Just before Christmas and after my December Farm Life post, the rams were rounded up (apart from one illusive one) and brought back to the farm. Their job is done now for the year and they can happily munch grass and have a well earned rest.
As with everything at the farm, things get repurposed and the hen coop, which I closed after the last hen went, has now been transformed into a mini stable for Elsa the little white horse.
We have had the coop for seven years and, while it has been a hen house for most of that time, I do laugh at the fact that it has also been a dog kennel and now a stable.
I have been thinking a lot about poultry. I was thinking that getting more hens would just be a waste of time and I am basically buying birds to feed the fox. I can’t not get them though. A farm just isn’t a farm without some feathered friends pecking around the place.
I have three small hutch type coops that I used for the hatching chicks last year so I plan to get two or three groups of three hens to go in those and make a penned area in the front field to keep them off the vegetable patch and hopefully, be a better deterrent against Mr Fox.
I am still thinking about which breeds to get. I suppose it is like starting again. Last year I became a little obsessed with egg colour and I had some lovely blue and green egg layers. Now I can’t decide whether to go for egg colour or rare breeds or just get layers. I have a little more time to wait until spring pullets are ready.
This month, another lot of fat lambs went to market and the price was brilliant. We only have a few left now and they should be ready in the next few weeks. The difference between last year and this is remarkable. Last year we had to supplement our lambs with a lot of feed due to the lack of nutrients in the grass. This cut heavily into our profits but this year, maybe due to the wet start and the drought of 2018, we have had to buy very little feed in which is music to the farmer’s ears.
The illusive missing ram was eventually captured and reunited with his friends. The two Romney rams are the worst at rounding up. The Charolais and Texel more or less come to the bucket but the Romneys seem to like their freedom a bit more.
Maybe the biggest news in the last month is the addition of our little Jack Russell puppy. Officially named Freddy Todd by the children, he is settling in to farm life.
The farmer is not one for dog in the house and Rosie is a special exception it seems but both I and our middle child have mounted a campaign to keep Freddy Todd firmly inside. We just need to work on his toilet habits.