Friday, 11 December 2009

Quick livestock update

Just recently my posts seem to be more weekly than daily, a combination of lack of energy after the virus we have all had and which is still lingering, preparing for the forth coming festivities and not a great deal happening on the livestock front.

However a quick update...

Livestock: Fred is still with us. Every time I think of him I can't help feeling he represents everything I was taught and believed not to do! We have let our hearts rule our head and wallet. Financially he is a disaster, realistically I doubt if he'll ever make it worthwhile, meat wise, so a pet it is. He does have a super character, very gentle and I am able to find him a home, so not too irresponsible persevering with him. He gave us cause for concern this week. Tuesday morning he wasn't at the gate waiting for us, or at least his food. We found him in the goose house, quite bloated and a little subdued. He did however come when called and nibbled a little hay and drank some water, so we decided to cut out all his concentrates for a while and see how it went. By this morning his was back to his normal lively self, eagerly looking for his breakfast and tripping us up in the hurry to get to his feeder before us. He was very unimpressed with the meagre offering we gave him.

Poultry: The Cream Legbar that was slightly under the weather is absolutely fine again. I'm sure it was just a mixture of having recently moulted and the relentless wind and rain, which I am happy to say has been replaced in the past two days with colder but drier and quieter weather. So much so that yesterday I was able to completely dismantle the hen houses to clean and air them and the hens are now using the whole of their area to roam around in rather than hug the boundaries for protection.
The Australorp pullet has settled in quicker than any bird I have known and is now one of the flock. She really is a lovely bird.

The geese are still with us, we really do need to sort them out. The bond between the pairs have become stronger and the lone young gander is being noticeably pushed out. The keel on one of the geese is starting to drop and she is 'working' the hedges for grit, the usual sign she close to lay. It is early for her, mid February being more the norm.

The turkeys only have a little time left. The two white stags spend most of their days parading and displaying. One day this week they decided to try killing each other, fighting for most of the day, thankfully they stopped as quick as they started. We did think we may have to consider killing one early. They are huge, a rough estimate of 25/26 lbs each. The bronze hens are much smaller approx. 16lbs . I do prefer the hens, although they are so much noisier than the stags.

Bees: With the drier weather of the past couple of days the bees have been flying. The small nucleus appear to have just had a cleansing flight but the larger hive has been very busy.

In the next week or so the ewes will return home, hopefully in lamb and we can look forward to next year.

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