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Shane & Emma's Smallholding



June Update

Good morning all,

                I hope this e-mail finds you in good health, how are things? What's new at Abbey? I heard that they cut the workload of all staff by half, increased both the lunch breaks and salaries for everyone and changed the working hours to 10am to 4pm. No....my mistake, well this might cheer you up. Porcine update number two.

Well, as you can see the little piggies are no longer little (they are around 60 kilos, only 30 more to go) and their nice pasture is more like a war zone....Oh well, it'll make a great veggie patch with all of that ploughing and fertilisation.

I have had to update the living quarters with a proper pig ark, as they have grown so quickly, although the higher ranking pigs (some are more equal that others don't you know) still lounge around in the one I built when they arrived.

126 and 127 (ear tag numbers) are the two gilts we are keeping to breed from (calm down Mr McPheat I already have a stud lined up). However, now we know they are staying we are thinking of naming them....All suggestions welcome however we will not be considering the likes of Pork Chop, BBQ or Rasher!

These are the Goldlace chicks at around 10 weeks, the markings are now much more noticeable.

You may be pleased to know that our cockerel "Jaffa" doesn't live up to his name as we have eight chicks (5 weeks old) all Buff Orpington's (Sonya – the one by the gate is Glynis).

I have just acquired a rotovator and ride on lawnmower from a neighbour both of which are older than me! But work well. So at present I'm either cutting grass (Watch out Del I'm practicing my putting skills) or churning up great big strips of land....not for planting you understand....it's just great fun. However we do now have a large fruit garden and veggie patch but I'm itching to churn up more....any ideas for an excuse?

Last year we seeded the land with pasture with the plan of having some grazing animals, well the funny thing with pasture....it grows and when you don't have any grazing animal on it grows some more!. The local farmer is going to cut and bail it for me and for the local equine centre for winter feed.

This has forced Em and I to decide on getting some animals to eat the stuff as it grows, we have considered the options: horses, cows, alpacas, llamas, goats and sheep but as neither of us ride the horse is out, I don't knit so Llamas and Alpacas are also not in the frame. Goats and Cows are too hard to contain in one area (well....we are talking about my fence making skills), so sheep became the obvious choice.

The plan is to have 3 or 4 lambs for ourselves that we will fatten over the summer months, these are coming from the local rare breed farm (although I'm not sure which breed we are going to get). These will then be re-homed into the freezer come autumn for our eating enjoyment.

The land we have will cater for around 8 to 10 lambs so if anyone is interested in some rare breed free ranged lamb let me know and I will put some details together.

Time to go....I've got land to rotovate!

Speak soon


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