Things are starting to feel quite spring like out there in the pastures, as the thaw continues and the mud dries up (well, it will someday). And with that, comes the perpetual rearranging of pastures, the cleaning out of the brooder for the chicks that will be arriving soon, the repair of fences, and making room for new arrivals. This week, two piglets joined us. We've been wanting to try the Tamworth breed for a while now, and this year managed to find some Tamworth/Berkshire crosses. I'm quite curious to see what the difference will be - both in the rooting/clearing work they do, and well, let's be frank - in the end result. Besides looking quite different, I will say these two fellas are quite feisty! Adelaide has yet to charm them, but she will in due time, I have no doubt.
Elsewhere on the farm, the goats (Nigerian Dwarfs) are doing quite well, though a little on the plump side after the long winter. That'll change in no time as the snow melts and they do a little more exploring. Adelaide would like to breed Bluebell and Buttercup this year so that she can milk them. They are quite sweet and friendly - I was slow to come around to goats, but these two have won me over!
And of course the sheep barn is overflowing with happiness - ten sheep in total now. With much fun and silly lamb jumping and tail wagging and so many visits by all of us wanting to have a moment with a sheep snuggle. They're so good, those lamb cuddles.
Going back and forth between the pastures and in and out of the house, Greta is doing so well and getting so big! She is learning the rules of her job as protector - with help from us, and a head butt here and there from the sheep to keep her in line. We had read so much about this breed (Great Pyrenees) before she came to us, but I don't think I was quite prepared for the combination of sweet gentleness and fierce protector. She's a good one, our Greta girl.
The hens are all so glad to be out and about without snow! We are down to about twenty laying birds at the moment after an unfortunate visit from a fox (before Greta's arrival). It is just the right amount of eggs for us at the moment. Stellaluna, the duck, is still dependably laying too, and if Adelaide has her way, will be joined this year by some fellow duck friends now that we have a pond.
It is a full and happening place out there these days, with so much to be done, and so much to enjoy. And as the days warm, we are all grateful to be spending more time in the pastures with this company we keep.