Sunday, 23 September 2012

$h1t Happens

The boys like to keep a clean shed. Occasionally we need to brush down to gather the waste hay and every blue moon we take it upon our self's to pressure wash the shed and the concrete handling area to keep things Bristol fashion.  This is a routine operation now and I know just how to string together our collection of extension leads and hoses to reach the shed.

I have a store of a mild insecticide / disinfectant that I use to dowse down the living quarters in the belief that it may keep any reservoir of mites at bay. I have no knowledge of a mites life cycle. I have no evidence that there are any microbial colonies lurking with malintent, or plans to take over the earth.  So this is more an act of ceremony than any thing else - but it can't be a bad thing, it seems like the right thing to do a couple of times a year.  Pressure washing is a treat. Normally shy and nervous Kenzie is especially keen.  He noses right up to the water jet, lies down in the way etc. Just so out of character but he clearly loves the experience.

So anyway,  mission complete. A nice clean shed and concrete.  Until the next morning when someone had done a poo in the shed.  This hardly ever happens, only in the wildest gale, with horizontal rain has it ever been known,  perhaps once or twice.  The pattern has repeated though and without direct evidence an investigation of the type seen on Columbo takes place.  Who is the phantom pooer of the shed ? What are the underlying causes of the crime ?

Lets examine the evidence :

  • Who ?  Forensic analysis says that the evidence is too bean like for Fin, he produces more of a hand-grenade offering.  So that narrows it down. 
  • Why ?  Confusion.  I have been conducting a bit of poo pile engineering of late.  This involves digging over the burned patches and re-seeding.  The boys seem mostly to keep clear of the newly dug areas (get your feet dirty) - This would tend to implicate Kenzie.
  • Why ? Safety in numbers.  Pooing does seem to be a communal activity.  Perhaps someone is out of sync with the others.  This could implicate Noah. He won't go anywhere without Fin and if he felt the need in the middle of the night perhaps didn't feel it appropriate to wake Fin and ask if he would accompany him ? 
  • Why ? The sweet smell of home.  Perhaps the pristine shed has lost its homely smell ?  Maybe a bit of poo will reestablish ownership ?   
  •  Why ? Health.  Is someone sick and unable to hold on.  Absolutely no signs of anything wrong with the evidence so I am going to discount that. 

Whoever it is, it seems to have stopped after a few days.  Maybe this is a result of Bev's counselling.  Maybe after Fin rolled in it, and got a nice patch of poo on his neck, he has had a word with the offender? Maybe the usual smell has been re-established?  But perhaps this is a mystery that will never be solved, or perhaps it doesn't need to be solved.  I'm trying to get Bev to move on...

Our midden floweth over.  In 18 months I recon we have a couple or three tons of well compacted wet and smelly gold.  Muck isn't exactly a scarce commodity in these parts. The Yorkshire adage of 'where there is muck, there is brass' doesn't hold.

So what to do ? Brian the bee man lives down the road and has a substantial garden. So operation poo bagging commenced.

So that is say 20% of the stock disposed of.  Our own garden will get a generous cover.  I did this last year come the first frost and have to say that the results have been fantastic.  Reminds me of a joke my dad told me "What do you put on your rhubarb ? Alpaca poo ! Oh really, we put custard on ours"

Really we should be putting it back on the paddock. But this leads to further logistical problems.  We would have to borrow a muck spreader.  Not a problem.  We would have to load the muck spreader, that probably would not be a problem, if I hadn't built the midden with a 3' wide gate !

Putting it on the fire is an attractive option.  Debbie's video shows us the way. So that's a project I intend to start today.  Watch out Paul, my engineering skills will be put into action.

Westmorland show came round again.  Again, Barbara organized the event very well.  Again I got the chance to be ring steward.  It's a long day, but worth it.  I would highly recommend anyone with a small herd and not into showing to offer their services to a show organiser.  We live in a little bit of a bubble and the internet and books don't go near to some hands on experience. I think that there was 100+ animals put forward and I got up-close and personal with most of them.  Conclusion :  Our boys are too fat.  Too fat by far.  Operation slim down has commenced.  Longer term solutions may include dividing the paddock, getting more boys, cutting down on the hay input, no  treats.


  1. Great blog Andy. More often please!!

  2. I agree with Barbara, great blog...we don't hear from you often enough Andy!

  3. Good catch-up Andy - I think the moral is, as with fleece, so with poo - don't store it for too long, or you'll have more than you can manage! (beauty and the beast?)

  4. I can second that one... lots of poo and lots of fleece....and maybe ...a little less beer ! ....Jayne

  5. It was great to see you at Westmorland, sounds like you have plenty supplies for the fire, best get engineering!! :-)

  6. A great read Andy. We have a similar problem and we put it down to the fact that there is probably a joker (or two) in every herd. They wait until you clean out the shelter, then dump the beans then say to the other boys, "Just watch the boss's face when he sees that in the morning!" We're sure some of our boys can smile! Take care. Shirley & Robbie

  7. In terms of 'why' I'm leaning towards the sweet smell of home. Milder disinfectant perhaps? Excellent update by the way!