Tuesday 30 May 2023

Dealing with flystrike


Flystrike is when flies lay eggs in the wool of a sheep. The resulting infestation of maggots eats the wool and can eat into the flesh of the animal is left untreated. At this time of year we are on constant lookout for flystrike. We have found 2 incidents this year and the video above shows how we dealt with one of them.

Strip lines and electric fences


We installed an electric fence across field 2 recently and moved the sheep there from field 1. The sheep proceeded to eat the grass, requiring our moving the electric fence another strip up the field. You can see the difference in the photo above. Now that the sheep are on the field, we have been able to stop buying in feed for them. They love the grass and there is plenty for them. We will gradually move the fence up the field throughout the summer. In the meantime, field 1 will be left to recover from intensive grazing.

Picking rhubarb


Another big crop of rhubarb was ready so I picked over 20kg today. Most of it has gone to a local fruit and veg shop but we have kept a small amount back for ourselves. We will be making jam, pies and liqueurs.

Goats milk bread

 Penelope, one of our goats, is producing big amounts of milk. In this video I use some of the milk in bread making. Essentially, I've replaced water with milk and fat (I normally use cooking oil) with goat cream. The result is a bread with a velvety texture.

Sunday 28 May 2023

Northumberland County Show


Yesterday we went to our first agricultural show of the year - the Northumberland County Show at Bywell. It's great to be visiting the shows after the pandemic caused many to be closed. The video I filmed gives a taste of the show.

Wednesday 17 May 2023

Using goats to clear the plot


On our Farside allotment, we have a small paddock which has been used for holding goats and chickens in the past. Since November however it has been empty. The chickens had gone into runs on our Nearside allotment due to avian flu restrictions and the goats were down at the farm. As we are now well into spring, the paddock has become overgrown and we want to move our surplus cockerels into it. So we have moved our two smallest goats - Janey and Dolly - into the paddock so that they can eat their way through all the vegetation. We are also trimming the hawthorn hedge though we are checking it carefully for any bird nests. If we find any, the hedge trimming will be delayed until later in the year. The goats however love hawthorn. It's one of their favourites.

First chicks of the season


One of the hens on a neighbouring allotment went broody last month so I put 6 of our eggs under her. The result was 5 chicks though 2 have subsequently died. Meanwhile, our first attempt of the year to incubate eggs was a disaster. We put 10 call duck eggs into the incubator and not a single one hatched.