Winter has well and truly arrive this past week, 3-4 inches of snow and last night temperatures fell to just shy of -7. This morning was spent ensuring livestock and poultry had drinking water. Despite a majority of chickens being in the barn or sheds water is still freezing them. The sheep aren’t phased by the weather, take a look at our in lamb ewe below laying in the snow, its that thick fleece that makes all the difference 🙂
The turkey’s did well – a very tasty christmas dinner – however i do miss their presence around the small holding, I look forward to getting some more hatchlings in July 🙂 . The incubator was powered up just before new years to fertility test a few of the bantam breed (who are in good lay). The results can been below, from left to right Japanese Bantam, Japanese Bantam, Sicilian Buttercup and far right Red Pyle Old English Game .We have a larger hatch of 20 or so eggs due on Monday 21st, so watch my twitter feed for updates and pics. Fertility is good across most of the Bantams, although the Scots Dumpy and Barbu’s have yet to produce any fertile eggs, if last year is go by then it’ll be March before they’ll be ready.
Lenny and Lucy our Geese (see pics below with our Call and Cayuga Ducks) are a year old now, and I’m hoping we get our first goose egg in the next 4-5 weeks. Goose eggs make wonderful cakes, we will of course be setting a few in the incubator, or in hope Lucy goes broody under her. From experience I have found hatching geese a little temperamental, ill suspect they’ll do much better under mum 🙂
we have plenty planned for 2013 from livestock to herbs, our first milestone will be the birth of our first lambs and Kid goats in March. Our Ewe is due on our daughter, Freya, birthday (16th), it would be nice if they co-inside with each other. I dont want to give too much away about our plans, ill share more on our blog, through twitter and on our facebook page.
We still have places on out poultry courses in February, March and April, if you’re interested take a look at out site http://slatehousefarm.co.uk/courses.html . Day courses include lunch, refreshments and all the questions you can ask :). From Starting out to hatching your own to putting chicken on the table we have it covered here at Slate House Farm.
Until next time, keep safe and warm, ttfn.