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Shane & Emma's Smallholding



April Update

Hi to you all, we think we have been somewhat remiss with our smallholding updates, so we thought it was about time for one.

The last update was during that very nice spell of weather just before Christmas....so we'll start just after that. 

As you are aware we raised a number of Turkeys for Christmas, some of you were lucky enough to have one for your yuletide dinner so you'll know how fantastic they tasted, the rest of you will just have to take our word for it....bloody marvellous! 

The next big event on the smallholding was the arrival of our first ever litter of piglets.  When I checked on the sow at 16:30 she had given birth to two piglets....That's when I decided to bring into practice all that I had read and been told leading up to the birth, which translates into running around like a hapless expectant father. Thankfully the sow was very patient with me and carried on popping out piglet until all 10 had been born, she finished around 19:30.

The pigs stayed in their hut (farrowing unit) for 10 days feeding almost constantly.... much to the frustration of Willow who could hear them but not see them!

It wasn't long before the piglets were out and Willow had a whole new group of friends to play with.

Unfortunately this is the closest we are allowed to let Willow to the pigs because of regulations....much to her disappointment!

The pigs are now 11 weeks old and four have found new homes, two little piggies have gone to a farmer friend for the wedding feast and two have stayed almost at home and are living at our neighbours! (beats going to market!)  The others are being fattened for early July.

Here's what 11 weeks of free range natural living does for piggies.

Sure I've mentioned this before, last year I took some lessons in bee keeping with a local beekeeper in readiness for getting bees and a hive this summer, due to Emma's insistence that we have no stinging buzzing things near the house, the hive will go at the far end of the field. 

To accommodate all of the bee keeping paraphernalia I needed to build a shed...yes build not buy. 

Then we had the small task of getting it from the work shop to the end of the field!

Oh yes, this was as much fun as it looks!!

We sectioned off our Goldlace chickens earlier this year so we could collect the fertilised eggs.

Our next door neighbour has a number of bantam (miniature breed of chickens) hens who have a remarkable ability to escape any type of pen to strut their stuff with our Orpington's.

Well one of the little hens decided that she was going to go broody and commandeered one of the nest boxes, so we placed 7 Goldlace eggs under her and 21 day's later we had these little fella's.

You may remember that we bought a few Indian Runner ducks when we purchased the Turkey's (Mmmm Turkey) last year, they too are laying fertilised eggs and these are the first arrivals.

Those of you who know us well....especially Emma will be surprised that she has taken up horse riding (I believe the technical term is gee gee riding) lessons.

It's not all work you know!!!!

Well I think that's it for now....speak soon




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