There was much sadness at Yarralong on Friday as the early morning brought the sight of Nellie's stillborn foal. After the success of Pearl's delivery we had been waiting excitedly for the arrival of Nellie's foal. Would it be a filly or a colt? Would they make a pigeon pair in harness? And yes, it was a colt with almost identical markings to Topaz. Just like humans, animals also grieve. I saw Nellie standing for hours where the foal had been born and then later in the day she was found lying down - now I have never seen Nellie roll or lie down, so this was most unusual behaviour for her. I will let her rest for about a week and let her milk subside and her birthing heal and then I will bring her in and commence some gentle work with her. This should be good tonic for both us.
Little Topaz is growing. If you look closely you will notice that at six weeks he is beginning to lose his baby hair around his mouth and eyes. He is eager to say hello to Cupie, Ian's quarter horse, which was coming down the hill.
And this interesting photo is taken from the verandah and shows one of the bantams with her chicks. The chicks are yellow and black and the shot shows how they tuck in under the hen's wing whilst the hen fluffs herself up. The little bantam sat on eggs under the verandah, the second bantam came along two weeks into the sitting and joined her on the same nest of eggs! So now two bantams share three chicks!
Meanwhile the ducklings have been moved to the dairy yard where they are cohabiting with the goats and geese (though in separate pens). Seven little ducklings were beginning to make rather a large mess and smell in the house yard :)
Ahh the joys of living on the land and having an abundance of animal life about you! PK is giving the goats an exhibition of the beauty and glory of his resplendent feathers - and oh what a picture his tail is! His dance entails ruffling and shaking his feathers in their extended show and then he will turn around and show of his rear end as he once again ruffles his beautiful tail.
See how they have grown! They have progressed to the oyster shell and are absolutely enjoying their 'swim'. What a delight it is to simply sit and watch them enjoying themselves in the water. Then they go back to their duckling pen until they are old enough not to be taken by kookaburras or hawks.
The last, not so good, photo is one of a competitor in Combined Driving held at ALEC in Tamworth. It was an enjoyable day watching this sort of driving with horses cantering and maneuvering very fast around obstacles. The demonstration of driving four in hand was phenomenal - next goal ??????