Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mid-June - of cochins, crows, and chores

Latest addition - a tiny cochin

From FB:

The latest addition. Against my better judgement, I let the red and black Cochins (who share a nest box, never mind there are two empty ones) hatch a single egg (I gathered any extra eggs until they stopped laying... Then stopped checking and if course she laid three more while I wasn't watching. Current cooked status on those three eggs unknown).

Heard peeping yesterday morning and went to investigate. Two large hens squashed in the box... Single babby on the ground, thankfully not being attacked by the rest of the chooks - and thankfully a warm morning, so not chilled.

Put the babby back. Red hen pecked at it, so black hen was declared "mother" and accordingly moved to the chook crĂȘche.

Lookit's lil feathered feet!

* * * 


This morning while I was in the barn feeding, I could hear a crow outside in the tree. We don't get many crows around here, so I was curious what he was doing hanging around - was he eyeing Spike who was tied on his long string? (are crows that predatory?) Was it thinking that the banty chooklets might make a nice meal?

Then when I went to put the hay bags out, it flew overhead with something red and pulpy in it's mouth. Was it from a dead chicken that a raccoon had gotten and I didn't know about?

And then I realised it was plum pulp. Ah.

(The plum tree in orchard is full of ripening fruit).

Which brings me to Monday morning when I was picking out Fergus' foot ready for trimming and dug a big red pulpy mess out of his frog. For a moment I freaked, thinking "what form of disease is this that I didn't realise he had [that will now lame him for life]?".

And then I realised it was plum pulp (the pit gave it away). Fergus and Roo spent a happy hour in the orchard on Sunday "grazing down the weeds" (= ignoring the weeds and eating ripening fruit off the trees instead).

* * *

Activities for this week:
(predictably, none of which were "riding my pony")

Monday morning: Trimmed Fergus. Hooves of rock, muscles straining to try and nip that stuff. Lots of dripping but got it done. It'll soon be time to ride again, but I may give him that extra time off and wait until we're back from our trip.

Tuesday morning: 
Trimmed Small Thing - mostly to get his back toes less pointy, so the boots would fit better, but when I started looking at his front feet, I realised they were totally out of balance, so needed work too. I think because he's so narrow in front, the lateral edges of his front feet tend to lengthen, while the medial ones stay short - the result is feet that don't end on a flat platform and he must have to stand knock-kneed. This is one of those things that I wish I'd keep on top of better. I've no idea if balancing the feet (artificially shortening one side) will ever correct the problem, but at least it should give his legs some relief from the torquing this must cause.

Small Thing's Wonky Feet

Wednesday Evening:
Didn't manage to get anything done in the morning due to needing to be at work, so instead did my "activity of the day" in the evening when I got home... which meant I didn't eat supper until 11:45 pm. I claim low blood sugar:

Delicious Viper Green - Small Things new back feet togs

The activity involved adjusting the wires on ST's new boots for the perfect fit (to take up the slack in the cables that attach the "captivators")(the black part which cups his heel bulbs). To do this:

  • first prise out the "button" on the toe of the boot [check]
  • remove the two tiny screws from said button without dropping or losing them [check]
    (well, ish... I dropped one, but thankfully saw where it fell) 
  • push the button back in [check]
  • adjust the wires to the desired length [check]
  • put the boot on the pony foot and admire your work....

...except you do actually need to reinsert the tiny screws to make the cables stay where you put them - otherwise the cables just unravel out again as soon as you tighten the toe strap.

Apparently adjusting boots late at night isn't a great idea. At least I only messed up the one boot. And it's not even Thursday yet, which is my usual "stupid-mode" day.

Small Thing is apparently tired of my ministrations on feet, as he sidled off when I went to catch him for this latest foot work. He, no doubt, would be more enthusiastic if I did something more exciting, like ride him.

I agree.

Small Thing showing off his blubber that needs to be worked off.
His back currently resembles a table top.

1 comment:

  1. Small Thing has Very Hairy Legs for a warm-weather dweller. But those green boots look AWESOME.