I feel full of beans this morning! Enough to have got all the animals fed and blog this early 🙂
It could be the fresh North Westerly wind out there, quite a change from the recent mild temperatures, someone commented on how windy it is up here and that is certainly true, we have an open aspect, especially once all the leaves have gone from the surrounding hedgerows and it is always 2 degrees colder here than in Carterton and with a wind chill factor on top, its cold this morning.
We had a busy weekend finishing the dispatch of the rest of the meat birds, that is 18 in all, half of them have been plucked as whole birds and the other half will be quartered. It was pretty cold standing there for hours doing the job so I had donned my salopettes and snow boots to keep me warm. Everyone else is far too squeamish to do the plucking and gutting so its down to me, but I make sure that they keep me supplied with plenty of warm drinks and give them at list of other jobs to do while I am busy. That means that the housework got done, the chicken shed got cleaned out and the dinner got cooked, so I really don’t mind 🙂
We had various visitors over the weekend all of them horrified at what I was doing, but that’s what we do here, we feed ourselves and so it has to be done, you get used to it after the first few times and it just becomes a process.
The visitors were family dropping off various fireworks ready for Bonfire night, it’s the first time we have let off fireworks here and I was worried about a stray one making its way to the hay barn but luckily all went off without a hitch. We also celebrated All Hallows Eve here as we do every year, with a get together round the fire pit, a few games and plenty of food, it started off just for the children but the adults thoroughly enjoy themselves. Each year we have a competition around the pumpkin, we have had best carved, best recipe made from pumpkin and this year was best original use of a pumpkin which was won by my eldest brother who carved the whole world into his pumpkin globe!
The egg sales are off the scale at the minute, we are picking up 3 dozen a day and can’t keep up with demand, the one thing we do have surplus of though are duck eggs, the ducks are laying particularly well and we have an abundance of them, so if you know anyone that likes duck eggs send them up here! We are taking another delivery of POL hens tomorrow which is why the chicken house needed cleaning out, I thought that people would stop buying over the winter but I have already had two enquiries so it appears not! This time we are having Speckledy’s and ISA browns, if you are thinking about chickens the browns are the best to start off with, they are lovely little things, easy to catch and easy to look after.
I have been busy trying to decorate the living room before Christmas so the veg patch has been a bit neglected, I need to get on it soon and put it to bed for the Winter, there are a few remaining veg to dig up and store, we dug some Sweet Potato yesterday which I had almost forgot about. I left them in the capable hands of my youngest to prepare for dinner in the evening, when I got back they were all in the bowl ready for the compost bin! They are full of holes, I was told, however, I have spent half a year growing that crop and was not going to give in lightly so I peeled them and cut out as much of the useful parts as possible, they made a small boiling which was just enough, waste not want not I say, the youth of today have a throwaway attitude no matter how much I try to educate them 😉
The drop in temperature means an increase in feed for the animals, they need something to keep the body temperature up just the same as we eat hearty soups and stews to warm us up. We had 1 and a half tons of grain delivered from a local farmer, that will keep the chickens fed until about August next year, luckily the cats like to sleep on top of the sacks so that keeps the mice away 🙂 I have noticed an increase in wildlife, especially little birds, a Wren landed on my windowsill the other day and we just took a moment to regard each other before she flew off again. The woodpecker is a daily visitor now as is the squirrel, I don’t mind him here now I have gathered all my nuts, he can have as many acorns and hazelnuts as he can find to keep him and his family going through the Winter. I am keeping an eye on my Owl box to see if any have taken an interest, at the moment just the pigeons seem to be eyeing it up, typical :p
Well I think I have extended my coffee break a little too long, so its time to say goodbye and get on with dressing out the rest of the chickens which have been hanging up overnight in the back stable, have a great week 🙂