Sunday, 17 February 2019
Friday, 15 February 2019
Tuesday, 12 February 2019
I have some sad news to report. We lost Georgina, our head nanny goat, on Saturday morning. She had gone into Labour through the night but she suffered an internal rupture. She was dead when we found her in the morning, none of the babies were born.
She went to the knackers yard yesterday morning. We now have to decide whether or not to replace her.
Photo above was taken in winter last year just after giving birth to 3 babies.
Sunday, 10 February 2019
Yesterday I had my first jam sale of the year. It was held at Sunniside Methodist Chapel Hall, close enough to my house to take everything over on my trolley. It was the first time I had had a table at the hall and I'm pleased to report it was quite a success. I sold nearly half of what I took.
Thursday, 31 January 2019
Earlier this month we had a worrying time when 4 of our hens died in the space of two days and three more became ill. All the hens that died had previously been in excellent health and were first class layers. Their loss, from a flock of about 40 birds, many of which are seasonal layers, led to a significant drop in overall egg production.
As the birds had been in fine health previously, and at the point when only two had died, we took the two dead birds and two that were ill to the vet who was unable to identify the cause. The two dead ones were sent off for autopsy which again failed to identify the cause. The report came back showing that the birds' organs had all been in good health. When the next two died, we sent one off to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for autopsy. One point we had spotted was that all the affected birds had full crops. And indeed, this turned out to be crucial. APHA explained the cause of death was compacted crops. The birds have access to water but they recommended adding lots of moisture to some of their feed. In a typical afternoon, we give the chickens a mixture of bran and crushed oats. We now feed this to them as a very wet mash.
This has done the trick. No more birds have been lost and the remaining sick birds have fully recovered. And egg production has gone back up again. Today we got 10 eggs, our highest since the autumn.
Spot's new baby nanny born on 19th January is doing well. She happily hops about the allotment and is now trying to eat food. She is not being very successful so still totally relies on mum's milk. However, we will start to milk Spot tomorrow. We will takeoff only a small amount from one udder at a time to ensure the baby has plenty (we are not bottle feeding her). This should help to stimulate milk production.