Thursday, 12 November 2009

Changing Weather

After a couple of nice, sunny and warm days today we have wind and it's a bit chilly. It rained last night so my winter garden got a good watering unfortunately so did the washing I'd left on the line!

One of our chicks has been hurt overnight when the young horse managed to get in the pen and had a very obvious broken leg so my first job of the day has been to put it out of it's misery. Not something I enjoy doing but it was for the best, being sentimental about animals doesn't go along with self sufficiency but we do care about them and hate to see anything in pain.

We're trying to fatten the turkeys up now as their days are numbered, extra corn every day and some time out grazing in the garden for them. We keep getting told by the locals that donkey meat is excellent for sausages, as much as I'm up for trying new things I do draw the line at horse and donkey. It's a personal preference and I don't think that will ever change although I'd imagine I've probably already eaten something containing at least one of the two!

The locals are now starting to slaughter some of their livestock, a neighbours cow has gone today as she doesn't have enough winter feed to keep 3. We have bales of hay and lucerne in the barn for winter but I do worry that we'll run short. Our horses and donkey are on minimal feed as none of them are working hard and they all look well. Not fat but not thin either. Luckily there's still some grazing around so they're happy during the day and overnight either get apples or hay to keep them busy for a while.

They do however still get bored and had started eating the timber partitions inside the stables, a quick paint with a chilli concoction soon stopped that though! Daylight hours are getting shorter and now the animals have to be in by 5pm and fed, in a few weeks it'll be 4pm and once the bad weather comes there will be days when they can't go out at all which I hate. I might get the electric fence out this year and make them a small turnout paddock where they can at least stretch their legs one at a time just to break up the day and enable them to let off some steam.

The general consensus here is that when there's snow on the ground the animals need to stay inside, I can understand the theory of it but don't agree. Horses don't mind the snow, some really enjoy it. It's the wind and rain combined that they don't like. Predictions are that this winter will be mild and short, snow on the ground for only a few weeks at the most, hopefully that will be the case but if not I'll be trying some things to keep the animals and us humans amused!

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