The rhythm of farm life is so good for the soul I think; the routine revolves around three feeds a day. Veggies are chopped, hay is delivered, water is checked and pens are cleaned. It’s nice to see that animals are happy to see you, I know they see the food first and not us, however watching them eat is almost mediation until you remember there are more mouths to feed so you move on.
Once feeding is completed then you can “play” or spend time with someone, be it the contented pigs who before were out of their minds with a food frenzy. But once the belly is full they are content to hang out with the humans, maybe play the push game or are happy to get a belly rub. Giving belly rubs to a piglet is the best, their little smile and the closed eyes is a great feeling when you manage to get it to happen. Or watching the “Girls” (hens) scratch away at the soil looking for tasty morsels and you can sometimes get a pat in. The dogs, Flash and Shorty follow along eating trail snacks as you move around the farm, although they aren’t too keen on some of the arrivals and not sure they want to share their packs time with these other inhabitants.
Then something happens that you weren’t expecting like it’s a dark and stormy night with thunder and lightning. You hope nothing will happen to your animals as you go to sleep, then at 2:30am something is knocked over at the front door. We both wake from a dead sleep to hear the grunts of Gunther the pig outside our bedroom window; we both say at the same time “He’s out!” We jump out of bed and instantly we are in “get Gunther back in his pen mode”, like a crack rescue team. Dirk gets dressed to go outside while I go into the pantry and find a bucket of yummy snacks that will lure our frightened pig back to his pen. It’s raining outside, I hand Dirk the bucket as he heads out.
In the dark no pig can be seen, he has moved off, probably looking to get in the back door. What do we do now? Only one thing to be done, I go out onto the front landing, peer into the darkness and like a fish wife I yell his name making sure I use my entire diaphragm. After a couple of melodious attempts we see in dim lights of the house a pig trotting towards us. Dirk sets off at a cracking pace to the pig pen with Gunther trotting behind him trying to see what is in the bucket. I stay in the house because it’s raining and I’m not dressed for it, well that is my excuse! Ten minutes later Dirk is back, the pig is safe and tucked up in bed, the fence is back up and we too can go back to bed. We only need to be up in three hours so we will need to sleep faster. Ah the rhythm of the farm!
Days go by the routine slips back into its normal rhyme, Dirk is on the farm I’m at work and all is calm, then I arrive back at the farm on a Friday. We take a look at how big the babies have grown ooooing and arrrhhing about them, when we hear a commotion at the Hen House. The two Roosters are going for it, neck feathers are flared, heads are down and foot stomping is taking place, it’s all on for the honour of the girls. Rex must win to keep his girls and Wilbur just wants to have top billing in the Hen House.
The next thing like to Kung Foo fighters they are in full combat mode legs and spurs flash and they are attempting to kill each other. To think these two guys were best buddies and that only a few months ago we saved them from certain death on the side of the road. As the battle rages we leg it to the Hen House and try yelling at them to stop, this did nothing. The Girls have retreated to the safety of the nest box, the Dogs are keen for the fight, and I just want it stopped. Dirk takes a piece of PVC pipe that we use to keep the gate closed and gently pokes Rex in the bum but this does nothing. The battle becomes more intense, then Dirk remembers he has the watering can next to the house and quickly “waters” the boys. This stopped them in their tracks thankfully, but they both have blood stained combs and are a little worse for wear. Dirk catches Wilbur and moves him to the other cage which we shall call the Cage of SHAME. Rex is left with the girls so they could look after him. Some peace has returned to the farm for a moment.
Next morning I was woken before the crack of dawn to the song of a lonesome Rooster (Wilbur) calling his mate (Rex) who returned his buddies call. It went something like this Wilbur saying “Hey mate you awake?” Rex returns with, “Morning mate I hope you’re okay. Are you bit lonely in the Cage of SHAME?” to which Wilbur replies “Yeah mate sorry about the tiff last night didn’t know what came over me, those girls well you know! I want to come home”. As I lay there awake waiting for dawn to creep across the farm I counted the seconds between these two “TALKING” to each other it was 20 seconds to 30 seconds between volleys. I got up and closed the window so it wasn’t in surround sound and went back to bed but I could still hear them and now it was annoying me. REALLY come on! You wanted to kill each other last night and I want to get lay in on Saturday! May as well get up and start the morning feed. Ah the rhythm of the farm.