– Fluffy the chicken has a wound on her side and a patch of featherless skin around it, with other feathers above it broken off. I think something must have attacked her the other afternoon, even though I was nearby getting the chickens’ night houses ready – well within hearing distance – and didn’t hear a thing. Yesterday I managed to pour some Betadine (antiseptic liquid) over the wound and cover it with Vaseline (petroleum jelly) hoping it will help keep out nasties like dirt or flies. Fluffy actually stayed still for the duration I was holding her, which is unprecedented, so I suspect she’s been scared by whatever happened.
– Yesterday morning I watched over all three chickens for an hour to make sure nothing attacked them, and to make sure Mr the cockerel didn’t jump on Fluffy (as he continually tries to do). It’s possible (though I think unlikely) that she was wounded by a rooster, and if Mr jumps on her while the wound is new it would make things worse. He was behaving himself for a whole hour, though, so I moved away to get their day pens set up. But when they came over to get in the pens and were within two metres of me, that’s when he jumped on her. I was so angry I could have killed him, but couldn’t get to him quickly enough to grab him and smash his body against something hard and inflexible.
– I still haven’t found a way to get the cows back from across the creek next to the agistment property (some of the cows I was worried about the other day). There are five cows and four calves. Three of the calves are very young and will have trouble walking across the creek because it’s rocky and thus slippery.
– Of the cows mentioned in that link above who are back in the farm’s paddock after continually escaping from the agistment property, yesterday four cows and three calves had escaped into the immediately-neighbouring property. It didn’t seem like an emergency, though, because:
(a) they can’t get out on the public road, or at least not easily;
(b) they can’t get back to the macadamia farmer’s property and resume ruining his harvest (probably); and
(c) 19 of other-people’s cows and calves agisted on the immediately-neighbouring property have been breaking into our coffee paddock for the last week, so our group seemed small in comparison.
Yesterday with some help from other people I got our cows/calves back into the farm paddock. They might get out again because I don’t know where they got through the fence the first time. But the immediate problem is to make a fence to keep the neighbouring cows out of the coffee paddock. There are clear paths from the neighbour’s lawn into the paddock, so I need to make a 50 metre fence to close off that corner. Yesterday I put in some star pickets and today I’ll put up the wire.
– I have no idea why the cattle are moving around so much; it makes NO SENSE. I walked around the farm’s creek paddock two days ago to check the fences (but have only checked one so far, and it’s terrible). The grass situation is surprisingly good for this time of year. Normally in winter the grass stops growing, but this year there’s still a bit of growth. It’s possible we might get the cattle through until Dad gets home from his holiday, but it will be touch-and-go. (What does that mean, though? “Touch-and-go”?) If we have to buy supplementary feed that will be too expensive. I worked it out the other day and it would cost about $100 per day just for hay alone. When Dad gets back it’s likely he’ll sell the whole herd, and cattle prices are so low at the moment that he’d lose a lot financially if we’d fed them hay for weeks beforehand. (Selling the whole herd is so sad I won’t let myself think about it.)
– I’ve lost 9 kilos since last December and don’t know why. It’s a good thing, not bad; walking up hills is so much easier now. I feel fitter, but it’s probably just that I’m not carrying so much weight, making the task easier. But such a big weight loss so quickly is a bit strange. I don’t think I’m eating fewer kilojoules, and I don’t think I’m using up more of them, so I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe I just forget to eat sometimes, or I have a nutritional deficiency, or cancer. I have the BMI of a person my age in Bangladesh; that much I do know. (If you want to check your own, the BBC’s Global Fat Scale will tell you.)
– I don’t know what the point is: every day, trudging on. What’s the point? But that’s probably a Stupid Human question. There probably isn’t any point. We’re just here. We keep on going till we’re not here any more, and that’s all there is to it. Keep going. No point, just do it. But that’s not much motivation, hey? I don’t get it.