Things have been a tad hectic of late for everyone, beginning with the arrival of Trixi.
Trixi is the new girl on the block who has joined the ladies, Harmony and Drew. Although only 16 weeks old, she was already as big as Harmony. Harmony however took but a split second to launch in to teaching the upstart just who wears the tiara around here. Three days. Three whole days. Drew, who had straight away decided that Trixi must be her new baby (despite Drew being a bantam and already smaller than Trixi) desperately tried to herd young Trixi into the hen house for safety. Trixi, of course, had only just landed so the hen house was not yet familiar to her. When Trixi failed to understand Drew's intent (probably due to being distracted by Harmony sitting on Trixi's back and plucking her - yes, P, for plucking) Drew began to tell Harmony off, very loudly and for a good long while. Trixi, meantime, found a small corner into which she stuck her head so that Harmony could only pluck at Trixi's behind. I think bed time was a relief for all concerned.
Finally the girls have now got the pecking order sorted, including Trixi accepting her role as Drew's baby. Two weeks on and this has become quite comical as Trixi is now nearly twice Drew's size, taller than Harmony and appears to have the legs (and certainly the running style) of an ostrich.
As my hubby commented, "we're gonna need a bigger hen house..."
It was also Drew who alerted me to our new (and currently regular) garden visitor.
All three of the ladies were having their free run of the garden time. As usual Drew and Trixi were pottering together whilst Harmony was off by her second favorite area, around the wildlife pond. (This used to be her favorite area, but that honour now belongs to the kitchen and lounge).
I was indoors when the peace was shattered by Drew's tantrum as she kicked off squawking and clucking in her "Eeek, warning, warning, everybody take cover!" voice.
When I looked out of the window Drew and Trixi had withdrawn into the chicken run (although Drew was keeping up her alarm call). Harmony was stood motionless at the base of our large spruce and, out in the open, sat as bold as you like on one of the decking posts was a very handsome male Sparrowhawk.
He was completely unconcerned about Drew's noise and simply sat preening himself in the sun..... for about half an hour! Eventually he swooped onto one of the branches of the spruce which took him out of Drew's view, at which point she shut up thankfully. Of course, poor old Harm now had a Sparrowhawk sat not far above her head. She quietly moved herself further back under the tree. In total the sparrowhawk stayed around an hour and seemed chilled and relaxed. I did have the opportunity to check for signs of a ring or anything around his legs but there were none, this is a wild bird.
Since then he has visited more or less daily, never bothering to show any interest in the chickens, I assume this is because they are roughly the same size. He has helpfully posed for the odd photo and seems simply happy to sit and relax for a while. All our other garden visitors quietly disappear whilst he is around but don't take long to return once he has gone on his way. He's starting to become quite a common sight and we treat him as just another of our regular wild bird visitors.
The trauma since my last post revolves around my boy, Bryn.
From being a foundling pup and suffering from long bone disease (he initially grew too quickly for the joints in his legs to keep up) we were warned he would suffer arthritis in later life. This was compounded when he suffered a traumatic injury whilst spinning to get away from a smaller dog who had decided to have a go. Bryn needed major surgery to the cruciate ligaments of one hind leg. Three years later the cruciate in his other hind leg finally gave way needing further surgery. Eventually the second surgical intervention became weakened and so he has just had his third cruciate op, with plans for more surgery in the near future as he also has a slipped disc, (Thank God for Petplan).
Since the surgery earlier this week he has really not shown an interest in much at all. More worryingly he refused to drink for two days and has only managed 3 small meals. He would simply not move from his bed if we allowed it. For my boy to be so uninterested in anything is totally out of character for him and extremely upsetting. Fortunately I took leave from work so I am with him all day at the moment. I have found that he likes me to lay alongside him and gently groom him. Obviously myself and my hubby are keeping a close eye and he is being monitored by his vet Louise. Updates as they occur. Signing off to go have a minor tearful moment now.