Hello, welcome to June’s blog from us here at Slate House Farm. As usual lots of things to update you all on, and its where to start. Well as you know from my previous blog we were hatching some peafowl. Back in May we set 6 eggs from a local breeder of Indian Blue peafowl eggs. Like clockwork on the 16th June, the first little peachick made its way into the world with little fuss. Number 2 also looked well underway, but sadly gave up and never made it into the world. Numbers 3 and 4 made in safely into the world too, but sadly number 3 only survived a few hours :(. With anticipation we watched the last 2 eggs, but nothing ever happened. Whilst now a huge success, we have two healthy pea chicks making there way into week 3 of their life’s.
Sorry about the poo in the pic, but this is the best pic I have taken thus far. They are feisty little things, full of courage and inquisitive ways. They were a sod to get eating, having to moisten food and let them peck it off our fingers, but they’re feeding well now.
Our next lot of hubbards are ready for the table, ill be using a few of them on my out poultry course on 6th July. The next lot of little chicks are due to arrive the week commencing 8th July, along with 30 turkeys chicks too 🙂 have to start thinking about Christmas dinner, despite summer loosing it fight against the weather.
We’ve also added a trio of pheasant to our stock list, they are only a couple of months old, but we hope to be able to tame them a little with the hope they’ll breed next year fingers crossed.
You’ll be surprised to here this, but the incubator is almost empty, and ill be turning it off in a week or so after the final hatch. Hatching seasons not over, but there is enough stock already. Ill run another hatch of Light Sussex X Ixworth later in the year to replenish some of the layers who’ll go into retirement this winter.
The next job on our agenda here, well there are two, cutting the hay and building a clay/brick oven. Both are dependent on the ever reliable British weather. The hay has to come first, its rained heavily today, but the forecast is good into next week. The plan is to make a start tomorrow, providing it drys out enough to cut. Finger crossed. unlike most farmers, we’re cutting out Hay by hand, it barely an acre, but still takes a lot of doing 🙂
A local farmer is donating some bricks for the oven in exchange for a few Hubbards and some duck eggs. There’s little (if any) money being a smallholder, but you can barter your produce for what you need. I find this makes it all the more enjoyable and satisfying. Hopefully in July’s post we’ll have a pic of the oven to share with you all.
Finally, it time for some more pork, the freezer is running very low indeed. We’re trying a smaller/private abattoir this time, purely for the assurance we will get what we want. The main stream abattoir is very good and I have no qualms with them. We are not sending them all off, I’m keeping a couple for breeding our own pigs. No bore will be involved, we’re having a go with AI, this won’t be until November time when they are old enough, but I’ve started to track their cycles so I can know when the time is right 🙂