Friday, March 27, 2015

Balance

Cats have a sense of balance that is unmatched by any.
They can perch themselves on just about anything,
and sit there as though it is effortless.


Yesterday morning Bobby sat on the stall door while the horses ate their breakfast.


You'd never have known by watching him that he was perched upon a door
 that is about 1 ½ inches wide.


He sat there...perfectly still and surveyed the world around him.


The cats are utterly fearless around the horses and scurry about the dry lot
completely oblivious to the 300, 500, and 1200 pound animals that inhabit it.


They often walk the perimeter of the pasture fence...
walking on top of the wooden fence as if it were a tightrope.
Never once have I seen them fall.

I wanted to update you on our bourbon red turkey, Tom.
You might remember that he survived a dog attack about two weeks ago that left
his back featherless with minor lacerations.


He has healed nicely and is starting to grow back his feathers.


Here he is with the turkey equivalent of a 5-o'clock-shadow!


I can scarcely believe that it's Friday again.
These weeks pass way too quickly!
We will be spending a quiet weekend at home...
working in the garden if the weather cooperates.

What about you?  Planning any mischief this weekend?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Scraps....

It's what's for dinner!


It's sad but true that our dear chickens eat better than some humans do...
but that's a subject for another day.
We give our chickens kitchen scraps...
peelings, leftovers...
anything that a human can eat... a chicken can eat.


I do, however, avoid citrus as that can weaken their egg shells.

And I give them no onions or garlic as I have heard it reported that this can give the eggs
a strong taste of the same.


Other than that... they get yummy snacks from the kitchen,
almost on a daily basis.


Let me tell you, these gals get quite excited when they see me carrying a pan of scraps...
they come running from all corners of the pastures!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Attachments

One of the many wonderful things about this life surrounded by animals
is the ability to observe them as they go about their days in relaxed surroundings.


There is very little stress for our farm animals.
They are on a rather tight routine...they always know what time it is.
There is security in routine for animals.
And with security comes the ability to relax.


As humans we so often think that our emotional lives are uniquely ours as a species.
Animals are often viewed as less intelligent, less aware, less emotional.
One of the things that delights me in my observations is how very much we are alike...
we humans and our animal companions.


We don't own the emotional market...
we share it with all creatures great and small.

One observation that I have made that warms my heart is how
emotionally connected animals are to members of their family.


So very often I witness mothers and daughters....


or mothers and sons....


all cuddled up together...secure, loving, emotionally connected to each other.


These two are like bookends 


and never go anywhere without each other...


As are these two....


And all you have to do is remove one of the horses to know that they are one tight family.
The others raise such a fuss when one is gone...


I have no doubt that animals feel some form of love for each other.
I have witnessed animals mourning over the death of a herd-mate, as well.


We, as humans, must never forget that we are members of the animal kingdom as well.
And although we have the ability to speak and the ability to do critical thinking
and have advanced fine motor skills...
our animal friends are more like us than we imagine.


We owe them the same respect and kindness
that we owe each other.
We owe them humane treatment in every aspect.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

An Ordinary Day With Extras

Yesterday was like any other day,
but not.

The morning sun rose...setting a small blaze on the horizon...for just an instant.


Morning chores brought a deep chill to my bones.
It's spring, yet the thermometer still reads in the 20s at this time of day.

There were extras, however, that set this day apart from others.

Like... awakening at 3 AM in the midst of a wedding nightmare.
I am sure I will have more of these...
but, it's THE DAY...and of course I am not anywhere near ready.
PANIC!
Needless to say, I did not go back to sleep, but rather, got up
showered, and worked my way through a pile of ironing.
I attacked morning chores a little earlier than usual...
cleaning up manure in the dry lot to the dim light of a few barn spotlights.

My morning and early afternoon were spent in a four hour trip out the PA turnpike
to return my father-in-law to his wife after a weekend spent with us.

Upon my return home, I headed for the greenhouse to check on my seedlings.
Last time I looked there was nothing but soil in the pots.
This time....


Spring was busting out all over!!


I spent about an hour filling more trays with soil and seeds...
gently watering them and placing them on heat mats.


Afternoon chores were done.
Pigs' hooves were trimmed.
Horses were wormed.


There is nothing more fun than chasing 7 equines around the dry lot to worm them.


"Yuck!"....they all were unanimous on that point!


By 8 PM I was sound asleep on the couch...
a very long and busy day.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Welcome Ike

There's a new face on the farm...
another set of four legs in the pasture.


Dr. Becky has added a new pony to her herd.


Meet Ike...the loaner pony.
Ike is a 17 year old Haflinger pony.
You might notice that Ike looks quite a bit different than our Moonbeam.


This is mostly due to the fact that Ike was a twin.
Twins are quite uncommon in the horse world.
Most twin fetuses are not carried to full term.


When twins are born, they are usually much smaller and scraggly
and not as healthy.
Ike's twin was Mike...who died of colic a few years ago.

Ike is a sweet pony who is perfect for youngsters to ride...
which is why Becky has added him to her herd.


This addition works out quite well for her herd....
giving old Duffy a friend...
as Sid ...


already has Shirley as his companion.


Shirley might look quite familiar to you...
as she is a sister of our Donnie and Scarlet.

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