April 2017 Farm Round Up

Eggs in a Guinea Fowl Nest

April is a fun month – lots to do, the weather has not made up its mind whether it is still winter or summer, the birds are singing their hearts out – all things to make you smile.
A bit of a giggle at the beginning of the month – we participated in an April Fools’ spoof press release … see link … joking apart, I think it is a marvellous idea 🙂
The piglets that arrived courtesy of our lovely Large Black sow, Fatty, are thriving – they are now 4 weeks old and sturdy little chaps – they race around their paddock like little hooligans before collapsing, rest up and then start all over again! Mum is being very attentive and still tolerant of them – they’ve started stealing her food now, so her patience will start to fade soon. They still look so tiny next to her – this pic taken when they were about a week old!
In the meantime, up at the other end of the farm, Carlos has arrived – a Large Black boar. We try to keep any visiting boys well away from the main paddocks so that they focus on the job in hand and don’t go walkabout around the farm! He is currently courting Fatty’s sister, the imaginatively named Titch. Fingers crossed they hit it off – more piglets for the Autumn please.
We’re on piglet watch for another black pig – a Berkshire this time – Eyelashes is clearly blossoming but due date is not til 6th/7th of May so a while to go yet.
The Guinea Fowl are laying well now and, amazingly, have all decided to lay in the right place this year – it won’t last but it is wonderful, for now! Our incubator is now full – 25-26 days to hatch a Guinea Fowl – so we can restock our own flock to offset the losses to the fox over the winter. We also ship eggs far and wide for others to hatch – we have some Buttle Farm offspring up in Orkney and this year, have some hatching out in a school farm in East London. If anyone fancies trying some, let me know.
A big anniversary in April – it was Pheby the dog’s ‘Gotcha’ Day – one year ago since the mad bundle of fur bounded into our world – life has not been the same since … mostly in a good way 🙂 She’s going through her teenage phase at the moment – her perfect recall is now on an ‘if I feel like it’ basis! Haven’t lost her yet – food is her ultimate weakness and bribery still seems to be working.
The weather has been … extreme! Some days I have been wearing sunscreen to protect my winter pallor and the blossoms are bursting out on fruit trees and the hedges, and other days, we’ve had hard frosts and I have been breaking ice on water troughs – and, I can’t believe I am going to say this but, it would be great if it rained … a bit! The ground is SO dry, we actually need a few showers to get everything growing again – just a few! Towards the end of the month, we did have a bit of rain, but honestly, not enough! I know, never happy am I?