I don’t want to sound picky, but running a smallholding gets less fun when it rains and rains and rains (you get the idea). The new frizzle chicks aren’t very waterproof yet, even less so than non-frizzle chicks, because their new frizzle feathers stick out at odd angles and let the rain in. Once chicks have reached a certain age I like to put them on the lawn in a little run every day, so they can potter about in the sun, eat the occasional bone-dense fly that strays into their path and generally start getting street-wise. Not a hope at the moment, they are all indoors with the heat lamp on, doing the chick equivalent of playing video games and getting on each others’ nerves. And needing their newspaper replaced with astonishing regularity for such small birds.
Back in the henrun, Wenceslas’ dustbath is awash so he’s hanging about in the shelter with the rest of the flock and reminding them of why they couldn’t take him seriously in the first place (I am still amazed that he has fathered at least 4 chicks – all the bantam hens will peck him as soon as look at him). Pavlova the Pekin cockerel just doesn’t get up at the moment. He spends all day in the henhouse, presumably wrapped in a duvet and sending out for pizza. He says he will reappear when the sun does, and not before.
The sheep look tattered and grouchy. They should be shorn by now, but the Gribbles say they won’t do them until it is dry (at least I think that is what they said, I needed a Babel fish to properly translate “Oi’ll kumana droi like moi dear”, which is what one of them said to me last time I rang. At least there is no worry about fly strike at the moment, I think all the flies have drowned. And the sheep are nice and cosy inside their fleeces unlike their cousins in neighbouring fields who have been shorn and look cold, wet and depressed.
And the horses are back in their winter rugs. I haven’t ridden Slip for days and he’s rapidly turning feral, while Harry has disappeared into the field shelter and tells me he’s applied to emigrate. Anywhere that doesn’t rain, at all, ever.
On the plus side the geese think it’s marvellous and have discovered puddles in places where we don’t usually get puddles, like the herb garden, and are dibbling happily away with random shouts of joy. And everything looks lovely and green. Positive thinking rules (but it’s getting harder …)