At the end of September you would normally expect the Normandy countryside to be green but this summer has been exceptionally dry. That might have been great for guests in our gite but not so good on the smallholding side of things with grass being a rather rare commodity this year. So this weekend we played the animal equivalent of musical chairs i.e. musical fields!
|Mojo and Pupmkin before they moved fields - can you see them both?|
|Our 4 turkeys|
The laying hens are now in the field where table birds were and can still get back to the hen house by some clever gate design. Although Bianca has decided she doesn't like her new field so is currently running round with the sheep.
The 2 older sheep (she who had lambs and our own ewe) had pretty much eaten down the grass in the small pen by the veg garden so they are now in the hen run eating down what the hens had ignored ... and we will swap the hens and the sheep once the sheep have munched everything down and after we have made a shelter for the sheep as they don't fit in the chicken house that is there!
The piglets were in the orchard field but Mojo, who is in season, had got through into the adjacent ex-sheep field in an attempt to get to Boris, our boar and her father! So she and her sister, Pumpkin, were moved into the larger front field as this has newer and more secure fencing and a bit more of that rare grass. But the turkeys were there so they have been shifted back into the small pen behind their shelter. That also meant Mojo and Pumpkin were nearer to Boris and Coco so we moved them to the other pig pen, further away! Oh and we couldn't leave Peardrop, our final pig, in her pen as that was now next to the piglets and they fight through the fence so Peardrop went into the orchard field where she is too lazy to try and escape and being a little on the rotund side does not need loads of grass!
Are you following this? Maybe this summary will help:
> Chickens to freezer
> Hens to chicken field
> Sheep to hen field
> Piglets to turkey field
> Turkeys to small turkey pen
> Coco and Boris to the other pig pen
> Peardrop to the orchard field
And we managed it without losing anyone although the sheep, as usual, gave us a bit if a run-around before deciding it was OK to go through the scary gate to a new field with more grass in it!
Ducks! I forgot the ducks ... probably because they stayed where they are! Actually I might let them out to free range whilst we have no guests in but we lost one to M. Renard recently, when she got out and didn't come home to be shut in at night, so I am a touch reticent to let them out. Or I could put them in the front pen where Peardrop was ....
If you would like to come and meet our animals please do head over to our gite page - Eco-Gites of Lenault - where you can book a farm holiday in the beautiful (if currently slightly less than green) Normandy countryside.