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June 2020 Farm Round Up

avebury

Lockdown continues and it is amazing how quickly we all adapt!  The holiday cottage remains empty which is very weird at what is usually our busiest time of year but, with the ‘R’ number continuing to improve, we are planning on being open again on July 4th.  So, if you haven’t visited and are looking for a change of scene, come and see us – link here – I can’t guarantee the weather will be perfect, but one thing is for sure, you will get peace and quiet … I fear the coasts and cities will suddenly be very crowded again as soon as the lockdown restrictions are eased!

With the weaners off to their new homes last month, it has been a little quieter on the pig front this month – we’ve moved a few around to give them fresh paddocks and made sure all of them have access to a wallow.  Pigs don’t sweat so they need to be able to dunk themselves in mud to help them control their temperatures on hot days.  However, given that many of them wallow on cooler days too, I think they just enjoy it!  Our job is to keep the water levels topped up – the digging is down to them!  They are all starting to shed their winter coats – particularly noticeable on the Mangalitzas who go from long shaggy curls to a fine, short coat.  The moulting process is not pretty, they all look pretty scruffy, frankly!

The restaurants we normally supply remain closed so again, many thanks to our private customers who have stepped up their orders and are keeping us going!  Lots of lovely compliments coming back on the quality of the meat which is always good to hear, and even happy chefs posting their dishes on Facebook!  

Bird-life on the farm is active – the swallows nesting under the archway outside our bedroom have been working hard feeding their brood – 4 of them we think.  The parents have been kept busy – starting around 4am and going almost constantly through to dusk.

The owl-parents are busy too – lots of small rodents being delivered back to the nesting box in the field shelter – no sign of the youngsters yet but it can’t be long now ….

And last but not least, our first guinea fowl keets of the year hatched out.  It takes 26 days or so in the incubator before they emerge and however many times we do it, it still seems miraculous!  So, 11 little fluff-balls are now chirruping happily in the brooder in the barn – still with access to heat for the next few weeks – and growing fast.  A nice mix of colours it would seem – those pale ones are a first for us so looking forward to seeing how they turn out when they get their adult plumage.  

The mix of sun and rain has done wonders for the flowerbeds and everything is looking really wonderful.  Such a shame that we haven’t had a stream of visitors in the past month to appreciate how splendid it all looks.  

 

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