In virtually every way.
We can't seem to stay on top of all our projects, we're overrun with animals and it JUST WILL NOT STOP RAINING. I'm deeply tired of being wet and muddy all the time. Bone tired. It's not all bad, though. In truth, it's been a bit of a mixed bag.
We lost another Phyllis, I'm afraid - this time to Caspian. While it isn't acceptable for the dogs to kill the chickens, I've come to think that one should simply expect to lose birds now and then in this manner. They are dogs, after all, and a squawking, fast moving chicken is irresistible to just about any dog. The chicks are getting bigger every day and are feathered out enough that they've begun to resemble tiny vultures.
The ducks, on the other hand, are getting quite big and have yet to sprout a single feather. I'm beginning to wonder just how long they'll stay downy.
We're going through some real growing pains with Cass. We came home from dinner on Sunday evening to find him on the wrong side of the fence. Not simply outside of his yard, but in the adjoining cattle pasture that doesn't belong to us. We spent the rest of the evening trying to get him to come to us and trying to figure out how to get him back to our side - it's a cattle-proof perimeter the whole way round, and it's some considerable acreage. We aren't quite sure even how he got over in the first place. When darkness was setting in, we resigned ourselves to giving up for the night, and leaving him to work it out for himself.
In the morning when I went to feed the goats, he was right where we had left him, on the wrong side of the fence. Again I tried to make contact with him (in the rain this time) and again without success. I gave up and went inside to work. I happened to look out the living room window about an hour later to see him wandering around our front yard. Clearly he had solved the problem, but had also overcompensated and was now running loose on OUR property. My mind started reeling with images of poultry being chased hither and yon, and testosterone-fueled foolishness between him and the house dogs. This was NOT okay. I went out after him but he was having none of it. Naturally, it was pouring rain. I would up spending the better part of the morning sweet talking a dog back into the yard with a bag of ham and a pile of meaty beef bones. Oh, I did the song and dance, too - "Looooook at the yuuuuuummy haaaaaaaammm! This is some deeeeeeelicious haaaaammmm!" I can report that this tactic does work. It just may take, oh, you know...HALF THE DAY.
In other news, there has been more reshuffling of our little goat family. Comfort has gone to live with her permanent family, and her brother Surrey is very sad. We brought him and Patience a couple of new friends, though. Two lovely brown wethers - twin brothers - that are just the same age as our two. Someday we hope to train them as a driving team. Now that she's the only girl left in the bunch, Patience is enjoying her herd queen status. We've just settled all of them in for their first night together. Hopefully peace will finally reign in the goat barn.