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Showing posts from January, 2014

Poly tunnel tenants

After clearing half of the poly tunnel the other week (the other half is work in progress) an idea came into my head. Why not let the donkeys use that cleared half to shelter from the rain and damp weather. 
So in they came, with no encouragement they were at the fence gate that surround the tunnel and proceeded to eat the weeds i had left - if only i had thought before weeding they could of saved me the job and they are pretty good at manuring it to. Electric fence wire has been threaded through both sides and tied to fence posts - they don't know it isn't connected, and hopefully it will stay that way.
Not sure what they will think when they have to be evicted, which is what will have to happen as Vanille and Bambo seem to be spending a  lot of time hanging around inside waiting for hay and carrots to be brought to them.
If the pigs food wasnt in the other half I may put them to use eating the weeds and breaking up the soil but at the moment they would just eat the buckets…

Moving the field shelter

As the weather continues to be wet we felt a little sorry for the two pet sheep stuck out in the small field with no shelter so a break from the rain this afternoon we decided to give them a bit of shelter.

The corrugated metal shelter had been in use when we had a small herd of sheep, which have long been gone it stood empty in the field far to big for two sheep. So we moved the shelter and the sheep into Gorgons field, he does not know yet as he has spent all day in the barn- bit of a fair weather pig is Gorgon.

Unbolted in half the Valmet tractor made lite work of moving the two halves. By the time the last half had been pushed into place the rain had come turning into sleet. By the time the sheep were moved snow was falling, just in time for tea under a roof and they can be viewed from the kitchen window. Tomorrow he shelter will be bolted back together in case Gorgon may wish  to move it around turning it  into his day bed.

This week

Wet, wet, wet ... when will the rain stop? It's a bit soggy and damp here my orange spice room diffuser is loosing a battle over the scent of wet dog, the paw prints miss the towel placed by the door, how can four paws miss the whole towel (twelve if you times them by 3)? Overals are contantly soaking in the wheel barrow before being allowed in the washing machine, oh the mud.

The donkeys look very sorry for themselves with the sheep having a centre parting where the rain drips off them and the pigs have so much mud in their enclosures its impossible to not get covered in it at feeding time. The piglets have not yet ventures out from their pen into the muddy enclosure, they love their heat lamp, spending most of their sleeping time under it. waking time is spent feeding and walking over mum with a bit of investigating.

As it has been to wet for outside jobs I started to tackle our run down poly tunnel. It has been like this for the past two years due to other commitments around t…

Snap shot

A moment from the week

A new helper

I have been made redundant from hay bales moving. This years bales made with our farmer friends baler are just that bit too huge to move by hand. Farmer J's tractor hasn't got forks at the front, forks were needed but none are for sale for an old International tractor. He has searched many a web site and asked around, the attachment needed for attaching the forks could be found but with a price tag of 8,000 Euros for new forks a rethink was in order.

In comes Valmet, Val for short she was the same price as a new set of forks, of course she is going on in years made in 1995 (like me farmer J would say) but in good working order (again like me) and a good investment (of course the same as me!). Picked up yesterday afternoon, farmer J had a cold journey back while I was relatively warm in the land Rover, which by the time you get home is starting to warm up.

 She will be of much use around the farm (yes like me) moving huge bales of hay, cereal bags and mounds of manure from the…

This week

It's been a mixed bag of weather this week, still very mild for the time of year with a few sunny afternoons and wet damp mornings and days too. The farms suffering with a bit of mud at the moment, mud of varying types - muddy puddles, chocolate sauce consistency mud, squelchy mud and the type of mud you get your wellie boots stuck in, oh and the type of mud that sticks to your face when a pig shakes next to you.

The wood burner is still lit, one of Franklin's favourite places he shared with Milo this week, it's been a sleepy week and one where Tyser took advantage and tried out the chair, a bit small for him his now gone back to the floor.

I finished Master C's birthday jumper, not sure he wants a birthday jumper at least the cat seems impressed as she was often found asleep on it, just have to get rid of the cat hairs shes left. My slouchy hat was a bit too slouchy, now learnt to do a tension square so it went in a 40 degree wash, a little felted and not so much slo…

Snap shot

a moment from the week

The piglets arrived Thursday night.

Getting ready

Our pregnant sow has been moved to a new birthing enclosure, her own being a tad muddy for little piglets to roam around in. Her due date is this weekend but it looks like the piglets might be early.

This week preparations have been underway, cleaning the pen with new straw placed, beams removed to make more space and a gate added for piglets to creep feed, allowing them to eat when they wish and keeping the sow out (that's the intention) with electric fencing put round the top of the pen after she jumped the wooden side in eagerness to get her to her tea last evening. Now a heat lamp has been installed in case the temperature drops so the piglets can keep warm, that's if she doesn't wreck it in the meantime, being very inquisitive she had to see what was going on, having the electric cable in her mouth before we could get hold of it, thankfully it was not plugged in at the time.

This evening getting her priorities right of eating first she is now making a nest by gatheri…

settling down

Best seats ready for Dogs: their secret lives  tonight channel 4 8pm. Guess I will be sitting on the floor, oh and no farmer J will not be watching!

This week

The weather here has been amazing this week, dry, sunny and warm working in long sleeve t shirts, only hope it stays this way till spring. The cows over 2 years old had their annual obligatory blood tests, this time it all went smoothly with no tears (from the vet not the cows). We also had our annual organic check to make sure we are complying within the organic regime. This is a little stressful a few days before hand as I should be a little more organised with the filling of paper work, of which there is a lot here being in France. Receipts with up to date licences from organic feed suppliers, abattoir forms, prescriptions and health records all have to be in place as well as animals, hay and cereal are checked. All in order we have our licence for another year and no telling off of not completing forms properly.

With a week to go now our pregnant sows enclosure is so muddy we have had to get ready to move her to an empty pen. A bit of cleaning and mending was done as well as mak…

Snap shot

A moment from the week - lovely weather to start getting gite veggie  beds weeded.

Pig goes AWOL

Just when you think all the animals are behaving themselves, (apart from Franklin who's gone back to his old ways of stealing potatoes and carrots from the basket) and you start the afternoon routine of feeding you find your a pig down. One of master C's female pot bellied pigs who has been known to go walk about up to the other pigs when she comes into season.

This time she took herself a little further away to the end of the road. Our nearest neighbours were driving to pick up their kids when they saw her at the bins, turning around to let us know (and giving us a lift in their very clean car, us in muddy overalls and wellies)we found her in the garden of the holiday home up the road. Slow progress of pig walking for she has little legs she is now shut up in the barn with the other two.

Luckily no one passed as we walked you know those bonkers English couple not content with walking dogs they will be walking chickens next.........

This week

New Years day we had blue skies and it kept dry, a walk round Parisot lake with the dogs we were only passed a couple walking their dogs.

 Farmer J celebrated a Birthday on the 2nd, ginger cake recipe by Delia - he normally doesn't 'do' cakes or sweet things good job were around to help him out eating it. Miss F and Master C came back from Toulouse leaving on the 3rd.

We went out for a meal in the evening in Villefranche de Rouergue, the first time I have seen the Christmas lights illuminated, the blue is the church lite up. The square has had a face lift with many euros spent on cobbling and putting a fountain in ( the white bit in the photo). This totally disrupted the market during the summer with the square being a building site all throughout the summer and Autumn. We couldn't believe it when we saw the end result, probably the same thoughts of many Villefranchoise as the money could of gone to some really good projects. Perhaps it may get more impressive in t…