A good many parrots live on the farm and during the good weather they enjoy outdoor flights which they can access through a window in their aviary cages. Similar to the indoor cages the flights are nicely kitted out with branches, toys, swings and nest boxes. Having access to nature in a safe and pleasant setting also encourages breeding behavior. Needless to say, we respect their need for privacy at this time of year.
As it is upsetting for the parrots if people enter their flights with lawn mowers, or weed whackers to trim the grass, Aunt Scarlett decided it might be a good idea to try using some grass-muching small critters to keep the grass down.
With that in mind, this spring, she added some bunnies to the farm collection. The bunny bunch have been moving from cage to cage, and are doing a darn fine job of grass trimming.
To be fair, we did not expect to be housing quite as many bunnies, but nature had a way of taking its own course, until papa bunny had the required surgery to put an end to the population explosion.
As it was apparent the bunnies needed some extra help keeping the grass down, last month we welcomed two young Calico sheep to the crew, Maude and Libby. They are already very acclimatized to their new home. They have also palled up with the new chocolate donkeys for added protection. This has worked out very well.
…and now, about those goats
Well, Aunt Scarlett came across an advertisement for mini goats on the web and thought they, too, would be a good addition to the farm. She immediately set off for the goats home farm near London to select two babies.
The barnyard where the goats came from, looking somewhat like a postcard, had a wide range of goats. They all eagerly watched to see which goats would be leaving with Aunt Scarlett. I get the impression they knew that they were going to a wonderful new home.
Two tiny black females were chosen; they clearly resembled their well-poised goat mother, and not their multi-coloured long-haired hippy-like goat father.
One of the baby goats has a white-haired ring around her muzzle, and a small white patch on her hind end; we named her Daphne and her sister, Daisy. They are both quick, like the bunnies, but once caught are very agreeable and easy to move from place to place.
For the first three weeks, during the day they were placed in the caged-in dog pen, and returned to the comfort of their stall for the evening.
To ensure that these new small critters enjoy their outdoor life here, Aunt Scarlett had two smaller paddocks reconfigured into one larger one. Wire mesh was wrapped around the inside of the fencing, not only to keep them in, but also to keep others out… specifically a feisty Jack Russell, that goes by the name of Happy.
A lovely new shed was purchased and put in the paddock to offer the critters shade and shelter from rain and whatnot. (I admit to making some creative modifications on the shed image – as currently no portraits of the critters are actually on the shed).
The donkeys and sheep moved into the paddock first, and now that the goats have been vaccinated, they too have been relocated to this blissful outdoor setting.
I guess it would be fair to say, that all the critters (and people for that matter) here at the farm have it made in the shade!