Monthly Archives: February 2011

Growing a crop for animal feed

Have done some research about what good crops to grow for animal feed are and quinoa seems to be a good one for this climate. It seems to be easy to grow and is resistant to pests as it has a coating on it that birds and other animals don’t like. You can get rid of this when you want to feed it to your animals (or yourself) by soaking it overnight. It grows to around 6 foot and is quite pretty and it als self seeds which could be handy. We are thinking we may be able to underplant it with a beet of some sort which would also be useful for feeding to the bunnies or sheep. At the moment we’re thinking that a line down the side of the camping patch would be easy to achieve as we’ve had black plastic down which has killed the grass. we can till that into a thin seed bed. The other advantage of Quinoa is that it has edible leaves a bit like spinach, useful for us and the bunnies. We may think about this as a shelter crop for this year instead of using hedges.

http://www.realseeds.co.uk/grains.html

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Spring formation

We gave moved everything again today to try to keep the ground from getting too poached. Ducks and chickens and geese are now on the camping zone. Sheep and (sex pest) Indian Runner ducks are now on the top of the pasture with the catch pen. This formation continues to rest the under tree area and now rests the main pasture. The sheep are now inside an electric netting perimiter to protect the lambs from preditors when the time comes. They won’t be moved until way after lambing now. The birds will go under the tree as soon as the ground looks ready.


Foraging in the family

My mum just sent me this great little clip of my Nan and Grandad on holiday in the forties. Looks like foraging has always been in my family. or maybe it was in everyones, we’ve just forgotten how to do it.


New Theme

We are trying to tie our blog theme together with a few other bits and pieces of printed material. So the header here fits in better. Any feedback from our regular readers would be appreciated.


Sheep Ear Tags

Having navigated the extremely complicated new legislation about ear tags for our lambs (hopefully to be born in April), we have discovered the following article. http://www.farmersguardian.com/news/livestock/the-complete-guide-to-the-uks-eid-rules/28517.article

This states that lambs to be slaughtered before 12 months of age don’t need electronic tags and only need to carry an ear tag with the flock number on it.

So we are going to go for this product.

http://www.thetags4u.com/gb/product.php?productid=16284&cat=283&page=1


First Bunny mating of 2011

We just checked our mating schedule to see whats’ what, and realised we were supposed to be mating our bunnies right now. So we popped outside and moved Flo into Mac’s run. He thought it was his birthday and has spent the last 20 mins following her around feverishly. We are hoping they will mate in the next few day and we can stick to our original plans.

We got our third Muscovy egg today, so they really have started laying. We will be attempting to get Virginia to sit from mid March to enable plenty of spring pasture to raise the ducklings in.


Spring 2011

Well it’s almost here. It’s now just about light if we rush out of work by 4.30 and get home by 5. It’s light in the mornings from 7am which really helps. Still had a little frost last week, so I mustn’t get too carried away.

The planting year had begun again, we are forcing some Rhubarb already and chitting potatoes.

One of the ducks layed an egg today. The first one of the season, this is great except I can’t tell if it is a Muscovy egg or a runner, it looks a bit small to be a Muscov, but they might just be warming up. Our runner drake is ‘bothering’ our Muscovy girls which could be a disaster for our meat futures, we don’t want skinny cross breeds. We may have to pen them seperately once we start collecting eggs for hatching.

I can’t wait to get outside a bit more. Life at the moment is too much about keyboard tapping work and not enough about mud and food.