Saturday, January 10, 2015

Tenth

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Late last night, just before we were about to go to bed, we decided to head down to the chooks to check that they were all tucked up safely in their houses. Earlier that day, in preparation for the heavy rains to come, we had pulled their houses a bit further up the hill onto higher ground and extended the fences to accommodate them.

Dressed in our pyjamas with raincoats, gumboots and head-torches, we drove down the hill. And as the head-lights flashed across the paddock we saw, to our horror, that about 280 of the 300 chooks were scrunched in a huddle, soaking wet, on the site that their houses were positioned before we had moved them that morning.

In a complete panic we jumped out of the car, grabbed handfuls of chicken legs and started carrying them up the hill to their dry houses. 150 steps there with four chickens each, 150 steps back, in the pouring rain, in the pitch dark. I think we did that crazy dance about four or five times before farmer Bren had a brainwave and drove off to fetch some chook crates.

Upon his return we loaded eight birds into each crate, drove up the hill, unloaded each bird into their house and drove back down the hill to repeat the process. Over and over and over.

By the time we had popped the last chook into her house and wished them goodnight we were saturated, exhausted, it was well after midnight and I had that thought that I have from time to time - wouldn't it be nice to actually go home from work. Wouldn't it be lovely to knock off and leave it all behind until the next day.

Needless to say we've been taking it rather slowly today, netting the overgrown apple trees in my parents' orchard, looking after the animals, whittling and basket making. And thankfully despite their nightmare night, every chicken survived the ordeal. Phew.

Hopefully they'll find their way home tonight.

Hopefully you spent your tenth day of the new year doing something you love.

Ciao xx



25 comments:

  1. Would love to see some of your basket making.

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    1. Ahhh yes, it's only small still but I'll definitely show you soon. xx

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  2. Even when you work in an office, you still end up taking work home. Thoughts, ideas, feelings, conflicts. They never leave you alone, especially if you're a person like me who is a constant worrier.

    Glad your chooks are ok. How many times did you tell them "silly chooks!" As you walked them back?

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    1. So many times. Poor little, wet things. xx

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  3. Poor little chooks and poor you guys cold wet and soaking. I bet at this time of year no wood heater going either to greet you when you got home. You peeps do good honest work.

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    1. Yes, no wood heater but a hot (slightly longer than usual because it was pouring) shower did the trick. xx

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  4. Thanks so much for your blog. Pretty inspiring, your farm life sounds so intense but liberating as well. You mentioned bpod yesterday. We have done it for a long time now. And although everyone found it awkward to begin with, even the teen boys now come up with something, especially when their 5 year old sister violet always says "everything" :) xx

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    1. It's almost impossible for the youngest's enthusiasm not to be contagious. I love that part. At our place she rattles off a long list of everything that happened to her each night, it's gorgeous. xx

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  5. Glad to hear all the chooks survived their traumatic night! It is absolutely sheeting it down here too, I don't think i dare leave the house today! It is only morning here so I am snuggled up under my duvet reading blogs and hoping it brightens up later :)

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    1. I was hoping for a day like that here today but it's cleared right up, oh well, I'd better get out and do something. x

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  6. I'm so glad those chickens have you two to care for them! :) xxx

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  7. Chickens are creatures of habit just like us silly humans. How often have we huddled in the freezing cold, drenched with rain and morose because we refuse to accept change. x

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  8. I must ask you
    for me... australia is the country of spiders... all kind of horrifying spiders !
    So when I see you sitting in the grass or what ever activitie related to nature I am always scared about the insects...
    How to you live with it all ?

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    1. There are definitely spiders around but mostly they are harmless. Having said that Pepper did give her overalls a good shake yesterday before putting them on because she found a small spider in them once before. I guess we just get used to it. For me it's snakes, I am TERRIFIED of them and always on the lookout. xx

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  9. I've had that happen with my Bantams so I can guess at how you felt - although I only have 4 so the task of getting them all tucked in was a million times easier! Glad they were all safe, hope a day of taking it slow helps you recover :)

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    1. Funny little creatures. I've been thinking about getting some backyard bantams for the girls to have as pets, I love that they are so friendly and maternal. xx

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  10. Oh what a night.....thank goodness for hot showers and warm beds ! it is never a dull moment when you live "on the land", glad to hear the girls are all ok
    One night I was washing up after dinner and had an overwhelming feeling to check on a cow in the front paddock, just as well !!! she had calved and the poor baby had rolled into the creek, we pulled it out dried it off and settled them under the trees away from the water......checked on them an hour later and it was back in the creek, pulled it out agian, this time we got the tractor out of the machinery shed, connected the lifter, hauled the baby onto the platform and walked Mum along after the tractor and locked them in the milking yard.
    It was just lucky the Hereford bull had passed on a white face patch to the calf or I would never have seen it in the water in the dark.
    Up to the waist in cold creek water, in the pitch dark, in the middle of the night, is not a lot of fun ( add concern for water snakes) but when you have a job to do, you bitch about working conditions later, and add it to the "remember when" list.


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    1. Best comment ever!! I love your story Margaret, it makes me feel normal I think I know just how you felt. xx

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  11. Oh my goodness what a night! I do hope the girls head to their new home tonight!

    What a lovely apple tree. I wonder how many years ago it was planted.

    Happy Sunday Kate. I am currently sitting in bed and I hope to spend most of the day here. Self care! I'm exhausted after a hot week. xo

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    1. That sounds wonderful Julie, I hope you have the most wonderful, relaxing day. xx

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  12. It just never stops does it Kate? But, the benefits outweigh the hard stuff...mostly! x

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  13. Poor lovely ladies :(
    We just gifted ourselves an egg incubator for Christmas. I was so stressed each time a hen when broody and then all the babies disappearing with the crows one by one. This will be far less heart breaking I hope :)

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Kate XX

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