Thursday, 15 November 2007

Reasons to be cheerful - part 7

Two reasons to be cheerful this morning.
Doing the animals is always hard work when the weather turns. I have to hump heavy hay bales about for the sheep and the lambs and I can't always put my hand on a wheelbarrow even though there are three of them somewhere or other. I think one is hiding in the polytunnel and I couldn't get at it first thing as the door bolts were frozen solid. One is full of farmyard manure and needs emptying and rinsing out and the other holds a heap of flower bulbs and echinops, dug out of topsoil (composted waste material of ages chucked behind the piggeries) that is being removed as part of the great barn works, ready for replanting elsewhere when the soil is soft enough to dig.
When it's frosty I have to check the water troughs in case they have iced over. And it is also time to start feeding the geese, who live almost exclusively on grass during the warm months, plus any windfalls they can snaffle before my apple crumble intentions leave them bereft. So sans barrow I slung a 20 kilo sack of feed over my shoulder and trudged up the steep track to put it in the feedbin closest to the orchard. Lastly, it's time to feed the llama, who gets a scoop of goat mix in the cold weather. He was covered in frost (click on the photo for a really good view). Llamas have hair made of hollow fibres, so unlike sheep they do not get overheated in summer nor require shearing. They have inbuilt insulation against heat and cold, so the frost that settles on their backs at night takes an age to melt. This always makes me smile.
And before coming in to start work, I had a quick peek at the builder's site hut area. From scratch they have built a composting toilet, and it is a thing of beauty, with a door handle made from a handy branch. If they put this much effort into the barns (and it has taken them two days to make the toilet) I will be beaming for ever more.

7 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

What a darling llama you have there!

KAZ said...

Went walking in the hills today and I really could have done with that Llama's coat.
Does s/he have a llama friend or prefer independance?

Flowerpot said...

I love llamas - they look so superior - so confident. Perhaps I can come back as a llama?

Mopsa said...

He's a love, and there is only one of him. Guard llamas (they guard sheep flocks) are castrated males - castrated so they don't mount and kill your sheep, and male to lead the pack. They also have to be lone or they buddy up with matey llama number two rather than keep an eye on the sheep which kind of defeats the purpose. And Fpot - a llama's life seems to be pretty calm and easy going - much more Cadbury's caramel than any rabbit I know.

mountainear said...

The llama's lovely - but the privy, that's a work of art.

Winchester whisperer said...

Golly - I never knew that llamas could be eunuchs!

Mopsa said...

M'ear - I thought so too - hence the piccy.

WW - you can castrate anything male, I find.