Its been a manic weekend, the sunshine usually brings many more visitors to the farm for eggs and back garden chickens. We have had people arriving for manure as well, if anyone wants any let me know, its free if you bag it up yourself or 50p ready bagged. The seedlings are all beginning to break the surface and need watering a couple of times a day when it is so warm, it wont be long now before we have radishes, lettuce and spinach ready to eat. I had potted on some strawberry plants a while back and sold a fair few of those at the weekend, I also have herbs such as Sage, Oregano and Chives ready for sale as well as Lavender plants. I love this time of year, I especially enjoy seed sowing and potting on, it definitely beats weeding!
It’s all been happening in the poultry dept this weekend too, during the week we collected 24 hatching eggs from various breeds and set them in the incubator, they will take precisely 21 days to hatch providing all goes well, as soon as they begin to pip I will take some pics to post. It seemed like a good time to move the chickens huts across the paddock to new grass, so we get up early on Saturday morning armed with the tow chain and van only to discover that himself had not shut one set of chickens away the night before! The dilemma was do we go ahead and move the hut running the risk of squashing roaming chickens or wait until the next morning when hopefully he would have remembered to shut them in, we chose to run the risk of squashing them! Actually they were all pretty nimble and moved out of the way sharply once the ancient hut started rumbling across the ground, after reconnecting the electric fencing we stood and watched them for a while, they are very funny when moved to new ground, running around in all directions looking for early morning worms.
The geese began to lay this week, I am not sure of the best way to hatch the eggs yet, geese tend to be bit clumsy both with the eggs and the goslings, hatching them under a broody chicken seems like a good idea but you have to spray the eggs with water each day as the geese would normally wash then sit back on the eggs, hens don’t like to get anywhere near water except to drink. Incubating them is not always successful, so we might have a go at all three and hopefully get some goslings.
And on Saturday a little boy visited the farm, his Dad is buying him 8 chickens for his birthday, I was very impressed with his knowledge and handling of the birds, he is only 8 years old and they have chickens at his school where he obviously learnt everything he knows, his Mum was very surprised to hear him ask me lots of very relevant questions about keeping and feeding them, his interest didn’t stop at the birds either he was delighted by all the other animals we have, a mini smallholder in the making I feel.
We had the hunt charging past which was very exciting, especially for my daughters horse who used to hunt in a former life, as soon as he hears the horn, his ears prick up and he starts charging around the field, I am sure he is thinking, if only I could break free, what fun I would have! As the riders and hounds came racing down the field behind us a huge deer, which must have been standing just behind our wall, bounded across the field into the distance no doubt terrified, but the hounds were not interested in him only the scent they were on. I am neither for nor against hunting but they do make a magnificent sight thundering past and certainly liven up a saturday afternoon!
The huge full moon was quite a spectacle out here, we have almost no light pollution and it lit up the sky! I am not sure if it was the hunt or the moon that got everything in a tizzy that day but all the animals were in a heightened state, we certainly notice that the dogs behave differently during the full moon stage though they do stop short at howling!!