Saturday, 7 June 2014

Changes Afoot

The last ten days have just been a whirlwind, hence the lack of posts on here. So for now I'll give a quick resume, then I'll come back to some of this in future posts.

Most importantly, Daisy has gone.

She went on Sunday morning. She almost cost me a bird too! For those who don't know me, I'm an obsessive twitcher. Seeing new birds in Britain takes precedence over almost everything else in my life. This completely obsessive, irrational behaviour helps me put the rest of my life into perspective.

Twitch on!
Last seen out there somewhere
Fortunately I took "Eagle-Eyed" Mick with me.

Anyway, I eventually saw the Short-toed Eagle.
Sue went off on her cheese-making course which I too was supposed to be attending, and we left Daisy at the abattoir.
It seems strange going down to feed the chickens and not hearing a welcome grunt or snort from the pig pen.

Yesterday I picked Daisy up - more on this later - and spent the day with Paul, the butcher from the Cambridgeshire Self-Sufficiency Group, turning her into gammon joints, eight varieties of sausage, diced and minced pork, kebabs... In the evening the rest of the group turned up for a sausage making demonstration and a barbecue. Daisy went down very well! As did the bunny burgers provided by Mick.

I'm spending today getting everything into the freezers, rendering down some of the fat and making stock from the skin and bones.

Changes for the other animals too.
The nine lambs have moved into the long grass and started the gargantuan task of grazing it short. I'm hoping to get four more soon to help them out.
Both sets of geese have failed to hatch a single egg. Yesterday I finally turfed them off their nests and destroyed the eggs. If you want to know what a foul smell is like, crack open a rotten goose egg. It was enough to actually make me sick!

Goliath, the lone goose who we hatched in the incubator,  follows us around everywhere but he's grown even bigger. Still doubling in size every week. The other geese are back together, grey and white united, but they continue to take an unhealthy interest in Golly and he sticks close by when they're near.

Exciting news on the bee front. Sue has taken our first ever significant honey harvest. One super from each of the healthy hives, so about 40lb of honey, but there's more waiting to be collected.
The third hive, which is a newly created colony as the old one failed to come through the winter, have made themselves a queen. Sue saw her emerging from her queen cell the other day, so hopefully she will get mated and start laying soon.

And finally, we have three new inhabitants on the farm, a new species for us. For on Monday evening we picked up three turkey chicks. We intend to grow them on slowly so they'll probably make it past Christmas, but they'll end up on the plate at some time. Meanwhile they are very welcome to stay on our farm.

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