Sunday 16 October 2011

Buff and sweep.

Mrs. Smallholder asked me to feel her biceps tonight - after emulsioning the ceilings and walls in the studio/workshop for two weeks, this weekend she's been rubbing wax into the exposed roof trusses, supporting posts, beams, and braces, and then buffing them - and it is all looking great - (and yes she does have some definition in the biceps). Meanwhile I've shifted even more rubble arising from the path and flight of steps that have been laid, and swept tons (alright, half a bag but it was a large area) of sand, dust and grit off the drive, patio and paths. Now that the building work is just about complete and tidy, the leaves are starting to replace the dust! hey ho.

"Bramley, what do you think this is?"

I've also laid slabs between the 'non-grazeable dry matter storage facility' (hay shed), and the 'livestock extreme weather defence shield' (open shelter).

"I've looked on 'PacaPedia', and I think it's an elephant"
Since buying the 'poover' in the spring, I'm occasionally asked how I'm getting on with it, and I mutter, 'yeah, fine' - not very helpful. When the herd was three in number, hand-collecting was easy, as it grew to five, it was manageable, then once the five were all adults, plus a sixth, it was time for an alternative, or quit the day-job and become a full-time pooper-scooper. So I bought the 'poover'. It's been very reliable - I've learnt not to walk too fast with it, or it (literally) throws a wobbler - our field is one side of a hill, so it makes sense to start at the top, and work down so I'm not pulling the increasing weight up hill - it's very obedient and follows me down the hill, without asking, if there's a south-westerly blowing - when the field is dry, the 'beans' make a satisfying rattle as they scuttle up the hose
 - occasionally, a dumpling will resist and keep dropping out of the tube, and then I have to wave it in the air, and ask gravity to help - emptying the bin requires a knack (doesn't everything in life), as the machine will fall forwards unless you have something to lean it against - and if the bin is full it's difficult to lift and empy into a four-sided manure heap, so it's best to try not to be too optimistic - we have around 14 hens, but Mary, the light coloured, is always there in a flash, up onto the heap to start raking over the new manure, like the men at the re-cycling centre!

All the herd were given Lambivac injections yesterday, which went smoothly. The most notable aspect was Autumn Golds reaction - she has been the most amiable of the herd until Bramley came along, but clearly some pregnancy hormones have kicked-in, as she was very reluctant to be held, and spat at us for the first time ever.


  1. No need to go to the gym by the sound of things. I do think poovers work better in dry weather...bit of clogging up in Cumbria!

  2. Think I'll stick with the barrow and shovel - but you're right, it is a full time job on the poop patrol. 'Dumpling' made me laugh! Robbie

  3. Yep bucket and trowel works just fine...all weathers and it gets every bit! It does mean twice daily sessions with 11 "excreting machines"!