The next instalment of my Irish Country Living series.
“I hear your husbands good with exotic birds”
Well this isn’t a comment that any wife expects to hear about their husband of nearly ten years. Yet I’m standing at the door, looking like an extra from Eastenders, in my pyjamas at 7 o clock in the evening, and a woman I’ve never met before is saying these words.
When I finally get over my embarrassment of being caught in my usual evening attire by a complete stranger, I figure out that she is looking to re-home her peacock and my husbands reputation has preceded him-phew!
And so a peacock came to join our many other feathered friends. These include hens, ducks, geese, doves, and a guinea fowl.
This has been a steep learning curve for me as I have, what you might call, a poor track record with some of our various fowl. It’s the flapping, and the beaks and the general birdiness of them that freaks me out.
There was the time I burst into tears when the postman casually informed me that there was a bird in the sitting room, and then refused to help me get it out!
Then there was an ‘incident’ where I spent a half an hour hiding in one of the hen houses from a goose who was hissing menacingly at me, only to be rescued by my 6 year old daughter.
But I’m making progress.
Back in the autumn when we were rearing our turkeys for Christmas and I was promoted ( temporarily ) to chief farmer, one of my jobs was putting the turkeys in at night.
Now, anyone who knows turkeys knows that they get very snoozy once the sun goes down and tend to roost wherever they happen to be. Once settled they are less than inclined to be moved. No amount of cajoling, clapping of hands, shaking of feed buckets will disturb their beauty sleep.
I learned this, the hard way, one evening when I was running a little late going to put them in.
They were comfortably snoozing on the ditch and no amount of racket was going to move them, I even took to shouting at them. Picture the crazy lady shouting at a group of turkeys, something along the lines of ‘I don’t care if the fox gets you, it’s no more than you deserve’
From bird fearer to bird whisperer in a few short years…I hardly recognise myself.
And so there was nothing else for it, I had to lift each of them in, one by one. There was flapping (them) and shrieking (me) but eventually they were all in. Let’s just say for my reign as chief farmer, I was never late putting them in again.
So along with our beloved Alpacas, we have a flock of various fowl, they are not so elegantly beautiful as the alpacas but they have their own beauty and I’m slowly ( and bravely) learning to see this.
Alpaca Fact; During the reign of the Incas, a persons wealth was determined by the number of alpacas they owned. So prized was the fleece, it was known as Fibre of the Gods and lowly peasants were forbidden from wearing it.