I think we had a busy weekend, at least it feels as if we did this morning, I am shattered and the house is in it's usual Monday morning mess after a weekend of us just popping in long enough to refuel.
Saturday morning started with the usual feeding and thorough cleaning of poultry houses. Also the introduction of the Welsummer pullets and older Exchequer Leghorn pullet to the Welsummer flock. The introduction went unbelievably well with no interest shown by either party to the other.
The sheep were let onto the new poultry pen grass for the morning to top it, whilst we put the finishing touches to the restored house in readiness for the table bird growers and the Welsummer cockerels.
Ever since being returned to the paddock the sheep have been shouting, convinced we are preventing them from hidden fields of lush grazing ... if only.
We also raked the paddock. I don't know if it is the lack of rain, the chickens eating all the bugs or the fact the sheep are being kept on one area longer than usual, but the dung isn't breaking down in the usual manner and as the grass is in such short supply we decided to clean the area.
Spending time in the paddock gave us a chance to watch the Indian Game flock and we discovered three more hidden nests in the bordering hedges. All gaps now hopefully blocked.
The stable was made ready for the turkey poults. They were moved in without a hitch on Sunday. Although I spent an anxious night last night convinced I would find them all dead this morning, either from stress or cold. I'm pleased to say they are all alive and well and enjoying the extra space and having fun flying onto the bale of straw and old apple branch.
On Sunday we also moved the remaining growers, the table birds, into their new house and pen at the yard. The Indian Game hen has also finally been returned to her flock, leaving her chicks at home, still in their pen for a few more weeks after their close encounter with the sparrow hawk.
The main poultry pen at home and the poultry shed have both been thoroughly cleaned, scrubbed and disinfected. The breeding season is now over. In the next few weeks the layers pen at home will be made good, all holes filled in and the area around the house reseeded. Yesterday I topped the grass, more to tidy it than anything else as it had gone to seed despite being short.
I also tidied the feed shed at the yard. Making, I hope, the hay and straw inaccessible to the hens and sweeping up any loose hay from the floor to discourage them laying their eggs there. Also to convince my one remaining broody that the shed really isn't that comfy.
We checked the bees and added a super to the hive containing the prime swarm as the brood box was full of eggs, larvae and capped brood. I was also shown how to put together new frames. Quite straight forward once you know how. Although if I do get a top bar hive I won't need frames.
We also spent time in the garden. We have harvested and frozen veg. The first of the strawberry plants were cut back as they have now finished, the ground where the first of the potatoes were has been dug over, compost added and is ready for a few late leeks.
We have pickled the first jar of gherkins, with many more to come after the recent rain.
We have also put a leg of pork to soak in brine, our first attempt at making our own gammon.
All in all quite a productive weekend. It is very quiet at home now though with only the 7 week old chicks and the Australorp and her chicks in the garden.