April 2018 Farm Round Up


Phew – at last, winter seems to have left us!  The Beast from the East was followed by a mini-heatwave – one week I was breaking ice on water troughs, the following week I was tipping bucket after bucket of water into wallows for the pigs to cool down.

Fun Fact:  pigs can’t sweat so need wallows to keep cool in hot weather.  And they are still all sporting their winter coats so they really needed those wallows 🙂  Quick video opportunity of our lovely curly coated Mangalitzas – before and after the wallowing!!  Sorry the end of the video is so short but I was keen to get out of the paddock before they came over for a scratch.

Some new arrivals on the farm this month – 9 lively Oxford Sandy & Black piglets are now running riot around their starter paddock – they’ve learned what an electric fence is and are almost ready to move out to one of the bigger fields.  The grass is growing so fast now that you can almost see it 🙂  The combination of sun and rain through the month is the perfect combination and the difference in the past couple of weeks has been remarkable – in a GOOD way!  It seemed like a very long winter this year.

We’ve launched the first event of the season – the Slow Pig Sunday on June 3rd – an annual event that gives everyone a chance to visit the farm, find out more about the pigs and then relax over a delicious pork supper.  Tickets are just £15 each – find out more here, or click HERE to buy tickets.

Even the Guinea Fowl are happy that the sun has arrived – a rather messy video of them having a  dust bath in the sunshine.  And they have started laying again which is always a very welcome event.  Their eggs are small with incredibly hard shells but with stunningly bright yolks – delicious.  We’ve also collected some for hatching – the incubator is full and we are awaiting the patter of tiny feet with excitement.  However many batches of eggs we hatch, it never ceases to amaze …. due date is 24th/25th May – watch FaceBook for updates!

The Rare Breed Survival Trust had some coverage in the newspapers when they published their annual report of the state of the rare breed farm animals in the UK – not very positive reading at all – a few bright spots, but many areas of concern.  Use them or lose them is the message – if we can’t find a way to encourage farmers to keep and rear these animals, they will die out and be lost forever.  Find out more here.

And one of my personal hot-topics is in the news again – Labelling.  It drives me nuts.  How on earth is the consumer supposed to decipher the labels in supermarkets which, frankly, are designed to mislead … to make the consumer think better of the product than is really the case?  The name in the spotlight right now is the Red Tractor rating – read about it here and see what you think.

Holiday Cottage:  a haven of luxury

The offer still stands – 10% discount available to readers of this newsletter for stays during May and June – check out availability here, then get in touch!

And last but not least, we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of the arrival on the farm of Pheby – the whirlwind that is our German Shorthaired Pointer.  She hasn’t lost any of her puppy enthusiasm or bounce and has acquired a little obedience along the way – hopefully with more to come – but is the most delightful, affectionate dog – the house would be empty without her.