Spent a long time with the little dwarfs down the road today. This morning the little grey buckling was not doing so well – shaky, not interested in nursing… I watched very carefully to see what the others were doing when they nursed. It seemed that Pepper (momma goat) was licking their bottoms which seemed to encourage them to eat? I had been keeping the little one warm through a number of failed attempts. He would hang his head and let the others crowd him out and away. Pepper even seemed to give up on him … Finally on the third feeding round I rubbed his little butt and his head went right up! I snuck him in from the side and did it again and ‘BINGO’ he got a teat! I moved all the others away and let him have a go. He was hungry and slurped away for more than three minutes! Hurray!! I stuck around for two more rounds and each time slid him into the sweet spot and rubbed that little behind of his. By the time I decided I could leave them for a few hours he had had a good drink. When I was back with them in the afternoon he was bleating, up and walking (shakily) and had three successful nursing sessions – two which he managed on his own. There is hope for that little runt yet! They sure are cute. Still the size of little kittens – and oh so sweet curled up against my legs.
Our Guineas also made great progress today. Miss Charlie figured out how to go out the door from the coop to the run on her own. She is one smart bird! The roosters went bonkers trying to figure out where she had disappeared to. They could hear her calling … Eventually I managed to herd them all out – no catching required. I moved a perch to sit beside the door (from inside the coop) and another to extend out to the run on the outside. They had a great afternoon – sunshine – warmth – and lots of exploring of the leaves and hay on the ground. When five o’clock rolled around I could see Sir Henry and Miss Charlie falling asleep on the highest roost … Hmmm … Rather than have them set themselves up for the night I figured I might as well give ‘herding’ another try. It worked! No catching required at the end of the day either. Using a long stick and my arm I was able to gently lead them two at a time to the door … and plop! … into the coop. They happily settled in for their regular evening millet treat … cooing and whistling to each other. Considering tomorrow’s weather forecast (-30’C windchill ALL day) I think they’ll be staying inside until Thursday.
On my jaunts up and down the road I noticed these guys!! Four trumpeter swans are on the creek. They are beautiful. I had noticed the geese these past two days. They do this funny thing where they stick their heads down into the water and their white bellies shine in the sun … At a glance you might think there were penguins out there. I was looking for that tell tale white when I realized there was a whole lotta more white than that out there. Beautiful.
I ended the day in my favourite place – sitting on my milk carton – playing groom to the jennies. When I sit this down in the paddock they line up and anxiously (not really patiently) wait their turn to be brushed. I am not sure if it is more relaxing for them … or for me!
The barns are filled with hay in anticipation of the deep freeze tonight and tomorrow. Glad every critter has a warm corner to snuggle in to tonight!