October 25, 2010

Grand Opening --or-- Charlie Leads The Way

On Saturday, we finally finished the fence. Saturday afternoon, we opened the gate and Charlie led the way to new grazing.

We have been taking our walks this way, through the gate and out into the field, so he knew where we were going. I called the Girls to follow us, chickens too, though all were fairly reluctant to venture into new territory.

Jasmine was the first to venture out and follow us...

... but Surprise and Baby hung back.

Charlie and I have come a long way since his "don't touch me" days. I still limit touching, and never pet. I massage his neck and back, and he doesn't mind that.

Surprise and Baby eventually made their way, albeit cautiously.

The chickens were another story. Lord B found the open gate quickly and lost no time.

The hens wanted to follow him, but being creatures of habit.....

... walked right past the open gate meaning they remained in the old field. Then couldn't figure out how he got out there.

How do they like it? I think these photos speak for themselves.....

The chickens finally made it too.

Being closer to the road means new things to see and wonder about.

Eating is more important than sight seeing though.

So everybody is happy with the new arrangement. I know Dan and I are certainly glad to have this project under our belts, even though there are a few things still left on the "to do" list. There are a few brush piles to be cleaned up, the blueberry bush to fence in, and a loafing shed to build. Still, we're relieved they're on better grass. Improving the first field is an important project on our list as well. But, that will be another project, and another story.

Related Posts:
Vacation Fence Project
Progress On The Fence


Nina said...

Way to go! Great photo story and congrats on finishing the fence. They look quite content.

Woolly Bits said...

it must be very satisfying to see them content in their new area! though seeing Charlie right beside you makes him look so much smaller than in the other pix! he looks so big and regal in his solo photos that I thought he'd be much bigger than he really is (unless you're 3 m tall:)) I'd have thought that goats would explore immediately, because usually they are so curious... aren't you worried that they'll munch the blueberries down to the ground?

Razzberry Corner said...

The animals all look so happy! You have done so well with your place. Congrats on completing the fence!

Anonymous said...

Oh so good to see you and all the family so happy! Just love your place! You both did a wonderful job on the fencing! Hugs!

Alla said...

YAY!! A project completed. I know how good that feels. The animals look happy and content. It looks BEAUTIFUL.

Leigh said...

Nina thanks! It's such a relief to have it done and to see all the critters so happy.

Bettina, I was surprised at how small Charlie looks in these photos too. He's still a baby though, just going on 8 months. Llamas aren't really full grown until their 3rd year, so he has a way to go.

Yes, the blueberries are a concern. I figured though, that we can probably get them fenced in before anyone notices they're there and demolishes them. So far so good, on that score. They're so busy with the grass and weeds, that they haven't found the blueberries yet(!)

Lynn, thanks. For the longest time it seemed we were making little progress. Now though, things are shaping up around the homestead. The house is another story!

Pam thanks! We're happy with our place and my only lament is that it's so close to town. I'm a very private person and would prefer not living so close to the road, but after three years of looking at places, this was the best choice. And really, it's been perfect for what we want to do.

Alla, I love having a big project like this checked off the list. I'm really looking forward to the day we have all the big, one time projects done, so we can simply focus on routine. :)

maggie said...

Oh, congratulations! That's quite an accomplishment, and probably a relief. How big an area does the new fence surround?

Renee Nefe said...

Congrats on a job well done! :D It is great to see your critters so happy with your hard work.

Michelle said...

Adding my congratulations, and a note to say how fun it is to see YOU! :-)

What Pigs Don't Know said...

It's so nice to see all the animals just getting along so well, going about their days as if they've been together forever. One thing I was wondering about. Are you more worried about hawks and the like getting to your chickens now that they are in what appears to be a much more open space? That would concern me a bit I think. -Carrie

Laura said...

Looks like you guys did an awesome job! I need to get fencing done too, but am happy just to have the gravel down, since I got 3.5 inches of rain Saturday night! Next year, with the new knees, I'll be getting lots done!

Leigh said...

Thank you Maggie. We calculate the area is a little over an acre, which is larger than what they have now. Also, this field was mown better than the other while the place was vacant, so it has more grass, but also plenty of browse. The goats seem to like both. Charlie too.

Renee, that's the most rewarding part. And really, their needs have to come first.

Michelle, I admit I don't like being photographed. But I also know how it is to wonder what someone looks like; to be able to put a face or at least an image with the writing. I really felt I ought to give readers an opportunity for that at least once. :)

Carrie, good question. Yes, I am concerned. Both times we've had a hawk attempt to swipe a chicken though, were in more covered, hidden areas. Fortunately both times were a miss. Short of keeping the chickens locked up, the scarecrow and owl decoy seem to help.

Laura, considering your double knee surgery, I'd say healing should be at the top of your "to-do"list! I know you'll feel much more productive now that is behind you, and once your recovery period is over.

Benita said...

Well, congratualtions! Everyone will be happy with this arrangement - even the people passing by on the road and seeing your pretty herd/flock.

So, are you going to rotate them between the two fields?

You have such pretty hair!!

Sara said...

Nice area for the animals! You all did a really good job.

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Such fun photos! Thanks. Have fun with the new grazing area.

bspinner said...

Looks like everyone's enjoying all your hard work. Nice large pasture what more could they ask for? Great Job!!!

Vicki said...

Oh Leigh...these photos are fantastic. Charlie looks amazing, standing so proudly beside you and as usual you made me laugh out loud when you were talking about the hens not finding the gateway. They are all definitely loving the new pasture and your home looks so picuresque in the background of the photos. You will be able to keep a close eye on all of them from the house. Can you see them from your weaving porch? It's at the front right? Great job....give yourselves a big pat on the back.

katrien said...

Yeay, to see a picture of you!

Looking great, that fence. You should see our pitiful attempt at fencing the garden. LOL.

And I love it that you named him Charlie. It really suits a llama.

Madness, Trouble, Squish and Milkbone said...

It looks like they are all glad to be in the new field. That Charlie is awfully cute though.I don't think I would be able to keep myself from hugging him. He looks so nice and fuzzy.

Mama Pea said...

Aren't animals just so funny? They will try all kinds of escapades to escape from where they are penned but when you offer them an easy "escape" route (the opened gate) they will approach it as if it were a trap ready to spring on them!

Great to see pictures of you!! It really does help us readers to put faces to the wonderful writing. Maybe we should have a month stipulated as "post a picture of yourself month" so we all come out of the closet!

Your hair IS gorgeous!

Mr. H. said...

I love seeing all of the animals out wandering around together. Congratulations on a job well done with the fence.

Tami said...

Great photos. Love the "peacefulness" of the wide shots. I think I'd want a bench or chair out there so I could sit and just "be".


Michelle said...

Congratulations on your completed project. That is a great looking fence & nice new pasture. Looking at the pics gives a feeling of almost being there for a visit. Your animals look happy. I like how they all hang out together.
We know nothing about fencing & I think the first time I read about a fence stretcher was your blog. After that I saw one on CL for sale.

Leigh said...

Benita, thanks. Yes, we plan to do pasture rotation. The new one is bigger, and the old one needs to be plowed and reseeded, but these things are definitely on our radar.

Thanks Sara. We were glad we did the back pasture first because the experience helped us do a good job on the second. Public appearance and all that. :)

Melissa, it's a lot of fun looking out the window and seeing the goats and Charlie out there, with a few chickens sprinkled into the mix. :)

Barb, there is so much more for them to graze on, so they are really happy with it.

Vicki, llamas are really neat creatures. And chickens are a hoot! Never a dull moment. I can't see the pasture from my studio, unfortunately, but that's just how it goes.

Katrien, well, it's still sort of a vague picture, isn't it? It's funny about Charlie's name. It's not a name I'm especially fond of, but it just seemed to suit him. So it stuck.

BM&T, I agree, he looks really huggable. But llamas don't like hugs. :( It's all I can do to keep myself from petting him, but I refrain because of the nature of llamas.

Mama Pea, never a dull moment with critters around. :) I like your "post your photo" idea. I wonder how many bloggers would participate?

Mr H, there's just something really pleasant about watching them. It's the best reward of all :)

Tami, thanks! I think we do need to put some lawn chairs out there to watch!

Michelle, it's a relief to have it done. I admit we knew nothing about putting up fence when we started. Fence stretchers can be homemade with 2x4s, but also they aren't outrageously expensive, so we went ahead and bought one. Still a second hand one would have been optimal.

Danni said...

Awwww, I hadn't realized how tiny Charlie still was until I saw you next to him in those pictures. He's just a little sprite still, isn't he?
You massage his back and neck??? And he doesn't shudder and jump away??!!! Wow - I love this! :-)
Can't say that's ever going to happen over here, esp. since my girl, Kai, was already nine years old when she came to live with me and very established in her dislike of human touching. I'll have to be happy with the progress we have made and the fact that she nuzzles my hand ever so softly now when she eats her carrots. :-)


All the animals look happy and healthy. Way to go on the fencing project, that was a really big one and you guys knocked it out of the park!

Leigh said...

Farmgirl, yeah, Charlie's still a baby, just going on 9 months old. Looking at Kai's photos in your latest post reminded me that he has a lot of growing to do, though his sire was small for a male. Being young is an advantage in regards to training, I'm sure. I admit I was clueless at first, but after scouring the internet for advice and materials, I finally ordered Bobra Goldsmith's llama training DVD. So helpful! She does work with older llamas too, with good results.

Bety, I admit we were full steam ahead on this one. The grass and browse in the old field (can't even call it a "pasture" really, it's in such bad shape) were getting slim. It's a relief to see them munching down on all that grass!

Dorothy said...

I love this post, the creatures all look so happy in the new field. I hope you have those blueberries protected now. This autumn I was amazed to watch cattle in the field behind our garden eating crab apples from the crab apple tree that grows there, they must make a nice change from grass!

Leigh said...

Dorothy, so good to hear from you! I know you've been busy. Everyone is truly happy there. The goats aren't hollering at me nearly as much and everyone is gaining some weight. That's good because their weights were down and with winter coming, I want them with appropriate body fat for the season.