I’m aware I’ve been rather quiet this last week, but it’s been hunkering down weather. Winter has swept in with a vengeance into Creuse. We’ve had snow and icy north winds so we’ve been concentrating on keeping ourselves and the animals warm. The grues (cranes) have been taking advantage of the northerly winds to help them on their journey and we’ve seen a lot the last couple of days.

I’ve still to see Obie making his bed again, like I did the other day.  However, he now has Portia in his trailer with him to keep him warm, and we’re looking forward to more Berkshire piglets in 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days’ time. Portia has made a couple more brief sorties out of the pig field in the last week or so. She joined the llamas in their field once and this morning hopped out to greet Chris as he was bringing breakfast.

Roly-Poly has moved in with the guinea-pigs in the interests of mutual snuggling together for warmth. She seems very pleased with the arrangement, but I’m not sure what the other party involved think about it. However, they’re all still there so it appears that they’re not intended as feline midnight snacks!

roly gpigs1

The llamas and alpacas don’t really notice the cold but they’re spending a bit more time in the hay barn these days. Camelids aren’t the cleanest of animals. While males will tend to create a poo pile in one place in their field, the girls are far less disciplined. Anywhere and everywhere is the order of the day for them. They’ll even poop on the hay bale once it gets small enough that they can climb on it. Nasty. And it also means they have a continually shrinking area of comfy dry clean hay to kush down on. Eye roll. Not the sharpest knives in the drawer, although very amiable and calm.

The chickens have just about stopped laying now, and a couple of them have moulted. A moulting chicken is a truly freaky sight. The shrink to half their normal size and are covered in white stubs of newly growing feathers. Anastasia was the latest to moult. I didn’t get any photos of her when she was at her worst but here she is today.

ana moulting

It’s time to forsake fashion and think warmth. Here I am bundled up against the cold in two of nearly everything.

winter farm chore gear

And Chris wraps up too.

chris pigs

Finally, in case you were wondering, our big bag of blé showed up – a day late. I missed the shenanigans involved in getting a big lorry with a crane as close as possible to the barn entrance in the slushy mud as I was out with Benj, but it involved Chris having to get the tractor out to do some pushing and shoving. We may have to rethink the big bag policy.

bigbag arrived