It’s Sunday! The only thing better than any old Sunday is a sunny one, and today is one out of the box: clear, blue skies with just just a gentle puff of a breeze to flutter the spring leaves.
It’s the sort of day that makes you lie back in your seat, kick off your shoes, and survey the Homestead through half closed eyes (all the better for filtering out the half-done jobs and tasks-for-another-day). That is, of course, once the animals have been fed and cleaned out, and Geraldine has graced the milking stand. There are, however, two other chores that must be undertaken every Sunday without fail or…well, we just don’t want to even contemplate what would happen if they were ignored.
First, the chooks must have their weekly treat bowl of cat food. Before we started sharing our space with hens, we had no idea they were meat-eaters. That all changed the morning we witnessed a small mouse scamper through the fence bound for, we suspect, the smorgasbord of delights (in mouse terms, at least) that is the compost bin. Clank, our oldest and wiliest chicken resident, moved like lightening, catching the sorry rodent’s tail firmly in her beak before the Delias moved in for the kill and a rather gruesome tug of war ensued. This partiality towards meat is something we now use to our benefit, mashing 10g of Diatomaceous Earth into each weeks ration of 200g of good quality cat food (we steer clear of chicken varieties). It’s a great way to keep internal parasites in check naturally
and if they don’t like it, their putting on a very good show.
So, with the chicken’s otherwise occupied, the way is clear for the ducks to enjoy their bi-weekly treat of a clean pond. You’d think animals who so obviously prize pristine bathing conditions, would put more effort into maintaining reasonable water quality. But, no; the phrase mucky duck is entirely apt.
Felicity waits for Hilda, the previous diver, to exit the pool before executing her trademark forward 3 1/2 somersault pike
Maybe it’s all a deliberate ploy: the grubbier the water prior to Sunday clean-out the more glorious that very first clean-water dip. Or maybe we’re just over- thinking things again.