You just never know what animal you might see pass by the window of our farmhouse. Since moving to the farm in 2004 we have had a runaway bullock, numerous calves and cows wandering about in the yard when they were not supposed to, a rat scuttle across the yard following the farm inspector!, stray cats, pheasants, rabbits, partridges and on Monday, just as I was on the phone, a sheep wandered past the window. These days I don’t even bat an eyelid at the sight of a stray animal in the yard.
The sheep, a ewe, belonged to a neighbour and it took three of us to walk, or should I say run her into the pen, (the running was the sheep’s choice and not mine!). The sheep had jumped the fence at the back of our farm and wandered across our back field and into our yard. We don’t know why she left her field as she has a lamb and the electric fence was still on and working. Anyway the ewe was returned to the neighbour and she hasn’t reappeared yet.
When my father-in-law saw the sheep he said, “You’re not going into sheep now are you?”
Do you have any funny stories of runaway animals, if so I would love to hear them so please leave a comment about your wandering animal?!
They say bad luck runs in threes and with animal husbandry I have unfortunately found this to be the case this week.
The week started badly when on Monday night only 28 of my 29 guinea fowl returned to their hut. I thought this was strange so did the rounds of the hedgerows thinking that she may be sitting on the large number of eggs that I had not been able to locate. Unfortunately as I headed up the hedgerow that separates the paddock and the field with barley growing in it, I noticed a pile of grey spotted feathers. I knew instantly that the unlucky guinea fowl had become prey for the fox. Although it is light until late at night, it is not wise to leave my guinea fowl free-ranging much after 6 as the crops and hedgerows make great cover for the fox and the vixen who is out searching for food for her cubs. I am pleased to report that no more guinea fowl have fallen prey to the fox since I have been bringing my guinea fowl in a little earlier, even though they don’t want to go in at that time and a job that would normally take a max of 10 minutes can now take up to an hour rounding all the guinea fowl up.
On Wednesday morning I went to feed the sows only to find that Lacy would not get up and eat. Cagney was up but staying close to Lacy. Cagney did eat a little but not a lot. I wasn’t sure what was the matter. By teatime Lacy was up and feeding but Cagney was now a little subdued and not eating. I decided to keep my eye on them. By Thursday Lacy was back to her normal self but Cagney still wouldn’t eat despite my attempts with the bucket under her nose. At midnight having scoured the internet for information about sick sows and having convinced myself that by morning Cagney would be dead, I headed back out to the barn. When I entered Cagney was stood up. She did lay down and so I brought her some fresh straw to and placed it on top of her to keep warm. I left the barn reluctantly at 1.30am realising that there was nothing I could do to help Cagney. I woke early this morning to check on Cagney and she is still not well. Upon inspection my father-in-law thinks that she has mastitis. She has had an injection and is now resting. She did manage to have a drink of water and had a little food. Now only time will tell. I just hope that we have injected her soon enough to get rid of the infection. Cagney is the most gentle pig you could ever wish to meet and she is not just a sow that is on the farm for breeding purposes, she means more to me than that. I have already shed a tear or two and can only hope that she returns to her lovely gentle healthy self.
Again on Thursday just as I was heading out for coffee with my blogpal Birdy Trish, I noted that it was day 24 of the duck egg incubation and that it was time to take the egg turner out. I decided that I would do the job in the afternoon when I returned. (I bet you can guess what’s coming!) Yes by the time I returned and had had my lunch, as I was washing up I suddenly heard a tweet coming from the incubator. I couldn’t believe it, a duckling’s beak was sticking out of the shell and was quite close to the top of the incubator as the duck eggs are so big. I called my husband who returned home to help remove the turner. Opening the incubator at the wrong time can be fatal to the eggs hatching. By teatime the duckling that was well on the way to hatching had stopped moving. Some of the other eggs had pipped but nothing was happening. From experience I have found that although the books say don’t help the chicks, the only way to get a successful hatch when the eggs have been pipped a while is to help the chicks along. we decided to check on the duckling that had made a good effort to get out. Unfortunately the duckling had died. We did find some eggs that were pipped and had live ducklings in so we decided to help them out. It is now Friday morning and at the moment we have 3 ducklings that have hatched with assistance. I am not sure if anymore are going to hatch. Conditions were obviously not right in the incubator and although I think that many of the eggs are fertile, I don’t think that this is going to be a successful hatch. I’ll keep you posted with news on Cagney and the ducklings and I hope that I don’t have to report back of another fox incident.
An introductory letter from the farm animal penpal.
A photograph of the farm animal penpal.
A birthday card from the farm animal penpal.
A Christmas card from the farm animal penpal.
You can choose a hen, pig, cow or guinea fowl penpal.
Recently Linz bought the Cow Penpal as a Christmas present for her step daughter. I am pleased to say that the gift was well received. Linz sent me this comment,
Thank you very much for my step daughter’s penpal letter from Milky. Being 18 she can be difficult to buy for, but on opening the letter on Christmas day, which had been wrapped up. Her eyes filled up with tears. On this response I wondered if I had done something wrong and went to comfort her to find out what was wrong. She thinks that the cow penpal is the most wonderful and best gift she has ever gotten.
Thanks again Sara for the chance to give my step daughter this penpal gift.
Thanks Linz for taking the time to send me this comment, your feedback is much appreciated.
I have been tagged for eight random facts, by 2GreenThumbsUp, who said,” Because I enjoy reading these blogs and I haven’t seen any evidence of previous meme participation, I’m tagging…… Sara at Farming Friends - I’m just getting to know the animals on her farm.” Since 2GreenThumbsUp is just getting to know my animals I thought that I would write 8 random facts about the animals on the farm.
When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you, then post the rules before your list, and list eight random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to eight other people.
Hatty the hen, is the resident White Leghorn hen who lays white eggs through the Spring, has befriended the guinea fowl flock, rules the roost and has yet to get broody in the 3 years she has lived on the farm.
This was the poll that farmingfriends has been running for the past two months.
The categories included cattle, chickens, sheep, guinea fowl, pigs, ducks, goats, horses, geese and turkeys.
In a 2 month period 145 people voted – thanks to everyone who voted.
The results were as follows;
Cattle = 25 votes.
Chickens = 16 votes.
Sheep = 12 votes.
Guinea Fowl = 7 votes.
Pigs = 22 votes.
Ducks = 12 votes.
Goats = 11 votes.
Horses = 32 votes.
Geese = 3 votes.
Turkeys = 5 votes.
The most popular farm animal was the horse and the least popular farm animal was the goose. I could have predicted geese being the least favourite but I would not have predicted the horse as the favourite.
Let me know your opinion about the results of this poll and whether you agree with the voting.
Can you guess the identity of the mystery animals in the pictures?
Look at the photographs carefully for clues to the identity of the animals.
Click on the pictures to enlarge the image for a better look!
At the bottom of the page you will find an alphabetical list of the mystery animals to help you identify the animals and a link to the answer page.
Good luck and have fun.
Mystery Animal 1
Mystery Animal 2
Mystery Animal 3
Mystery Animal 4
Mystery Animal 5
Mystery Animal 6
Mystery Animal 7
Mystery Animal 8
Mystery Animal 9
Mystery Animal 10
Mystery Animal 11
Mystery Animal 12
Mystery Animal 13
Mystery Animal 14
Mystery Animal 15
Mystery Animal 16
Mystery Animal 17
Mystery Animal 18
Mystery Animal 19
Mystery Animal 20
The following animals can be found in the pictures – butterfly, calf, cat, cow, deer, duck, goat, goose, guinea fowl, guinea pig, hen, horse, lamb, owl, partridge, peacock, pig, pony, rabbit and sheep.
I started a favourite farm animal poll with only four categories.
Having received a number of comments stating that the readers were finding it difficult to choose which was their favourite farm animal, me included and that some of their favourites were missing, I have decided to widen the categories to include more farm animals. If you had already voted then please accept my apologies but you now have a wider choice of farm animal.
The poll is located in the sidebar and now includes;