Saturday 17 January 2009

Old McDonald... The Aussie Version

I love the country life.

"I'm gettin' some chooks, Andre. Would ya like our old ones? If so, could ya come over and help us trim the wings and dust 'em all?"

After trimming the wings and dusting the chooks, we noticed that the gentle, majestic rooster wasn't looking too well. He had been lying far too long in the sun - too long for a dirt bath. He couldn't walk far, either. He'd amble along, then fall, head over spurs, into the dust. After a phone call to the vet, we learned that the magnanimous King Pin rooster had been bitten by a snake. He was promptly put into a cage and carried to the cool of the verandah.

Good farmers will always have medical supplies, for both humans, pets and livestock in their pantries or fridges. The Machinist helped to administer 5ml of Vitamin C and gently rubbed the rooster's throat. Chooks can't take injections; any medication has to enter their poultry bodies via their beaks. Fortunately, all the Vitamin C went down the gullet, followed by several shots of water, so that dehydration wouldn't set in.

Farm dogs are like their owners; friendly and welcoming. The 'outside' dogs and the 'inside' dogs fall into this same category. While the Machinist and I were having the refreshments offered to us, Russell - the Jack Russell - simply couldn't help himself. We had our backs to him, ignoring him, but this didn't douse his enthusiasm for fuss. He jumped up our backs, squeaking as he did so. I know dogs, in general, don't squeak, but Russell does. He backanswers you, too. In comparison, Jake, a leggy wolf hound, likes to walk right next to you, with his wirey-fur clad body which touches you constantly, as if he would be "out" if he wasn't actually touching you.

Ducks and ducklings (teenage ducklings) were making their way around the house, travelling in covoy.

Eva and Onslo, the miniature pigs we will be adopting paced the length of their pen as we passed by.

Their neighbours, the black pigs weren't as energetic, though. They sat like a couple of elderly villagers, at the doorstep of their sty. The farmer noted that one of Mr Black Pig's tusks were missing.

Four young sassy saddlebacks scoffed down their meal as we watched. The male saddleback kept on snouting the others out of the food bowl, but he was kept in line with a branch of eucalypt, distracting him from his 'hoggy' ways, leaving opportunity for the girls to tuck in.

The two hand raised lambs were freed from their pens. I'm sure they love weekends when their mistress is home!

We left the farm with a cage of hens and five bags of chicken poop! Waste not, want not.

The Machinist will undoubtedly call and see how his patient, King Pin Rooster is tomorrow...

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