Despite the short days and ever falling temperature there is still plenty of activity around here at Slate House Farm. From tupping lambs, fattening turkeys and reaping the rewards of our labour, there is plenty to update you all on 🙂
Our large black pigs went to the abattoir last month, so we have replenished our freezers 🙂 We now have a nice selection of Pork Joins, Chops, Sausages, Gammons, Pork Bellies and Bacon. Our freezers are jammed packed, so much so, the Lambs have been spared now until after christmas.
We have no pigs on the farm now until Easter time, the land needs time to rest and our freezers to deplete a little. Our next piggies will be Oxford Sandy and Blacks, the last of the breeds on my “To Try” list. After which we will make a decision as to which breed to invest in. Watch this space
Sheep & Goats
I am also pleased to say that our goats are in kid and expected mid March. I have been trying to located a vet with a mobile ultrasound unit to scan the goats so I can get an idea of numbers, but have failed to do so. If you know of anyone in Lincolnshire or neighbouring counties that offers such as service please email me thank you 🙂
With the ailing weather then goats have been moved into the barn for the winter, Willow, our younger goat, has found the fun game of escaping from the pen, but not letting me see how she does it. As fun as it is for her, its less so for me. Although Freya and I have made some changes to the pen arrangement, and thus far she has not escaped 🙂
In addition to our goats in kid, we have our Texel Mule ewe in lamb (fingers crossed), like the goats she should lamb around the same time. This will be a first for us, so its a little daunting. However I have been lucky enough to spend a few days over the past couple of years with Gillian & Ian Dixon at South Yeo Farm East and get some hands on experience with lambs. We also have some more established small holders 15minutes away should we have any problems.
Like on most smallholdings and farms this time of year the familiar “gooble gooble” of the turkey or the “honk honk” of the goose are at their prime and un beknown to the them will soon be time to go for a long sleep. We have 5 turkeys this year, two Cambridge Bronze, two Norfolk black and a crollwitzer. They enjoy their free ranging time, their only feed (outside what they can range for) is corn. This will build up a nice layer of fat under the skin and help the bird stay moist whilst its cooked.
The incubator has been off now for two months or so (a first for me), but I am now tempted to fire her up. Why you ask? well this morning I discovered my Sicilian Buttercup hen has come into lay. This morning I found a clutch of well hidden eggs (9 in total). Given I only have a pair, I’m thinking it would be good to get numbers up for late breeding season 2013. What do you think?
In 2013 we’re running a number of poultry courses from Beginner to Advance, so we can share our knowledge and experience with you. Courses are hosted here on the farm, we provide a full lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Here’s whats on offer so far
Discount for couples(Pairs), further 5% for anyone quoting #slateblogoffer13
I leave you with a picture of some of our hens taking a break in the autumn sun.
Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry christmas and Happy New year.