When you have a smallholding you will find that you are constantly changing things around. For a while you might think they you have yourself sorted and then something happens and you need to jiggle things. It may be the unexpected arrival of an abandoned goat, ducklings hatching or a change in the time you decide to breed piglets which has unexpected knock on effects for weeks, if not months, to come. Yesterday ended up being one of those days at Eco-Gites of Lenault, when we ended up undertaking major animal manoeuvres. They sort of went like this:
- The white chicks who had outgrown their small shelter were moved to the bigger field and shelter where Hilda the duck (who had been sitting on eggs) had been all alone.
|Chicks in the pen they have now outgrown|
- Hilda, who sadly did not hatch any ducklings, was moved back in with the laying hens and other ducks (who themselves will move into the piglet pen once they move soon).
- The 2 bantams who had been sitting on duck eggs and each managed to hatch one duckling were moved into the now vacated small chick pen.
|2 very proud bantam Mums with their adopted ducklings|
- The sheep, now numbering 2 ewes and 2 lambs were moved down to our valley field. Please note that whilst that last sentence too just a few seconds to type the whole sheep manoeuvring malarkey actually took a couple of hours and included:
Strimming grass around valley field gate so we could open it!
Setting up a holding pen.
Driving sheep to holding pen.
Sheep looking at holding pen and running the other way into their shelter.
Trapping sheep in shelter.
Friend and I grappling an escaped sheep to the ground.
Catching remaining ewe and lambs one at a time, worming them, giving them a pedicure and dagging them (removal of wool around their bottoms that can become very dirty and attract flies).
Manhandling ewes and lambs across field, through now redundant holding pen and into the back of the 4x4
Driving the 4x4 VERY CAREFULLY down the very narrow valley path (I always choose to walk at this point).
Releasing sheep in valley field.
Returning to valley field later with a water bucket and sheep lick.
|Sheep, blissfully unaware of manoeuvres to come!|
And back to animal manoeuvres chez nous ....
- Moving pigs from their winter quarters out into the field where the sheep had been. This was considerably easier than manoeuvring the sheep and the 3 greedy pigs simply followed a feed bucket! I love pigs!!
|Ginger and Toggle who will be moved soon|
So how did you spend your Sunday? I sincerely hope that by the end of it you did not smell like I did with a mixture of duck, chicken and sheep poo not being particularly pleasant!
If you like reading about other Animal Tales or have written one yourself please do head on over to the #AnimalTales blog linky for a read and/or link up.