This time I’m minus the lovely poodle, HRH Phoebe, who is traveling with her owners. However 3 sheep have been added to the stables to keep the mini goats Fergus, Angus, Penny and Susu company. They are Bessie (mama) Bing and Ella. Turns out one ruminant is quite like another so I can add to my barnyard resume without any real learning curve.
Here on the farm I spend a great deal of time counting chickens. 1…2…3… 4… Apparently we’re down a couple of chickens so I only have 10 to keep track of this time but I’m dreadfully concerned for their safety on my watch. You know that old saying “Flying chickens in the barnyard” typically used to connote chaos? Well come to find out at least one of these birds really can fly.
Last evening, my first blissfully quiet, solitary and idyllic day back, I thought I had simply miscounted when I shut them all up in their coop for the night. I mean really – they’re chickens; they sort of look alike and lord knows they present a moving target.
I had just let myself into the vegetable garden to pick my dinner (summer is a whole lot more delicious than January!) when I was startled to see a plucky hen pecking away in the poppies!!! There ensued about 10 minutes of me chasing the errant chicken around the garden until she got fed up with the game and flew to the top of the 6 foot fence before dropping back into the barnyard and sauntering over to the coop.
Sorry, no pictures what with me flailing about and waving my arms and all. Use your imagination.
It was only later that I remember that these animals will do just about anything for COB – a proprietary mixture of corn, oats and barley mixed with molasses. Really! It’s like barnyard crack!!! A sprinkle of COB and these guys come tripping to my side. Actually, they’re more likely to stampede me in their rush to get to the goody bowl. But it might just be a trick I’ll need up my sleeve this week.