The chickens are laying… too well!

Unfortunately our chickens are now well up to speed with the egg laying and we’re in danger of disappearing under a pile of eggs.

In trying to deal with this glut my quiche making has improved, I’ve perfected a banana cake recipe and I’ve even had a go at making ice cream. However it’s not easy to get through 7, 8 or even 9 eggs every day!

Upto 9 eggs a day!
Upto 9 eggs a day!

We can give some to friends and neighbours but I think it might be time to look at selling the spare eggs. At least that way the chickens do something to pay for all the feed they get through!

Pig update

Now that the 3 weaners have been here a few weeks it seemed a good time to take stock of their progress so far.

For the first couple of days they weren’t too keen on eating the pig feed that was provided which was a bit worrying. However my suspicion is that after living in a stone barn for the last few weeks their new home in the woods was far too distracting.

The little “tractors” got to work almost immediately they arrived with their noses rooting under the grass and among the various tree roots.

They have now adapted well to the new surroundings and are always eager to see the “green bucket of joy” which arrives twice a day. There’s always a rush to the trough but at least there’s enough room so they don’t fight over it!

Not their best side
Not their best side

We are lucky that we have been able to get some waste fruit and vegetables from a local shop which can be used to supplement their rations. This helps to reduce the rate at which they will go through the expensive pig feed so the extra work in preparation is worth it in the long run. We must also remember to keep their fruit and veg separate as the regulations insists that pigs cannot be fed anything that has been in a kitchen or in contact with other food stuffs.

Unsurprisingly they are very fond of almost any fruit (they don’t get citrus fruit though) but they’ll also happily devour most types of root veg as well. It just needs to be chopped into bite sized pieces but it won’t be long before even that isn’t needed!


Now that they are more settled in their woodland home the task of measuring is made much simpler now they are happy to have us around.The fact that these have been named based on their appearance is proving very helpful when checking on them.

One thing I’ve noticed is that they are definitely eager to nip any stray fingers or welly boots and they have a very nasty nip. This might be simply because these are the first boys we’ve kept and they’re just a little more boisterous.

Two Legs = 75cm long and 69cm heart girth
(0.69 x 0.69) x 0.75 * 69.3 = 24.75kg

Lefty/Righty = 72cm long and 68cm heart girth
(0.68 x 0.68) x 0.72 * 69.3 = 23kg


More signs of growth

Looking back now it seems quite some time since the return of the lapwings and curlews followed around mid-April by the swallows that nest in our barn.

Seed Sowing

Now that we’ve reached the first week of May I look at the results of my early seed sowing with a slight air of disappointment. A hard lesson has been learned yet again about planting too soon.

This time around I waited a little longer before planting but didn’t make any allowance for our new location after moving much further inland and 1000ft above sea level.

I can take the blame for the timing perhaps but it’s too soon to apportion blame for the poor germination rate for seeds sown indoors. Depending on the results of the more recent sowings I’ll know soon enough whether it’s the seeds or the sower.

Fruit Trees

On the up side the 5 fruit trees (plum, pear and 3 apple) all seem to be coming to life so my first attempts at tree planting were successful. Hopefully they haven’t suffered any ill effects after spending some time in standing water due to the heavy rain over the winter.

Although the weather has been fairly mild since the start of the year we still got a frost at the start of May so it was lucky that I had a roll of horticultural fleece stashed away.

Ghosts in the garden?
Ghosts in the garden?

I have been pleasantly surprised to see the Victoria plum is already flowering very nicely – I hadn’t quite expected to see flowers so early in the year. Obviously I need to read up a bit more on all the fruit trees so I can make sure they get a good start in life in their first full year here.

Victoria plum
Victoria plum

The pear and 3 apple trees are much slower to get started but within the last few weeks all are making a start on leaf growth.

James Grieve apple
James Grieve apple