Saturday, 25 February 2012

Pork flying off the shelves

Look behind you Sue!

They like our pork!
Today we made our third and fourth pork sales. It may not sound like much, but the first was a word-of-mouth customer, and the second was an enthusiastic returning customer. Both are very local. This is exactly the type of sales I want to encourage. As I've said before, we only need a small group of regular customers to enable us to continue our project here. If it doesn't work, Daisy has to go! But it's looking good at the moment. In fact we are already short of sausages, but the chops are proving popular too and people have been keen to try the belly when they realise it's available.

Elvis gets a dusting
The trouble with sitting on eggs all day, every day is that you don't get time for personal hygiene. Sue noticed today that Elvis had a few lice on her. Not a total infestation, but probably not nice for her and a potential health risk. Staying put means she does not get out to dust bathe. In fact, broody hens often need encouragement to leave the nest briefly even to eat and drink. So it was that I dusted her liberally with diatomaceous earth, sprinkling it all around her accommodation too. Even suffering this indignation, Elvis did not budge!
Checking back on my photos, I realised today that Elvis had her first chick on 10th June last year. This will be her third hatching in less than nine months.

New homes for new arrivals
Daisy is beginning to get tetchy and needs separate quarters to Gerald now, so today I put the finishing touches to her stable block.
Tomorrow morning there is a slightly mad plan to collect a gaggle of geese (more on this tomorrow). So another small stable room needed to be cleared out and prepared. Well, the garage has already been cleared along with Daisy's new room. The new goose accommodation was being used to store the logs and coal.
So a total reorganisation of the stables was demanded - not a bad thing as it gave a chance to clean out areas not seen for a year. This kept Sue and I busy for much of the day. I hope the geese appreciate it!
Ready for the geese.

The last hour of the day was spent making a start on the stock fence for the paddock where the geese will spend most of their time. Stock fencing has smaller gaps at the bottom than the top, so that smaller animals can't squeeze through the bottom, but one section had been fixed upside-down! This was the chickens' main way into Don's.
So out came the fencing pliers to prize off the staples. As the posts were all working very loose I took the chance to drive these back in and tamp some rubble in around their bases. I fixed the gate too. Tomorrow morning I will just need to refix the tension wires and bang in a few staples.
Then I have a clever idea for using an old bath for the geese to have access to water.

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