Apologies for the lack of posts , I lost my blogging mojo a bit but I think its back now so an update.
Currently we have 13 hens and a cockerel, 2 hens are sitting on eggs one of which we have no idea for how long we found her in a box of wood shavings in the barn. She was sat on 22 eggs which is far too many, so a quick candling to test for fertile ones and a speedy rehoming in a broody coop were necessary. Both broodies are sitting tight so fingers crossed that in a fortnight we will be overrun with chicks, the second hen is sat on some bought in eggs from a friend these are an autosexing type so should be able to figure out the cockerels from day one . Last years cockerels are all in the freezer I hate this job I always think its not worth the effort involved but needs must.
We have about 25 quail hens and a couple of cocks, I gave a talk in january about quail keeping which generated some interest in bird sales unfortunately my first hatch of the season was an epic fail , I am blaming the borrowed incubator but it could have been the eggs . I always buy eggs online and before now never had a problem. Never mind only 18 days to hatch so will pop some more in my own little incubator next week. this is a day old quail from a previous hatch.
We got of to a tricky start with ducks as the first ones we had were stolen one night, by people rather than a fox as I don't think mr fox knows how to open a field gate ! They left us the drake which the fox eventually took but we started again and now have 7 ducks.5 abacot rangers and 2 indian runners we average 4-5 eggs a day but we eat these my egg customers seem very suspicious of duck eggs , probably due to the fact they had a reputation years ago for tasting fishy due to the fish meal in their food but modern feeds don't have it so no fishiness but no customers lucky for us as they make the best scrambled eggs and cake.
We acquired 4 orphan lambs 3 weeks ago they are growing fast but I am shattered , it's like having a baby again! We chose to raise lamb this way as we struggled to buy weaned lambs at a good price last year and ended up raising someone else's lambs as a trial run instead. They are commercially bred mules but so cute, destined for the freezer in November, probably the hardest challenge yet.
Piglets are on order and due here at the end of april, we spent a bit of time upgrading their accommodation as it got wet in their last year so a concrete pad has been laid under their ark. We have chosen gloucester old spots this year and strangely we tracked down a breeder on our doorstep, they are 2 weeks old here we are only taking 2 which is more than enough of a feed bill. Am hoping the breeder will share here contacts for bulk buying root veg which will help somewhat.
The veg plot is all but asleep but this week has seen a flurry of seed sowing activity, chillies and peppers were sown in january and are growing well in the house I find these need a bit more of a head start.
So whilst we have been quiet we have been busy and will try and keep you up to date more often in the future x