May 2007RSS feed

Yummy apple slices

Saturday 5 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 5:11pm in Pigs 5 comments Comments closed

It's important that you get your pigs tame, so that they can be relatively easily handled. We've found that the easiest way to do this is to bribe them with food. And the best food is apple slices. Pigs seem to have a natural affinity for apples!!

So here we are tempting the pigs with apple slices and reassuring them that we're not so bad.

The Cheeps' first day out

Saturday 5 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 5:16pm in Poultry 6 comments Comments closed

It's been nice here today, so it was time for the cheeps' first day out. We used the extension run as a playpen. They were out for about half an hour (maybe longer); Hobbes and the hens had a good look. As did Cassius!

At first, they just stood stock still - I was a bit worried that they would die of stress or something. However, within 10 minutes, they were pecking around, had found their food and water and were investigating grass and dandelions (of which there are many in our lawn! I shall now say that I cultivate them for the cheeps.)

Cheeps' progress

Thursday 10 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 9:37pm in Poultry Comments closed

I didn't put the cheeps outside today - it has been bucketing rain all day here, and even thought there is shelter, I was worried that they woudl get wet.

They were out all day yesterday and it's forecast dry tomorrow, so they can get out tomorrow. And weekends are OK, because I can ring them in if the weather gets nasty. Like the washing!

Dan's been away this week, so hopefully he'll see a difference in them tomorrow when he gets home.

For horselovers

Thursday 10 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 9:40pm in Equines 7 comments Comments closed

As you will know, Smokey and I have been learning to drive over the winter and into spring. It's all been going very well and he has been an absolute star.

Last Wednesday, however, we had a bit of a setback. For various reasons that I won't bore you with, there was a bit of a carry-on in the field, so Smokey was a bit hyped up. I wanted to take Smokey driving (a pal of Dan's was going to backstep for me), so I caught him, harnessed him up and started to lead him along the track to the road, where I usually get on. I'm not really sure what happened, but Smokey got more distressed and bolted. I simply couldn't hold him. He went along the track, on to the road, round a 90 drgree bend, then tipped the buggy at the next 90 degree bend.

And then there were nine. And Hobbes.

Monday 14 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 9:15pm in Poultry 3 comments Comments closed

Mrs Purple died in the night. She was one of our oldest hens, except for the Brown Leghorn, and a Rhode Island Red. She hadn't been in top form for a while - her comb was a bit purple (not the reason for her name - she had a purple leg ring), so she probably had some kind of heart / circulatory problems. She was OK yesterday i.e. chooking around for corn and pecking greenfly off the gooseberries, but was a stiff as a board this morning.

So now there are nine. And Hobbes. And however many of the cheeps turn out to be female...

An endless supply...

Monday 14 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 9:21pm in Equines Comments closed

Now that Smokey is at home (or as near as makes no difference), I have taken it upon myself to keep the field clear of poo. The first few times I collected it, it went on some of the vegetable beds. Then I made a big pile for autumn application. Then...

my friend Carol took a trailer load and there's another trailer load ready to go.

And a half full wheelbarrow waiting to be emptied into the next empty trailer.

And just as I finished tonight, in the rain, Smokey lifted his tail and deposited another pile, and looked at me as if to say "Don't worry, Mum, I'll not let it run out".

The Godolphin Arabian

Wednesday 16 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:19pm in Equines 4 comments Comments closed

I've just ordered a copy of "The ByerleyTurk" by Jeremy James. It's the true story of one of the three foundations stallions of the English Thoroughbred breed of horse. The other two were the Darnley Arabian and the Godolphin Arabian, I think.

Anyway, this got me reminiscing about books I read as a child (lots of horsey books, mainly).I can remember reading a novel about the Godolphin Arabian but I can't remember the name of the book or the author. I can remember that the horse has a wheatsheaf mark on him and he has a wee, short name. I'd love to read it again so I'm relying on you folk out there to know the name of the book and to let me know.

Backyard poultry keeping course

Thursday 17 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:21pm in Poultry Comments closed

After much shillyshallying, I have finally got round to organising our first backyard poultry keeping course. We're keen to encourage folk to try producing their own food and hens are such fun. Much more exciting than, say, a marrow, Although marrows are, of course, extremely worthy.

This is all happening on Saturday 30th June, here at TAS. Starting at 10am, we'll cover all the essential aspects of keeping poultry at home. Lunch will, of course, be provided. Full details on the courses page.

More new arrivals

Tuesday 22 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 10:11pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

We had more new arrivals last night in the shape of four Light Sussex chicks. When I went to bed last night, they were all pipped - had been since lunchtime. I confess I was dying to "help" them, but they weren't actually due until today, so I took myself off to bed, woke at 4am (labour pains, I think) and all four were out and in the incubator.

They were duly transferred to the brooder before I went to work and, so far, all look fine and are eating and drinking. One looked a bit poor this morning but I think it might have been the last to hatch. It looks fine now - at least I can't pick it out from the others!

Hopetoun House Horse Driving Trials

Sunday 27 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:24pm in Equines Comments closed

As if we didn't have enough "driving trials" of our own - we went to watch some yesterday at Hopetoun House. Horse driving trials are the driving equivalent of a three day event. Yesterday was the marathon - the cross country part. We didn't stay long - partly bacause I wasn't dressed for the cold and partly because we had so much to do here.

Water splash at Hopetoun

However, we did do a spot of Royal watching! We knew HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was one of the judges but when we spotted him on his Easy Rider moped, we had to do a double take. He's good value for 80+ - but he should really get a moped with an electric start - the kick start seemed a bit hard!

Mynah chicks

Sunday 27 May, 2007

by Dan at 8:25pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

Please no-one tell her that they don't need to be taught to cheep!

What next?

Tuesday 29 May, 2007

by Rosemary at 8:14pm in Anything goes 4 comments Comments closed

I was leafing through an old copy of "Country Living" Magazine (August 2006) and came across an article called "Farming for the Future", about Warborne Organic Farm in Hampshire. It's quite an interesting article and I was quite enjoying it until I came to this bit "George spends a lot of time with his animals, particularly his chickens, which he trains to live free range. "When they first arrive I have to teach them how to forage," he explains. "I get on my hands and knees and use my finger to peck deep into the sward of herbs and grasses. They watch me curiously and then copy my action.""

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