Monday 20 June 2022

Dealing with gluts


What to do with a glut of duck eggs and leeks? Turn them into a glut of flans!

Friday 17 June 2022

Nesting ducks

 We have 3 broody ducks at the moment. I discovered this nest a few days ago. Below the duck is on the nest.

We have one duck that's set up her nest in a pot next to the quail house. And it seems we have another duck nest, this time in one of the henhouses. Hatching is expected in early July.

Thursday 16 June 2022

More quail eggs


Egg production by our quails was quite low in the early spring, perhaps 1-3 a day. The moment we put some quail eggs into the incubator, the number being laid shot up to 5-7 a day. Excellent timing as usual! Nevertheless, we need new birds as the existing ones are clearly losing productivity. The eggs are due to hatch towards the end of next week.

Monday 13 June 2022

Potato planting


I am very pleased we put so much effort last year into planting so many potatoes. We are still using them up (see photo above of omelette and chips produced from our own supplies recently). Today however we have planted 20kg of seed potatoes. It is rather late in the season for planting but we still have more space for more seed potatoes to go in. 

Saturday 11 June 2022

Silage making


We have been experimenting with making silage. We filled a wheelie bin with nettles and grass, packed them down, added a bit of molasses and sealed the bin shut with duck tape. The contents will be left to ferment for 3 months and then we will see if our sheep and goats are prepared to eat the silage. If they do, we will judge the experiment a success and will make more so we have a supply of feed throughout the winter that avoids us having to buy in feed (which is increasing considerably in price).

Thursday 9 June 2022

Sheep shearing


It's that time of year - time to shear the sheep. We've made a start. We've managed to do 4 already! While that is a number a professional sheep shearer can do in a few minutes on their own, 3 of us - all amateurs! - are building up our skills and experience rather slowly. 

We still have 4 texels to do and then 9 Hebrideans. Then we need to sort what we are going to do with the wool.

Photo above - David with Rex, our texel ram, with his new short back and sides!

Wednesday 8 June 2022

First jam of the season


My first jam of the season was made this morning: apple, rhubarb and ginger.

Quail eggs into incubator


11 hen chicks hatched last week so the incubator is free to do another batch. This time 24 quail eggs have gone into it. We didn't manage to hatch any quail eggs last year so the birds we have are starting to show their age - they are quite unproductive and we are only getting at best 3-4 eggs a day. So new stock is needed.

Friday 3 June 2022



The new incubator has been in action - 11 chicks hatched (4 white leghorns and 7 Buff Orpingtons). We will give the incubator a rest for a few days and then load it up with quail eggs.

Thursday 2 June 2022

New boy in the run


I was contacted a few months ago by the friend of a friend who lives in Sunderland. She had a drake which she had raised from a duckling but it had outgrown their terrace house. Would I take it? I said I would but any movement would have to wait until the avian flu restrictions had been lifted. So on Sunday I drove over to Sunderland, worked my way through the one-way system and collected the bird. He's now with our flock of ducks.