Adapting routines and a little business venture

Thank you to everyone who is commenting. I read every comment and will reply in due course. For now, I’ve a load of blog posts filling my head that I just need to get out there!! Here we go:

In addition to the quail expansion, we have lots of other ideas and rods in the fire.

We’ve taken on more laying hens, so we have 31 now and another 15 or so coming in 5 weeks time.  The idea of doing this is to provide ourselves with all of the eggs we could ever need and with a view to selling the surplus.  
There’s your basic brown hen and white leghorns here, very prolific layers though the white ones are extremely skittish and flighty.
Below are the eggs starting to build up, we’re averaging 20 a day right now and every one is spoken for the day or day after it is laid.
Our duck total is currently 4 Aylesbury, which we bought as 3 girls and a boy and since have proven the fertility of the eggs to only be low but still a reasonable amount.  We have put 19 in the incubator and will check for fertility again in a few days to only keep the good ones.  The plan for ducks is to grow some on for meat as we like duck, to sell them to friends as meat but then we would also like to become a local supplier of the breed as they are like hen’s teeth around here.  We will also sell the fertile eggs once fertility is up and also sell the duckings and adults.
At the end of February I received an early Mother’s Day gift which was just lovely.  Ste and the kids bought me 10 chicks from Durham hens.  I was sooo happy to get these, look!
There’s 8 Lavender Araucana and 2 Cream Legbars.  The first you can’t sex at birth but the legbars you can (from colourings).  Both of these hens lay blue-green eggs which is exactly why I wanted them as my own special addition.  We are going to breed these beautiful rare breeds too, which we hope will be the first of many to add to building up this little business.

Now taking all of this on whilst having a family, working full time, running a home and smallholding etc etc isn’t something that you can do without planning.  It means you have to adapt, change your routine, plan, review and do it all again if needs be.  Something that we are getting so much better at is doing this.  It’s no longer a shock to the system, which when you first set out it can be.  It’s planned in, dished out and gotten on with.

Every morning Rodney and I feed the horses, exercise (myself) and he sits and looks like he is training with me, I open up outside pens and feed the animals, starting at one end and systematically working to the other end.  Daily the horses stables are tended to morning and evening.  On a weekend I clean out what poultry houses need to be changed over.  The kids and Ste take turns with this but all have their own jobs too.  
I mean, do you even lift bro?
My barrow on our cleaning travels
However, now we’re getting more poultry we need to adapt.  What needed now is a daily spot clean of the poultry houses as this stops the hens and eggs becoming dirty and makes the weekend cleans fewer.  Once done, with a small bucket of chicken poop, I will head over to the compost bin and add it to it, along with any veg peelings and so on.  The horses muck goes to another pile as there’s SO much of it.  We also sell that to local allotments as we don’t use chemicals or straw and they can’t get enough of it.  It really is good sh1t!  We bag it up for them but currently don’ t have enough bags!  We reuse as much as possible to avoid increased plastic use.

We have another big change just happened too, more soon, which means even more adapting and changes which are all for the greater good and fantastically exciting.
Just as a side note, we did buy an incubator out of our savings to help up on our way with this.  It was a budget version and you may get what you pay for, however we will write a review once we have data to review.  In the mean time, this is it for anyone that is interested:

Take care everyone.

8 thoughts on “Adapting routines and a little business venture

  1. Wow, there is no stopping you superwoman. So pleased for you all. Wish I could indulge but no way at the moment. One day though. Do the Quail arrive this weekend? You can pickle their eggs too for the pantry shelf. I still want my bees. Have had all the training just cannot keep them here because of the neighbour! OH is considering retiring soon (he is a little older than me by 4 years) and is talking of us doing more travelling around the country. The preserving side of me is quite excited at this prospect as it will mean that I will possibly be able to pick up produce around the country that I cannot normally access I am thinking wild larder in particular here. I like travelling and seeing new places too. Good luck to you sweetheart you have totally earned it. Tricia x


  2. I would love to hatch chicks but I have absolutely nowhere to keep them here while they need heat. I can cope with the chicks once they are off heat. I will be watching for photos please.


  3. ah haaaa found you again! Anyways I had another thought. Are you allowed to sell the litter from the chickens? I am thinking of getting 4 chickens to help me in the garden. My soil is absolutely terrible and I have been reading a lot about adding back to the garden from chicken waste. I am wondering if there is a market for you to sell it. Like you can horse manure.. Glad to have found you again


  4. Aww what a lovely comment Tricia, thank you. Yes, quail are here and a blog to follow very soon 😀 They are funny little things. We have only 2 eggs so far, I think just 1 is laying as was over 2 days and they're apparently just getting in to laying age. How exciting on the wild larder thoughts! Thank you xx


  5. How funny – I was just thinking about you the other day when looking back through our blog for something. Now you're talking – we hadn't thought about selling the chicken muck – it'd be a lot easier to carry than the horse muck. Thank you for that! I would definitely recommend getting chickens, added bonus of fertilising soil 🙂 Thanks for joining us again and look forward to your comments.


  6. Eeeek, all s very exciting chic! We had some Leghorns and we found them a little skittish. They were the ones taken by the fox 2 Boxing Days ago. You are totes amaze balls with all you manage to do as well as working. You inspire me at the same time as making me think I am sooooo lazy. Looking forward to seeing the developments with the quail and your birds being reared.x


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