Wednesday, 17 March 2010

More Babies on the Way (Possibly)

When I posted yesterday about going to look for turkey eggs my son must have been reading my mind! Not more than a half hour had passed from me updating this blog to him coming inside with the first of this years turkey eggs.

Today I found another so hopefully within the next 2 weeks we'll have enough for the first clutch and a month after the hen sits there will be turkey poults again. I think baby turkeys are incredibly cute and it's exciting waiting for them to hatch. We've given up on the incubator after last year's failure rates (and hubby shot the glass out of it by mistake testing the sights on his air rifle!) and will let nature take it's course. Our mother turkey was good last time round and managed to hatch 2 separate clutches of eggs so we'll leave her to get on with it.

I'm hoping our bantam hens will also come in handy and possibly hatch some chicks from the larger chickens (no more bantams please!), but as yet they're not broody so we'll see later in the year.

The trees here are just about to start getting their leaves, the grass is growing well, land drying out after the last snow - even though we had a sprinkling of snow this morning! And the weather is improving every day, this weekend is supposed to be very nice so maybe we'll have a barbecue - yummy!

Today is St. Patrick's day in the UK and Ireland so I expect there's a few of my friends out enjoying themselves. Hope my sister is also as it's her birthday, Happy Birthday little sis x

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Happy Days

Well the sun is shining, animals all out and happy and I'm feeling very positive today.

On my "To do" list today is cleaning out the pig house and chicken coop, although I may rope the kids into helping/doing those. I really need to sort out our cockerel problems too, we have far too many and they've started crowing from 1am and don't stop all day, not great when you're trying to sleep! At the last count we had 8 cockerels, most of which we were given as chicks, the bantams are the worst for crowing at stupid o'clock and they're also useless for anything other than ornamental reasons. So they've got to go!

Having too many cockerels means that the hens don't lay as much and we do love our free range eggs. I'll be checking the turkey house later today to see if they're laying yet too, spring is here (almost) and the clocks change soon. I've spotted some daffodils in the garden and it's making me think about starting some flower seeds off indoors. I've a big bag of mixed, saved flower seeds from last year and some new seeds I'm hoping to try here. Admittedly there's not much structure to my flower garden but I do love to see a wide variety and mixed up so it looks more natural. Straight lines and borders aren't what I'm aiming for.

Order in the vegetable patch and complete chaos in the flower garden with a few pots thrown in for good measure! Have you started planning your garden yet?

Monday, 15 March 2010

Essential Maintenance

Since I spend a fair amount of time on the internet (hubby would say more than I should) it's about time I got my backside into gear and set about rebuilding the PC, upgrading and updating the laptop and some other general maintenance that I've been planning on doing for a while now.

The animals are all happy eating, sleeping or outside enjoying the fresh air, the house is quiet for a change and apart from housework I can't think of anything better to do today.

As I'm no computer expert I'll probably have a few minor technical hitches along the way but I usually manage ok without any help. Hopefully if I can get everything back up and running before tea time our internet connection might be behaving a little better and with upgraded computers we may even find everything works a little quicker.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Almost Time

As the piglets are now 7 weeks old it's almost time for them to be fully weaned and leave mum. As much as I love watching them and having them about we can't keep them all. They're very boisterous now and getting too big to stay in the current pig house with Charlotte, plus I think she'll appreciate some time away from them to be honest.

We are planning on keeping 2 of the piglets, one as a possible future breeding sow and another for the freezer when he's bigger. There's no point in keeping a boar for breeding as he'd be related to our "Girls" in some way and we don't want any interbreeding.

Since spring is trying to make a debut again I'm checking the turkey house for eggs. This time last year we had one female who had just started to lay. We now have 4 females so in theory should get 4 times the amount of eggs. I'll collect the eggs and store them until we have a clutch of around 20 then let our oldest female turkey hatch them out hopefully. She did a good job last year and hatched two separate clutches. Unfortunately she didn't do a great job of raising the chicks and most of the second clutch disappeared! So I've got a heat lamp ready and will find a box and raise the poults away from mum until they're old enough to join the flock.

Baby turkeys are quite fun but not very bright, they need regular care when small and will come to associate the person that feeds them as the "Parent". They're curious and friendly birds mainly, easy to keep, quick to grow and fantastic eating! Better than chickens in my mind although we'll still keep the chooks for egg laying.