Archive | December, 2013

Free range pig

26 Dec

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We have found that our animals enjoy a free range existence. Our kunekune pig Addi has always been free to wonder. This proved more difficult in our old house as we didn’t really have fences..or much land. She would often make her way to the neighbouring orchard and devour dropped olives before collapsing and sleeping it off. There was also the time she got grumpy at the choice of food we offered and in a sulk stormed off down the drive. Even pigs have teenage years.

In our current home she has access to all the paddocks and moves around at will.  However it occasionally means she can squeeze herself into next doors paddocks. Pigs do not really understand boundaries.On Christmas day she refused to come back, combination of a horse in the way and selective deafness. Eventually she returned and we thought we should encourage her to stay home with some food. I gave her an apple which she took one chunk from then dropped. As she finished chewing she couldn’t find the rest of the apple which had rolled under her belly. She seemed convinced the chickens had stolen it and started attacking them. I found this quite amusing and whilst trying my best to show her the apple, pig eyesight not being wonderful, had to also shoo chickens away.

She managed to find it and ran off with it in her mouth. I later found her asleep in the stable…so she’s happy being home for now.

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Herding Sheep

21 Dec

The task seemed simple. We had some sheep that needed shearing and had to put them in the stable ready for the shearer.

Hmmmm.

It just involved getting them up from the creek , across  a field through 2 gates and into a stable.

Getting them to move seemed easy enough..run at them and they run …and they run together.

Our oldest daughter shook her head…this isn’t going to work.

I held a stick in each hand…why…it might have made me look bigger..or like a tree…but mainly because holding a stick feels like the right thing to do when moving sheep.

It isn’t going to work….

They were running to the gate, quick . I was running as fast as my stick would allow..3 children trying to head them to the gate…suddenly they change approach and run back…argh.

It isn’t going to work….maybe not I say…should I bring the dog…no one finds that helpful.

We have another go. This time our younger daughter extends her arms. I have a feeling this will make all the difference..and it does.

Amazingly they run up and through the gate. We close it, then herd them through the second one. Easy now we are experienced arms out stick holding sheep herders.

Just the stable to get them in. But the sheep have other ideas. They want to jump the fence. Quickly we get in front of them ..turn them and they run to the stable.

I didn’t think we would do it she says. Me neither I agree.

Where’s my stick………..

More on the chickens

11 Dec

Sadly two of the miracle chicks didn’t prove as lucky as they first seemed. We found one had managed to get into a water trough and drowned which was really sad as she was still only tiny. Then last week there was a raid on the chickens by a hawk and despite the best efforts there was one taken in the raid. So far the hawk hasn’t been back …and hopefully he wont.

 

 

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This is lightshade with her 2 remaining chicks. This morning they managed to end up in the garage eating bits of chaff of the floor. Luckily I had Che and Luka to help. Luka managed to entice lightshade away with a banana skin ( she was handily eating one ) and then Che grabbed the chicks one at a time. Luckily this was completed before the dog or cats saw they had left the paddocks ! Phew.

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Politicians forgetting..

6 Dec

Listening to politicians lineup to praise Mandela makes you wonder how apartheid ever existed?
But it did.

It’s worth remembering that South Africa although under certain sanctions was never a pariah state, it wasn’t treated in the way Iran has been recently or say North Korea. Most government sanctions were ignored or sidelined. A classic example being the warplanes Britain sold them. For the most part it seemed consumers put the most pressure on boycotting those goods from south Africa, like pineapple, or pressuring those corporates trading in the regime…Barclays and Coca Cola spring to mind. Symbols of evil intent in many times.

Conveniently politicians can forget calling the ANC terrorists. Indeed New Zealand’s current prime minister can’t remember his own personal view on South Africa. I’m guessing he was not protesting about investment banks and the mines.

So post apartheid everyone loves Mandela. It would be nice if some political parties acknowledged they got it wrong…but they Wont, even though the internet serves as a reminder of all those young conservative ‘hang Nelson  Mandela ‘ posters or David Cameron$ trade visit in 89.

Oh not everyone, it appears the Minto/Pilger brigade actually run a strange criticism of Mandela. Given they see themselves as left wing firebrands. They think he hasn’t created enough wealth…odd really.