Mister P and Nevat, When Farming Gets Real

Mister P, our resident Pekin duck, and Nevat, our Great Pyrenees puppy, have an interesting relationship. Since day one, Mister P has had it in for Nevat. He travels great lengths to let Nevat know who's boss. Surprisingly, Nevat is quite accepting of this fact.

I've literally watched our fearless, white duck waddle across the entire yard to peck at Nevat's fur. He pulls out tufts of hair and really goes to town on her. To her credit, she just lets it happen. 

Now, Nevat is no saint. She chases down ducks, guineas and chickens on a regular basis, and we scold her for it, and it drives me a little crazy. But for some reason she doesn't have the same tendency for "playfulness" with Mister P. Sure, she'll give him a soft paw to face, or maybe chew on his beak a little, but it's not the pouncing that the other birds get when Nevat is being bad.

I've been trying for months to get this on video, but I'm always too caught in the moment, laughing my head off. And it never lasts long. Mister P is a sniper. He moves in with a rapid waddle, snaps his beak with extreme ferocity, removes as much fur as possible, and quacks himself back to safety. Nevat never knew what hit her. 


Hoophouse in Bad Weather

I wrote about building our hoophouse for hay storage last fall as we prepared to move all of our hay into a new location. The hoophouse is 30' with 24' PVC hoops. It could comfortably hold 180-200 square bales at a time. 

Erecting such a structure in Tennessee is a bit risky given the high wind speeds and frequency of tornadoes. Every time the winds pick up above 40 or 50 mph I get a little nervous and half-expect to see a giant white ball of shattered PVC and torn white plastic tumbling across the fields.

Last night's storm was a great test with wind speeds reaching a reported 105 mph only 15 minutes north of us. I don't think it got that bad where we are, but there were some mighty gusts that had us up from about 3am to 4:30am watching for tornadoes and monitoring the radar.This morning the hoop house was fine, however. It held steady and kept the hay dry.

Our animals also love the structure. Sometimes our LGD Sheba will climb the fence and find a nice place to nap inside. Our cat, Levon, also finds solace atop the hay bales. Nevat, the LGD puppy, can't terrorize him up there.

Nevat 'playing' with Levon while we reloaded our hay stash


New hay bales loaded; Levon happily perched above the puppy's reach


Sheba rents one of Levon's hay bales for the night

Thus far it's held up well, keeping our fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Nevat, Our Newest Adopted Baby Animal

Nevat, following us to round up the milkers on a particularly windy day

Following the tradition of adopting small, white, baby animals, this past week we welcomed Nevat to Little Seed Farm. Our neighbors found Nevat a couple miles down the road in the forest. She was howling in the woods like a coyote and was far too cute to leave to fend for herself. Despite an unhealthy coat full of fleas and ticks our neighbors knew a beautiful puppy lay beneath. They also knew she could find a happy home with us.

As our herd expands next year and we experiment with running the milkers and the kids separately, Sophie will get promoted to full-time goat protection instead of her current perimeter job. That means we’ll need another dog to run with Sheba on the perimeter. Sheba alone would have a hard time managing the 50+ acres of fields. By April Nevat will be ready to join the patrol team. Hard to believe she'll be so big so fast.

Nevat after her bath time

We think she’s a Great Pyrennes somewhere in the 5-8 week range, but we’ll know better once she visits the vet this week. She has double-dew claws, which is a Great Pyr trait. Full white coat that’s very thick and fluffy.

The name Nevat comes from a Spanish (bloomy rind) cheese, available in both sheep's milk and goat's milk versions. It resembles a meringue and is one of Sweetbread's favorite cheeses. The word "Nevat" translates to "snowy" from Catalan, which is fitting for both the cheese and our little white fluffball. We took the picture below while in the caves at Murray's Cheese in NYC. 

Always fun to have a joyful little animal running around. Maybe one day we'll have a little one to name after our own bloomy rind.