Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home
Relaxed at home

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1st: It appears that a day old Gordon Setter puppy really can fit in the palm of your hand!!! (see more). We dragged ourselves away from the puppies today (for a bit anyway...) and spent a bit more time with the other animals. We had a very positive training session with Luna and are beginning to feel she is starting to trust us!,
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2nd: Somewhat nervously we gave the rhea full access to the poultry area today and they loved it. They zoomed, they ran, they snatched food from the long grasses and at the end of the day, they headed back into their run and snuggled down before bedtime! Just beautiful.
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3rd: More puppy cuteness and a chick update: these two (and their seven clutch mates) are now just over two weeks old and some beautiful colours are coming through. We have no idea of their breeds (they are crosses) but they may well turn out to be coloured egg layers (that was the plan anyway!). In not such good news though, we lost another chicken today to a suspected fox - this is the third in as many weeks. Our plan is to brush cut some of the overgrown length of the poultry plot and put up some netting, this may stop the birds heading into the hedgerow a bit and without cover, the fox may be more reluctant to head in...we shall see.
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4th: Free ranging is suiting the rhea, they have times when they stick together and others when they wander off in 2s and 3s. We herd them back into the run early evening, where bowls of lettuce await and then they get shephered back inside their broody area, safe and secure for the night!
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5th: Our sessions in the shed with Luna continue to go well and we feel she gets more and more relaxed as we touch her, stroke her and talk to her. In the field, she is still pretty nervous of us however - she has more opportunity to avoid us outside of course and so sorting this is the next stage: via a head collar and lead rope.
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6th: The cow hay trolley is now the goat hay trolley - hopefully though they won't empty it quite so fast! Mega proud of all the goats at the moment, we are having a run of 'good' poo and weights are all looking fab too (with the possible exception of Bruno who needs to put a bit more back on after a bout of suspected coccidiosis.) Barrington is growing well although he still needs to get a wee bit taller if he is going to reach all these nannies in the autumn!!! (LOL). Tarragon still has his limp and we have asked Clare and Dave to come back as we feel his recovery may have plateaued a bit!!
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7th: A stunning session yesterday with Mike and Ellie from Hitch In Farm and now we have Luna all kitted out with a headcollar and line. The line is left in place as something to take hold of (rather than the collar itself which will be a bit too intrusive) whilst we then attach the proper lead. Star has a collar too, minus the line as she is halter broken already and is happy to stand and have her lead attached. Each day we will 'work' with them both, touching, picking up feet, walking them round the fields. It is a pleasure (and an honour) to see the ponies starting to trust us more and more.
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8th: The latest rhea chicks are a handsome lot - we have now added another three to the trio that hatched at the end of last month, another two whites and a grey. These all hatched on their own and were all whoppers. There are ten days between these two groups but the size difference is not that great. The first batch took several days to get the hang of eating whilst the second set were much quicker off the mark! Tow of the whites have quite a bit of black marking on them and it will be interesting to see if it stays or not!!
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9th: Both White Toe and Beta male are back nesting. We took the decision at the start of the week to start leaving the eggs in the field, as both the grey males had started to nest again. At the last count we had seven eggs in each nest (this includes eight we had taken away last week but since put back). To date we have hatched 15 chicks and have a further 17 fertile ones in the incubator. Sales are proving slow but we are loving having the chicks and have no problem with this many on our land!!! Rescue rhea is proving a particular delight and being a real dad/mum to the younger ones!!!
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10th: This is Chill's not so subtle attempt to remind us that 'her' rug really needs to be a little bit longer if she is going to be able to comfortably stretch out on it and can we please hurry up and finish it off!!! It has been a while since we had a 'wool' evening and with puppies wuth us for 6 more weeks, it be a 'while' bit more....
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11th: Despite the 27/28 degree temperatures alongside the 90% plus humidty levels, we got all the goat hooves cut today. The adults were all great, Bruno and Barrington no problem at all (other than wriggly goats) and just the usual 'rocking back on their paterns from the yearlings, which we are slowly getting to correct!!
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12th: We have a few rattly throats in the older rhea which we are having to treat with ABs. We suspect the weather is in part to blame. Saldy it will affect our sales as we had five due to go to their new home this weekend and a futher three reserved! We cannot allow them to leave us though until they are fully recovered - and even then, some buyers may be wary knowing we have had ill-health in the first place. We will concentrate on getting them better and see what then happens!
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13th: Sandwiched in between two of her bigger brothers we have Sparrow: the smallest puppy and quite possibly our 'keeper'. She was one of the first to open her eyes yesterday. She is also big on personality: noisy, fast and not afraid to shove her way to the best teats. She should fit in here at Cadbury Cottage really well....
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14th: Luna is not as easy-going as Star (yet?!?) but she is a fast learner and today we were mega chuffed as for the first time Jack was able to walk up to her in the field and get hold of her. Up until this point, we always got her to sniff hands and/or allow her nose to be touched when in the field, but then she would always shy away from being 'caught'! In the shed and smaller paddocks, this wasn't such an issue. She has also cottoned on to 'feed' and after just 2 days of having a few grass nuts in trugs just outside the shed, yesterday, she saw us put the trugs down and straight away came in to eat. Star and Comet followed and then we shut the gate after them. Being able to get them in and out like this is important for vet/farrier visits etc as well for our own management requirements so it is a huge step forward! Let's just hope we can repeat it tomorrow!!!
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15th: A really terrible day on the smallholding with three deaths. We awoke to find one of the poorly rhea had died: it was a youngster who had become very thin! By mid afternoon we had lost a second and this one was mystery because it hadn't actually been that unwell. We wondered whether the AB injection (given last night) had proved too much of a shock - it was intra-muscular and into the leg so will have hurt! More was to come though late afternoon when our initial excitement at seeing Ceres (middlewhite) starting to unpack, turned to huge disaapointment and sadness as she presented with a very stuck cria that when we did manage to pull him out, was barely alive and badly deformed (with a very malformed spine). We initially tried to resusitate him but on seeing his condition, we realised it was better to let him go!! Gutted on all 3 counts!
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16th: The poorly rhea are all firmly secure in their hospital 'wing' - we have lost two so far!!!. We feel bad they are ill and bad they cannot go outside but aside from not wanting them to mix with the other birds and pass on any illness, they now have Tylan in their water and so we need it to be 'only' them that drinks it. We gave them one of the old salad bags to peck at as a way of giving them something to do as well as providing a different type of food. Fingers crossed the Tylan and the ABs start to make a difference.
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17th: Today we lost our one good peacock from the batch hatched last week. From 6 eggs, 5 were fertile, 4 hatched, 3 survived but 2 had deformed legs. We dispatched one but felt the 2nd may stand a chance of being able to walk okay if we 'helped' (through splints etc). And then today the 'good' one died and so we are now left with the slightly handicapped one!!! Hmmm.... we are having a run of bad luck just now.
BUT we had Michelle and family round for the afternoon and puppy cuddles, horse whispering and rhea watching made for a fabulous few hours!!!
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18th: August has been a weird month on the weather front - dry heat and humidty have now given way to rain and humidty and today has been a corker of a wet day with really heavy showers that brought Luna and Comet in to share the shed with us and the dogs whilst Star ignored it and carried on grazing in the middle of the field.
We lost a 3rd rhea today AND a young chick (second is unrelated to the first). As far as the rhea are concerned, the vets wonder about gape worm as opposed to a respiratory issue so we are now adding worming to the list of treatments!!! We really really don't want to lose anymore!!!
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19th: Away from poorly stock on the smallholding, the puppies are just the tonic we need - every day we are amazed, amused and admiring. Roxy is a fab mum and we are so enjoying the journey!!!
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22nd: A beautiful sight!!!
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23rd: Beta keeps moving his nest further down the slope of the field - we hope he stops here, in the shelter of the reeds...
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26th: Sharing their lettuce - we are sure they are happy about it!!!!
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27th: The hospital wing where the rattly rhea ARE recovering - we have lost four in total but have not had any deaths for a while now, we hope we are over the worst.
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Meanwhile, the latest arrivals are all doing fine - and we just love our Queenie Blue baby - make or female s/he is a keeper!! (needs to grow a bit mind you!!)
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28th: Start and end of the day - not a bad place to live...
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29th: Sleeping beauties. Last week we sold Pebbles, Cashew and Peanut and we now have a very calm and pretty united herd of seven (though Chestnut did miss her mum and sister for the first couple of days).
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30th: Shall we or shan't we be brave and step outside??? (they did but only after a while and only for a short time...)
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31st: A favourite view - on so many levels...
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