Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Roundup - almost one year on since starting this Blog

What a difference a year makes!
We started out on an exercise to avoid mowing our paddock and to provide some eggs (and as it transpired some poultry) for the table.

So in late Autumn 2012 we were busy putting up new stock fencing etc.
Primarily to allow the Chickens to free range in relatively safety but also so we could consider a suitable type of four legged lawn mowers. A single Horse or Pony that we could ride and or Alpacas were high up on the short-list but at hundreds to thousands of pounds each they proved a little too expensive.

On Jan 1st last year we bought four Soay Sheep that became seven with the fantastic arrival of three lambs in the spring, as well as a couple of Shetland Ponies, and we had great fun acquiring the three Geese and hatching loads of chickens later in the year. We did not add to the Ducks we already had as eight of them (now seven) have proven more than enough for a good supply of eggs and muddy puddles........Ducks like mud!

All was going well until November when Karen was diagnosed with Cancer, and following successful surgery earlier this month she will soon be undertaking a course of Chemo then Radio therapy.

That however has forced us to make some sad but necessary decisions as Karen will need looking after and a lot of rest for the next few months.

So on Sunday I took all our Ewes to Linda (who we originally bought the Ponies from) in Wem and I have advertised Mars and Leo on Preloved. If I can't home the then I think they will be off to the slaughter house...........lets hope not.

I will possibly be looking to re home the Ponies as well although they are much easier to manage than the sheep as they are completely portable on leads! David dutifully tends to them daily, they have almost munched their way through our neighbours field so we will be bringing them home shortly which will make them easier to look after. This wretched heavy rain is a repeat of last year and does not bode well for our paddock however last spring looking at the muddy expanse I had no idea if the grass would ever recover, this year I know differently!

The Ducks and Geese can pretty much fend for themselves so we will keep them and the Chickens I look after during my lunch breaks.

With hindsight buying several more birds from Oswestry auction in October was a bad idea as right now we could do with fewer chickens but it does not take that much longer to look after them all plus if they become too much trouble then there is always the freezer for some of the older ones that seem to think not laying eggs is an option :)

We are also slowly eating the roosters we hatched out in May! That has proven to be an experience as this time last year we had never killed and eaten anything home grown ever! Now as our summer chicks grow we are seeing the results lovely blue and white eggs to go with the varying shades of Browns from the hens and something nice for dinner from the Roosters and even the odd Rabbit.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Blue Eggs

Success! at least two of this years new birds are laying good pastel blue eggs but I have yet to see who!

The eggs are quite small at the moement but should get a little larger as the hen matures.
It could be our only Araucana hen called Gerbil or the Cream Legbars or even Misty as we think she might be white Cream Legbar sport.

I will try and take a picture of one assuming it survives long enough as the last two ended up on toast!

Sunday, 24 November 2013


On Saturday we had a proper Frost .
Bent Beak was sulking

One of Aldens Orps found a Sunny spot.

The trees are in their final colours

Our biggest SLW Roo told everyone about his apple

Peanut is still the only one of our hatchlings laying any eggs!

Perry can fly very well even with his wing clipped

Yellow Curry was on guard

Godzilla and Snowy

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A trip to the National Poultry Show

On Saturday we went to the National Poultry Show
We saw an amazing variety of birds

here's a few Firstly an Apenzellar Spitzhauben Roo

A rumpless Araucana ( I think)


Very very Brown eggs from a good strain of Maran

Typical Brown eggs similar to those we get from our Marans

A Poland

Scots Gray roo

 Russian Orloff
 A Wyandotte roo I think

 Another one
 An Alden

 A Blue Laced Wyandotte hen

A silver Spangled Hamburgh
The green dots look like they have been stuck on they stand out so well!

A Dutch Bantam roo

a Faverole

 New Hampshire Red

A silver pencilled Wyandotte

 Top Araucana

Another Hamburgh
 A friend for Jones?

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Aldens Orp's

Guess what? We went to the Auction at Oswestry Showground yesterday and we came home with a few waifs and strays. Alden bought these Orpingtons with his pocket money, a black called Onyx, a splash called Doris and two blues called Bluebell and Sooty.

 Keith rather fancied these Legbars,
 and we really went to buy some replacement Welsummers. These are really timid.

 I wanted some stripey birds and these Scots Greys were just right. They are lovely birds, quite friendly and surprisingly soft feathered.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Happy, happy, happy!

First our egg count - Chickens 21 and ducks 3.
Next some photo's of our happy birds and sheep -

The lambs and ewes having an afternoon nibble
 Mars eating the shrubbery
 One of the silver laced Wyandotte cockerels and a Vorwerk cockerel.

Ducks that float.

And there's Peanut.
Everyones happy out in the field and the orchard.

 Mr T. or now we've found out it's a girl, Misty

 Here's Bubble