The perky looking one at the front is Barbara. She came to us about a year ago and has been unwell all her life. Never really sick, but never really well either.
She had a happy time while she lived with our Buff Orpington rooster Oscar, but unfortunately a few months ago we had to sell Oscar. It was a sad decision but we just couldn't find him enough big girls and he started hurting the girls he had, with his clumsy mating practices. We found him a happy home full of big ladies, but which home would take his little lady friend? "Here, please take this pullet too, she doesn't lay and is sick all the time, but no, don't put her down, just invest time and money curing her when she needs it!"... Didn't sound right. Plus moving house may gave proven too much for Barbara.
So off went Oscar and Barbara had a turn downhill... Whoever said chickens are stupid should reconsider!
I am a big believer in animal euthanasia when they've had it, but Barbara never seemed quite sick enough for that. Until recently, when she deteriorated further.
I thought she was nearly ready to go but decided to give her one more chance. So in she came to live in our lounge room for several days for treats, high energy food and a course of antibiotics.
When she improved enough I put her back outside, but she still hang out on her own looking sad. Gradually though she gained some weight and made new friends and she has even started sleeping on a perch again, rather than on the bottom of the coop.
As you can see she seems much happier now and may have even laid her first egg a couple of days ago. Well done Barbara!!
We are half way through the Christmas holidays and it's just great being able to spend so much time with our animals... Or is it?!
Well it is but the new addition, Jeffery pony has been more of a challenge than expected... Lent to us by his owner while she is away, so he could get plenty of handling from adults and children, young Jeffery seems a little bored at Tatum Hills.
We are more than happy to handle anything that will let us but little Jeffery is quite a cheeky young fellow and worked out in no time at all that we know nothing about horses... So the first week has been a bit... Nippy... He is a bit like a puppy who likes to chew on things, be it a bucket, a carrot, your boots or your hands! Having to adjust to a new home and being bored didn't help, but I think we are working it out...
To his credit, he is a good worker and behaves very well when handled or ridden by kids... I suspect he is a bit like a Jack Russel, looks cute and cuddly but he is actually a working animal that needs to be kept engaged and work.
Luckily our resident little rider is only too happy to oblige and some reading on nippy horses seem to be helping.
I was hoping he could make friends with the llamas and hang out with them for company but the way he chased Valentine on Christmas Day doesn't leave me much hope for the near future. Poor Valentine was as shocked as me when the little steed went from grazing peacefully to full gallop in 2 seconds flat... Better than a Ferrari!
I think little Jeffery will grow on me and I'd love for us to become friends, but so far I have been reminded why we chose llamas... Walking Valentine is like figure skating, while walking Jeffery is like playing rugby!
Stay tuned to see how we go over the next few weeks!
We shorn most of our llamas last night, a bit late but it only got reliably warm a couple of weeks ago.
We just shear for comfort, mostly to remove matted bits and to make them a bit cooler, though most of them don't seem to mind the heat.
We still leave a good cover of fleece on them for insulation and sun protection.
Well done Damian for doing it all by hand, the old fashion way, and well done llamas for putting up with us very gracefully.
Born and raised in Italy, travelled a lot and lived in Singapore and Spain