Category Archives: livestock

waifs and strays…(part 2)

DSC_0328This is not just any pigeon …. it is a HOMING pigeon, a thoroughbred of the avian world.   I’m not into the hobby myself, though apparently it is very popular.  This little mite appeared on the smallholding at the start of last week.  It is a lot more comfortable around humans than the wood pigeons that decimate our brassicas.  The bird mooched around the Dutch barn for a number of days and showed no signs of flying away.  At first, we thought we had a sick bird on our hands and so we left out seed over a few days, (I know – old softies that we are).  By midweek, the bird was still keeping the OH company as he worked on the barn, which allowed the lovely OH to note the presence of the leg rings.  So he caught the bird.

He’s handy like that. 

The pigeon was ensconced in the piggery with a deep dish of fresh water and bird seed; plus straw bedding – very boutique hotel accommodation. This is not the first time a homing pigeon has appeared on the holding.   Reporting a stray bird is very simple – the Royal Pigeon Racing Association has a handy little wizard app for providing details of a stray. 

We received a letter from them within 2 days, with the owner’s details.  The lovely OH contacted the owner who came this afternoon with his grandson to collect the bird who had gone missing 2 weeks ago. It seems that the bird may have been injured and was slowly making it’s way back home.  Now the lassie will be housed with the youngsters as her mate has been paired with another.  

Bon chance ma petite.

waifs and strays…

DSC_0018I acquired some livestock the other day.  Temporarily.  Sitting reading the headlines on the laptop a few mornings ago, I caught the sound of munching.  Looking over my shoulder, out the window, I caught sight of a furry back.  My first reaction was ‘that dog’s got huge..’ – the neighbouring farmer’s dog sometimes goes wandering.  Kneeling on the sofa, I saw a couple of sheep at the front of the house.  Pulling on my wellies I went to investigate and came face to face with a small flock.  I shepherded them into our field and shut the gate.   Then turned on the water and filled 2 large trugs.

Now tracking down the owners isn’t that straightforward.  If you can get close enough to get a CPH number from an ear tag then DEFRA should be able to trace the owners, though as there was a large ram with the ewes I decided against a close encounter.  I left messages with the local police station and the local vets which paid dividends later in the day.  The owner asked if I could hold the sheep overnight.

So the flock had a good old munch and departed the next day.   Straying farm animals can cause quite a lot of damage, in our case the this was limited to a broken bird bath in the old orchard and as we aren’t grazing I was happy for the flock to eat the grass.

Even so – good fences definitely make for good neighbours….