Birthday / New hens and chicks / Cheddar! / BakingRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 25 April, 2017

by Rosemary at 3:21pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 17th April

Yippee! A few rain showers today; crystal clear and a bit cool tonight, so maybe we will get the forecast frost.

Bryn is exhausted – Mickey is wearing him out, but he also played with Zaza this morning then Otir and Ceri this afternoon, when Jane came to do the ponies’ feet. Tough life.

The pigs have settled in well, they have dismantled a pile of turves that were left to break down last year, and like to sleep there during the day.

Pigs sleeping outdoorsThe pigs' outdoor bed.

Paperwork day mainly, but also had a visit from our chum, Carol, who had been to collect her weaners.

Tuesday 18th April

Ace is 1 year old today! Frost this morning and ice on the water.

Ace on his first birthdayAce on his 1st birthday.

The cows and Ace are only being fed once a day now but are getting two scoops of beet pulp pellets, soaked. It’s really to keep them in the routine of coming in, being haltered and tied up and fed.

They’re still in the barn, as the byre where we milk is full of stuff, but they come in and line up in the same order as they do in the byre.

Wednesday 19th April

Cool and grey; managed to get into the vegetable garden for a wee while, but just pottering.

Trip to Harbro for chick crumbs and beet pulp pellets – suddenly realized that I’m picking the cheeps (Hubbard chicks) up on Saturday and have nothing to feed them.

Sorted out the pen for the meat chicks and the brown hen house for the new POL.

Thursday 20th April

Moved the cows to a fresh paddock. I wouldn’t say the grass was coming in fast, so I’m moving them every four days or so then John harrows the vacated paddock.

The grass is looking better already but I need to get the lime and fertilizer sorted out. I reckon it’s better to keep them grazing off the tops. It’s amazing how close Shetlands can graze.

Had our annual visit from the insurance man.

Friday 21st April

Finally got round to putting the weed suppressing membrane down in the fruit garden.

Soft fruit garden membraneSoft fruit garden membrane.

Looks pretty tidy.

Saturday 22nd April

Had a lunch date with a group of old school friends in Stirling today; also picked up 35 POL Rhode Rocks and 19 day old meat chicks while I was there.

Hubbard meat chicksHubbard meat chicks under heat lamp.

The POL seem to like their new pen – so much so that only three of them went to bed tonight – the rest were perched all over the place.

2017 pullets arrivedNew pullets thirsty after their journey

Major roundup ensued.

Dan opened his waced cheddar this evening - it's been ageing for 9 months in the cheese cave so it was a bit of a tense moment!

Cheddar in waxThe waxed cheese.

Cheddar!It's Cheddar cheese!

It has a nice flavour and texture - not much of the classic cheddar sharpness, but that will probably improve with more ageing, and more on the soft than crumbly side, but it's definitely cheddar!

We ate some of it for tea, half was vacuum sealed and left to age for at least another 3 months.

Sunday 23rd April

Hens and cheeps seem to have settled in fine. All the POL went to bed tonight, which was great.

Had to cull one of last year’s meat birds, which was with the laying hens in the caravan. There was nothing on her – so only the feet were salvaged for Bryn and Bentley.

Cleaned out the green henhouse and the caravan.

Baked a fruit loaf, almond biscuits and coconut oat cookies. I added a dollop of raspberry jam to each almond biscuit – thinking a sort of Bakewell style – but they just collapsed. They taste nice but look odd.

Coconut cookiesCoconut cookies.

The coconut oat cookies are really nice and will definitely be added to the “bake again” list. The Coconut Cookie recipe is now on the website too. :-)

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