The everyday life of our six old Styrian chickens!
He wakes us all up at about 6 a.m. in the morning and the flock of chickens starts to chuckle and cleans their feather dress. Afterwards, the flock flutters or wags down from the chicken bar to eat organic barley grains and water. Heinale begins to jump the chickens, which gives a gaggle and a slight excitement in the stable. The fertilized eggs last longer. The chickens now move to their nests and lay an egg. On the ears of the chicken one can predict the egg color (white ears- white eggs, brown ears- brown eggs). In the morning, they all wade together to the open meadow or to the compost heaps, where they pick up worms, insects, beetles, grass and sometimes even small mice. On the pastures & meadows are engerlings (worms) plagues and we are glad that the chickens eat them as they are natural enemies When they have finished eating, they prefer to take a sand bath in the sun to clean their feather dress. At the barn time (milking time 5.00 o'clock in the afternoon) they all come back to the barn by themselves, eat a few grains, drink water and then sit down on the chicken bar again. The stable is a perfect protection against fox and marten.
In the meantime, the two Mongolian silk cocks Marco Polo and Chinngis Khan have also joined.
They have blue ears and a vokuhila. They also have an incredibly soft feather dress. They are allowed to climb on my hand every day and are then rewarded with grains. Their beak is a bit sharper than that of old Styrian chickens, so it sometimes hurts a bit when they pick out of my hand. Chickens visualize each grain before they take it. Therefore, they should be fed the grains as a whole and not scraped. They do it easier to pick up and don't have to pick up that often. When there is a bit of turmoil at night, Chinngis Khan and Marko Polo begin to crow and draw our attention. We then darken all the rooms again so that they calm down.
Indian Runner duck
Their names are Bonnie & Clyde and they live in our garden in a demarcated area. Their task is to keep our vegetables free from the snails. The garden has two fences. A small inner fence that goes around the vegetables so they don't eat it and an outside fence so they don't run away. They are now so used to the garden that they don't want to leave it anymore, even if the garden door is open. They need water all the time, especially if they need to swallow snails. Therefore, we have built a small duck pond out of a shower tub and put stones in it so that the habitat is as natural as possible. They also have a lttle shelter in the garden to protect them from fox and marten. In winter, they often sit for hours in their small bathing pond and brave the cold. The feather down isolates them so well that they do not freeze and the blood in the duck legs is so cool that they do not lose body heat. Like that, they can live outdoors like wild ducks without freezing. Their food base is worms, snails, larvae, insects, plants, seeds and pods. We feed them daily with organic barley grains. The difficult thing about the ducks is that they don't want to go into the shelter before the absolute darkness, so we often have to wait until 10 p.m. in the summer before we can lock them up in their duck barn. Therefore, we already had the idea to install a self-closing time-controlled shelter door.
House and farm cats
My 20-year-old house cat "Schnurli" lives with us in the main house. She grew up as an apartment cat and when her owner died, she came to us on the farm. It took her almost a year to get used to the farmlife as she was very difficult to be accepted by the other cats on the farm. But now she is doing well. She loves people and tests the tolerance limit of each visitor by sat on his lap, caresses and carefully pushes out her claws so that you can feel them through your pants.
In the morning she likes to sit in the breakfast room between the guests, hoping that she might get a little piece of sausage after all. It just smells so good!!!! But we are always strict and ask everyone not to feed her, otherwise she would become outrageous. Schnurli spends most of his time in the house and only leaves it to the terrace to sunbathe. She loves to sleep on our back or chest at night and when she gets cheerful, she carefully stretches her claws in her face and wakes us up. As a result, she has managed to get out of the bedroom a few times. When we have time during the day, we let her hunt a small cloth mouse.
My parents also have a cat, it is called "Loli" and came to us 3 years ago. She has a red coat, which is very rare for female animals. Two years ago, she gave birth to four little kittens, who now live with several families in the village. After that we had her sterilized and now she spends a lot of time in the apartment of my parents. She is a very good hunter and brings a mouse almost every day.
In addition, there are four other farm cats, which are a bit shy, but always come to the stable to drink milk and sleep. They have the important task of keeping the farm free of mice, otherwise the rodents would eat our grain stocks.