Wednesday 30 December 2020

Pregnant Edna


I mentioned last week that we were hoping the 4 ewes were pregnant. I took these photos of Edna, the oldest ewe, in the past couple of days and she is starting to show her size. Jo, from whom we got the ewes, told us that Edna normally gives birth early but is a good mum. She has calculated that we will need to start checking for lambs on 16th January. It is the earliest possible date based on Rex, the ram, going in with the girls on 24th August. Busy times ahead (hopefully)!

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Instant pond - just add water

All our poultry are confined to runs at the moment. DEFRA have ordered all poultry must be kept caged for the time being until the recent outbreaks of bird flu are behind us. The ruling applies to all poultry in England. We had been planning to dismantle our duckling run but fortunately we did not get round to doing so. It has been brought back into use as a run for the 7 call ducks. We have had lots of rain recently so the ground is rather muddy. The call ducks were starting to get muddy so we added this large bowl previously used as a water trough for the goats. We had to build a rampart at one side to give the ducks access. They are, however, loving the pond.


Pregnant sheep?


Our 4 ewes have been with the ram since the end of August. We have no definitive proof they are pregnant but they are looking bigger around the waste. Perhaps it's down to the woolen coats or eating too much grass. But perhaps the ram has had his way with them. Fingers crossed!

This is the first time we have kept sheep so lambing will be a new experience for us. The first births won't be before late January. So at least a month to go.

Sunday 13 December 2020

Poultry confined to barracks

Tomorrow all poultry in England has to be caged until further notice to tackle outbreaks of avian flu. All our chickens and ducks are now confined to barracks. They won't like it but it's a legal requirement. This photo was taken during our ducks' final hour of freedom.

Goodbye Houdini


I'm saddened to report that Houdini, our oldest hen, passed away a few days ago. She was over 9 years old and was in the first batch of hens we bought, back in 2011. She served us well and passed away in her sleep. We think she died simply of old age.

Sunday 6 December 2020

Poultry lockdown

 I spent a good part of today working out how to create enclosures for our ducks and chickens. From 14th December, new restrictions come into force which will require all poultry to go into their own version of lockdown to counter recent outbreaks of avian flu. While the rules are in place, the birds will have to be caged. So far we have drawn up plans to move young birds to the quailhouse. Two sets of birds will go into two greenhouses. Some chickens will be moved into our fruitcage and a big new henhouse will have to be built from some old garage doors.

Saturday 5 December 2020

Christmas beer

My Christmas booze is now sorted. This weekend I've made 7 bottles of hawberry and honey beer and 5 of raspberry and honey beer. The honey was washed off the squeezed honeycomb a couple of weeks ago. We still have lots of this honey water to use up. I'm working on recipes and ideas now!