A pail of puppies

It was time to change their bed sheet, and so the puppies were transferred to a big red bucket for a few moments, whilst fresh bedding was brought in. Looks like this method of containment will only be effective for another couple of days.

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The puppies are now 21 days old, and growing up fast. All 8 have their eyes open, and are moving around, albeit rather wobbly on their legs. Their individual personalities are starting to show, they are certainly getting noisier and more inquisitive. In a nutshell, they are getting cuter.

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Little Liberty laughing

Liberty, in a classic case of nominative determinism was one of the first to clamber free of the birthing box.

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Following in the footsteps of her big brother, Looping.

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Its a Boy, and a Girl, and another Girl, and another Girl…

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I can proudly announce that I am now officially Granddad Blog. Gibsie gave birth to 8 puppies a few days ago. Two boys and six girls. All healthy, squeaky fur balls, in various markings of black and white.

Gibsie is made-up. She is well chuffed with herself (rightly so) and is doing an excellent job of caring for her brood. Although I hear today that she feels like a bit of time off – not for another 8 weeks or so, Gibsie!

All my own work

Here they are less than one day old. They took about 10 hours to arrive, and Gibsie coped really well, delivering nearly 3 kilos of puppy.

One is more Dalmatian than Border Collie…

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The two boys have mostly black coats, whereas the girls have all sorts of patterns. Here is Lucky, the first born…

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Position Filled

The recent vacancy for a suitor for young Gibsie has been filled by a dashing chap from the other side of Toulouse – a 2 year old hunk with piercing blue eyes, known as Iliot. The Border Collie equivalent of Daniel Craig.

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Sporty, agile, playful and affectionate – excellent boyfriend material.

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They have been cavorting now for the past two days. Iliot fulfilled the brief with consummate ease, so all being well she is ‘with pups’. Fingers crossed. The happy event should be just this side of Easter.

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Tricky moment for a Dad

It seems that one of my little girls is considering becoming a Mum. Its Genepi’s favourite sister Gibsie. She has a mainly white face (except when its splattered with mud) and she has a really sweet temperament.

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Gibsie – still pure as the driven snow

The gossip is that she has been courting a chap called Eden these past few days. But it seems that he is not much interested in going beyond the ‘holding hands’ stage. In fact he has proved so useless that their brief romance has been called off.

So there is now a major panic to find a beau toute suite. Apparently a male in the next village has been considered, but he is 12 and rumoured to be having trouble with his daddy parts.

The search is on. The heat is on!

Meanwhile, my little Gibsie remains single – and I don’t have to get my head around becoming a Grandad.

 

Border Patrol

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Mouse is now allowed outside. Its a big, dangerous world out there. And she is just a tiny, young thing. Clearly she will need protecting.

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Please don’t climb too high.

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Genepi and I have volunteered ourselves as her Body Guards. Genepi is a bit half-hearted about it. I, on the other hand, am taking it very seriously.

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I’m not going to let her out of my sight. Right behind you, Mouse.

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Mouse: ‘Thank you very much Nanny Blog – you are an excellent watchdog, but I can’t help feeling a little bit stalked’

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Peace at last – in my Watering Can of Sanctuary

A big white box

blog_mouse_box2Dallas came home with a mysterious big white box. She muttered something about Christmas. Surely its a bit early for presents?

She put it down on the grass, and we went to investigate. Judging from Mouse’s reaction the box isn’t empty!

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It was taken over to the hen enclosure, opened up…

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And out popped this handsome (?) fellow. Not a hen or a cock, but a capon. He is 8 weeks old.

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Poor chap had an operation a couple of weeks ago, when they cut off his bits. There won’t be any baby chicks or cock-a-doodle-doing. The idea is to fatten him up, ready for Christmas Dinner.

What are the chances of that, I wonder?

He came from a local poultry farm, which produces all manner of ducks, hens, guinea fowl, geese etc. It was Dallas’ first visit and the very kind farmer showed her around. This is the capon hut.

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Normally they are outside in the fields, but because today is Pick-Up day they stayed indoors, ready to be united with their new owners.

Our capon should be fine to live in harmony with the Chicky Girls, and be free to graze during the day. I will report back on that.

His name is Baubles.

The Chicky Girls

blog_hens2One of the tasks on my job description is Checking the Chicks. I try to keep them roughly together, with limited success. Let me introduce the Chicky Girls. Four lovely egg-laying hens. Lovely hens, lovely eggs.

The leader of the pack is very definitely Harriet. She is by far the most brazen and bold. She knows she really shouldn’t be in the kitchen. harriet_kitchen_gen Their day starts when they are released from their compound and they head straight over to the house for breakfast. A generous handful of corn each. harriet_kitchen_blog They then pootle about all day, rummaging around in the grass and undergrowth. Occasionally one will head back to the hen house to lay an egg, and then emerge squawking madly trying to relocate her sisters.

Come evening they head back to their compound, tummies full. And are locked in for the night. This is because we have regular, unwelcome visits from our neighbour, the Fox… M2E1L0-51R350B300 M2E1L0-49R350B300 He is not our friend.