and her twin sister have now been accepted by the others – Princess (black in foreground) and the ‘Graybies’ (Sulu and Chewy) in the back. I was amused this week as I sat with this bunch to see these older hens also putting Norman in his place.

Norman really is a gentle rooster. But the ladies needed to teach him some lessons about ‘courting’. As he would start to do his rooster dance anywhere near them they’d team up and whack the poor guy. He’d end up frozen in place – carefully eyeing the circle of hens ready to take him on again should he move. Now he knows to give them the best treats he finds – and to be on guard while they casually graze. They’ve figured it out now.

Tonight couldn’t come fast enough as far as Dottie was concerned. While I was finishing up some raking she ran loops between me – the duck house (where her grain bin is stored) and the goat house (where she spends her nights). She wanted me to hurry up and deliver dinner so she could go to bed.

When I finally was able to settle the goats seemed their doorway gate grew a nose and a pair of ears.

Now it was Rosie’s turn to say ‘hurry up!’ She knows that my next step should be delivering HER bedtime peanut snack. Of course … those are also stored in the duck house.

Popular place this duck barn. When I DO get the chance to stop in here I sit down a while. The ducks are becoming more and more tame around me.

I made sure that I gave Rosie and Bella their peanuts BEFORE I settled in for a duck visit.

‘Cause I can sit here for quite a while!

We’re heading back into the deep freeze tomorrow. The entire day is a downhill slide in temperature until we’ll hit the -20’s through tomorrow night and then for two days after that. I’m glad the ducks had a good ‘swimming day’ today. They even spent part of the afternoon up on the hilltop in the sun shelter. I had taken a pile of straw up there a few days ago. They spent their time snuggled up out of the wind.

Hold onto your hats out there!

2 comments on “Miserable … Really …”

    1. I sure do look up at January rolling around and find myself a bit anxious about how to keep them warm enough. Every year seems to bring a new situation to figure out. Sure keeps me moving!

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