Friday, 22 April 2016
We were in Newcastle last Saturday for the North of England Beekeepers Convention. A great day for meeting fellow beekeepers, listening to lectures and looking at trade exhibits. There was a very interesting talk by Professor Keith Delaplane which looked at the evolution of bees to help explain their super-organism nature. There was also quite a challenging talk by Gareth John on treatment-free beekeeping.
Monday, 11 April 2016
The last batch of eggs we hatched last year produced 2 Rhode Island Reds, among other chickens. We thought both were hens but in recent weeks, we noticed that one of them was developing large tail feathers, a bigger comb and wattles and an interest in the girls. Alas, last night we slaughtered him. He had made a half hearted attempt at crowing on Saturday. As we are not allowed to keep cockerels, he had to go. He is a good size bird so we will be having him roasted as some point soon, after a period of rest in the freezer.
I plan to get more Rhode Island Red hatching eggs. It's an attractive breed and is good for both meat and eggs.
We had another new record for hen eggs last week. On a single day, 21 were laid. I was greeted by the above pile of eggs when I checked the old henhouse. Other eggs were in the other henhouses. We sell a modest number of eggs at the moment but we will be making flans this week to use up as many eggs as possible.
This is the community orchard we helped to set up 4 years ago. Now that we well into spring (and having had no real winter), the grass and weeds are growing well. That means lots of free food for the poultry and goats. All I had to do was get an empty sack and fill it.