I skipped a week or two of blogging as there is not much to report at this time of year, the weather is always the main event! After such a long run of dryness we are back to wind, rain and the mud 😦 always a depressing thought, still not much longer until the shortest day and then we are back on the turn towards Spring again 🙂 . In-between of course, we have that wonderful mid winter celebration to look forward too, for me it is about a little bit of cheer in the darkest days, a nice a warm kitchen and plenty of mince pies on offer, I have never really bought into the whole commercial side of it thank goodness and even one day of shopping among the hoards was enough to send me scuttling back to do any remaining shopping via the internet.
The animals all manage fine with the changes in weather, although up to now it has been very mild and we have not had to spend time breaking ice so they can get to water, the pigs are still cosy under the conifer trees, we did think about sending them to slaughter before Christmas but to be honest it’s a busy time of year for the meat trade and it will be much easier and quieter in the new year. There are often stories told of people not getting their own animals back and I considered that the risk would be much lower of that happening if the turnover is not as great. I have fed these pigs on the best of the veg in the garden and definitely want to be tasting my own pork, if they are not as busy I may be able to get some sausage meat done as well which would be terrific, in the past we have just had joints and chops.
The chickens are doing well in the front paddock, they have enough space not to be churning it up too much which is good for them and for me, the egg numbers still have not increased much though but I have given up worrying about it, we have what we have and when they are gone that’s it! I normally worry that we are not supplying enough for the customers but in reality I can’t do any more than I am, luckily the ducks are laying fairly consistently and since we concreted the bottom of their house, no eggs are being stolen in the night 🙂 . We still have a rat population though and I have bait boxes all around the farm, they have not been in them at all though so I have resorted to tipping poison down the rat holes, not ideal but it is being eaten and the evidence is in the rat poo which is now a black/ green colour which tells me it is them eating the blue poison.
The hen with no feathers is back in isolation after the others decided to have a good peck at the back of her head, I will keep her there until Spring I think and see if there is any improvement at all.
I have been thinking about hatching ready for spring, on the list are ducks and quail, it is a risky time of year for fertility but ideally I want them ready to lay by the end of April so incubation may be a bit hit and miss to begin with.
I told you there was not much to write about so the only thing left to do is wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR, enjoy the festivities and if you feel like you have over indulged and want to shift a few pounds, we have a cracking outdoor gym, feel free to come up and move a few barrows of muck!
I will be back in 2014 x x