Are Ewe In A Bit Of A Tangle?
We all get burrs in our furs. But: You don’t allow micro-annoyances to fester. You know that only hurts us in the long run. Cast off those spiny irritations, break free from all that chafes, and get on with getting on with your life. We have grass to chomp and sun naps to take! — Peaseblossom
Here’s What’s Happening At Good Spirits Farm
Remember Squeakers? Squeakers has had a rough start in life. She was part of a clutch of three eggs hatched by a sneaky mama hen who hid underneath our tractor. Two eggs hatched right at 21 days, but Squeakers was slow to arrive, and by the time she hatched, her siblings were ready to venture out into the world. Poor Squeakers was still wet behind the ears and trying to figure out which way was up! Mama left her behind in the nest as she took the other two out foraging, and I scooped her up and gave her to Butterball, a hen that had been trying to hatch a pile of shavings for a few weeks. Butterball was overjoyed to have her own baby, and as an only child, Squeakers got lots of attention. The only problem is that now that Butterball has decided Squeakers is old enough to be on her own, Squeakers doesn’t have any littermates to peck around with. We have noticed that in our gang of 40ish chickens, the chickens who were raised together, stay together.
Last week, it became clear Squeakers was avoiding going into the coop at night, probably because she’s being bullied. On Tuesday night, I went to close up our coop and left Veli standing unattended while I checked to make sure Squeakers had made it in. Squeakers had not made it in. Veli found her…with her mouth.
I heard Squeakers squeak and hollered “drop it!” and bless her heart, Veli dropped Squeakers so fast. I saw Squeakers sprint away, so I knew she was still alive, but I was terrified at how bad the damage to her little chicky body was going to be.
By this time, it was pitch black and Squeakers was in “hide from that slobbery monster” mode. It took us about 20 minutes just to find her tucked away in a brush pile, and then another 30 minutes to catch her. We finally got her and…amazingly…she was FINE! Not a scratch on her!
Needless to say, we’re still working on chicken training with Veli. It’s just so hard when the chickens are literally named SQUEAKERS to remember they’re not squeaky toys!
We’re also working on getting Veli used to our flerd. Although she was with cows and sheep at her last farm, there’s definitely a “getting to know each other” phase for a new group. Each day, I bring her on-leash into the pasture to give everyone a chance to say hello. Puck gave Veli a pretty brazen headbutt on Monday afternoon, which resulted in Veli flashing her pearly whites in his general direction. Puck ran off, and Veli did not escalate things, so we’re slowly learning boundaries. But this is why I’m always in the pasture—so I can correct Puck, keep things from getting too spicy, and reward calm behavior. Overall, Veli seems to like the sheep and is relaxed in their company—so long as Puck keeps his forehead to himself. (Steevie Steer is still learning to keep his horns to himself, too.)
Here’s What I Loved This Week
The amazing news that my parents are soon going to be here more! They’ve purchased a home near our farm, and I’m so grateful and happy that they’ll be just down the road. It’s been a bit of a slog making friends here, especially in Covid times. Now, hopefully, things will feel a little less lonely. (And it’s always good to have Grandma—or is it GrandBAH?—nearby come lambing time!)