Rainy weather

“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day” is a remembered childhood statement that I really have no right to wish. Though it has rained almost continually this past week, with strong winds stripping the trees of their beautiful fall colours, the three previous weeks could be explained in no other words less than excellent. We have had a very warm fall with only a couple of light night frosts. I am still picking ever-bearing raspberry and strawberries from our garden.

It is the time of year when we are now thinking of finding the necessary winter protection for all the animals that we have collected. The new barn, raised after the tornado three years ago, came, of course, with no stabling. Since then, the pens have been vamped and revamped according to the existing needs. But it is now time, and more cost-effective, to arrange something on a more permanent basis. This is a project that I feel will be fun, frustrating, and without doubt, costly. Nevertheless, whatever will be, will be. The birds that I have accumulated through the summer breeding program in the building especially constructed for them have left me in the position of having to cut their population by nearly half. The bantams and ducks were no problem. The small pet stock auction at the Keady market found homes for them quite quickly. The canaries, my specialty, will be picked up by the local pet shops as soon as they develop full song.

Strange as it may seem, I am now selecting the birds that I will be using next year in what I loosely refer to as my “breeding program.” This may sound a little strange to those not in the know, but as soon as the days start to lengthen in late December, my canaries click into the reproductive mood. I think this is a trait inherited from their ancestry, as they came originally, several hundred years ago, from the Canary Islands off of the west coast of Africa.

By the way, folks, Beta, the blue and gold macaw that was returned to me a week or so back, is doing great. She is healthy and quite active. She is not in a cage and enjoys dancing up and down on the branches of her designated T-stand play area each time a tune comes on the radio with a quick beat. She is a fun bird.

Incidentally, if any of you readers find yourself in the position of having to find a new home for a bird that you can no longer keep, give me a call – I know I can help. I am also in the market for a half dozen Berkshire weanling pigs, so if you know of anyone with Berks, I would appreciate a call.

My son has just pulled into the yard with a truck loaded with heavy stabling material. Perhaps I should go.

Take care, ‘cause we care.





Barrie Hopkins