Tuesday, 26 September 2017


Autumn is my favourite season. I love watching the Canada geese migrating in their V-formations, and hearing the fox vixens yowling for a mate. Our first shoot day isn't until 14th October so it's a bit slower-paced between now and then.

Well, mostly.

There's a new patient recovering in our rehab hutch -

A baby wood pigeon, also called a "squab". I found the squab under a tree this morning, before the dogs did luckily! He (or she) is likely suffering from eating too many green acorn, which cause pyrogallol poisoning. It's common this time of year, in pigeons particularly, and as it is a bumper crop of acorns this year, I imagine we will have more patients before winter comes.

I'm waiting on three ewes to lamb. One ewe looks due any time now. So, a few autumn lambs will be frolicking in the orchard soon. The last eleven lambs born in spring went to market a couple of weeks ago, so I miss having babies around already.

The vet is coming tomorrow to de-horn my handsome ram lamb, whose horns have started to impede his sight and the widening of his facial bones as he matures-

The vet may say he's fine and the horns can stay. I will let you know the outcome. He's so handsome as he is, but he has to be comfortable and fit for purpose most of all.

I have a Hadley Bubbles update for you from Aunt Meg:

"Here are the pictures of Hadley's graduation from Intermediate training class. She didn't even try to eat the tassel!
What a good dog."

Doesn't HB look happy? She is perfect in her new role as companion and foot warmer.


Janice Bendixen said...

HB looks adored and adorable! Congratulations on her achievement. We're having a rainy autum here in the Subarctic. Lots of rain and actual flooding (not near me but still...). Our Fall crop of birds are Spruce Grouse, of which there seem to be more than past years. We had a sad development when M&D were forced to put down their 11 yr old male Airedale, Fritz last month. But stalwart 'dale humans who they are, the new puppy Duke (aka "Dukey Duke") comes Friday night. I'll share puppy love photos soon. Enjoy your "lull" and share photos of my Darling Pip soon.

Hazel said...

So what do you do with a pigeon with pyrogallol poisoning??

Glad HB has settled in so well and good luck for 14th.

Anonymous said...

WOW....awesome looking horns. Do they get cut like toenails?
Good work with HB.

Jennifer Montero said...

Hazel - misdiagnosis on my part. The squab was so young it was still eating pigeon milk (regurgitated food from mother pigeon). Found nest and the rest of (eaten) siblings. Yuk. With pyrogallol poisoning, all you can do is give clean water, vitamins, food, and hope for the best.

Anon - Sort of like toenails. There's a quick where the blood supply flows and we had to cauterise one horn as we cut into it. The vets sawed it off with a hand-held wire saw. Smelled a bit!

Hazel said...

Oh dear... too little to make it then?