Yesterday was an exciting day here on the farm – Woolimina got sheared! The shearer we hired to come out made the process look deceptively simple – you change into a jumpsuit, grab yourself a sheep, and get to shearing. I’m already picturing the custom made, sparkle-embellished, pink jumpsuit I’ll be rocking when I become a professional shearer. The only snag occurred right after he got all set up inside the pasture, then happened to look around and see what had snuck up behind him. I don’t think Thanksgiving bode him any specific ill will, he was just a curious turkey, but the shearer decided to continue the procedure on the other side of the fence. At any rate, Woolimina behaved well throughout her haircut, and now she looks for all the world like a bobble-head sheep. Who knew they were 75% floof? She’s even smaller than little Buttercup without her wool. I have grand plans to send the fleece off to a processing company, then learn how to spin it into a sweater. Or perhaps a hat. Or a scarf.
Prior to the shearing adventure, I bailed out the duck pond, since the first thing you smell when you walk in the backyard is the duck pond. And that’s saying a lot, seeing as we also have three pigs. The ducks reacted by taking an hour long bath in the clean water, in the process returning it to its pre-bailed state. They had an epic game of tag, and the Indian Runners started swimming under water. I can’t get over how quickly the Pekin ducks grew, they have to weigh at least five pounds each. Since they were still yellow fuzzy ducklings like three weeks ago, that’s pretty impressive. It also explains why we go through duck feed at such an alarming rate.
The piglets are going through their feed at exactly the rate I expected – like the pigs that they are. In fact, if you make the mistake of letting the food bin get low, they’ll start trying to knock over their Igloo house in protest. It makes a huge racket, and watching them lift up the 50-lb house with their heads is extremely disconcerting. Even more troubling is how they’ll line up behind the bin, glaring at me with three sets of angry eyes as I hurry to fill it back up. I’m starting to feel like I’m not as in charge of them as I should be. I halfway expect to look up from my breakfast one morning and see them lined up on the deck, staring with their laser eyes through the glass sliding door, wondering why I’m eating when they clearly aren’t.
The bunnies are doing well, for the most part. Sadly we lost two of them, which left me heartbroken. I kind of expected to lose a few, since they’re being raised on kitten milk because no one manufacturers rabbit milk replacer that I’ve found, but it came as a surprise since they were all doing so well. At any rate, the six remaining bunnies have been relocated to a bunny box that Gene built – it’s about a foot wide and three feet long, which gives them plenty of room to play. We also put in alfalfa grass, pellets, and water, so they can start supplementing their bottle feeding whenever they’re ready. Since they’re not ready to go outside yet, Gene custom built the bunny box to fit inside the master bathroom. I need to read up on how to litter box train them, since any bunnies we can’t rehome will most assuredly become house bunnies. Despite the fact that guests can often find a chicken in our bathroom or ducks in the tub, we actually do have high cleanliness standards, so litter box training is mandatory.