Picture updates

We have had a brilliant last week which I haven’t had time to post about so for tonight I will just post pictures showing what we’ve been up to. This includes a very successful and happy party, 3 night UK break, veg plot and greenhouse updates and our first chicken ready for the table. I’ll go in to more detail over the next few days. However for tonight I’m chilling and enjoying my time off. Bliss.

Rhubarb and ginger jam

I am rather impressed with myself tonight. I have made rhubarb and ginger jam using our veg plot rhubarb and a jam making pan that I bought years ago but never got round to using. The pan was made for the Aga I am sure and I thoroughly enjoyed making it. I found it really relaxing and the smells were divine. Tomorrow I shall have some with breakfast and hope it tastes as good as I am expecting. Another rung on the self sufficient ladder, or at least a baby step in the right direction. This will last us right through the year although if it’s nice I may give some of the kilner jar smaller ones in hampers for Christmas.

The weather here is being enoyed by the ducks and the fields! So much so that the ducklings decided to hatch and we have at least 2 but will leave Mam to do her thing and check tomorrow if we can. What a fabulously ‘smallholding like’ evening.

Quackers, hens and Big Red.

Meet our latest additions. Our gorgeous girls and a boy, ducks. We know very little about them to be fair but they will hopefully have a happy life with us and in return we might get the odd duck egg or two. We better! Ste made the duck house from wood we found lying around and bits we had to buy. I am seriously impressed with it.
Also we have our new girls who are rescue hens. 12 of them believed to be around 18 months old who first saw daylight the day we picked them up. At 18 months they are deemed past their working life by the big production  companies and were on their way to slaughter. So hopefully these 12 will have happy lives with us too. These girls are being kept separately from the original flock and will only be kept for their eggs, not for meat. We have had 11 of 12 eggs today.
Another addition was Big Red, our new cockrel. He is stunning tho isn’t used to going away on a night so that left Ste and I changing him round with a make shift net tonight and I can honestly say I haven’t seen anything funnier this year!
Finally we have 6 chicks that hatched overnight and during today too and we hope to get more tonight.
What a fantastic weekend.

Homemade egg holder

Tonight, DH has designed and created a fantastic egg holder for the kitchen.  It fits perfectly in the kitchen window and looks the business.  He used a piece of wood we found at the back of the barn that the previous owners had left.  I love it!  We’re hoping to have it stocked up pretty soon with fresh eggs! 

We are rehoming some ex battery hens on 2nd April and fingers crossed they will be laying for us.

Lots of little updates…the best kind

We now have 9 chicks with the last one being hatched today which is day 24. They are all gorgeous and seem to be thriving well. My handy husband has made them a bigger brooder ready for when they are too big for their current cardboard box. The new one is fully collapsable and can be stores flat if required. I did remind him I intend on having all kind of chicks in there for the coming few months so it’ll be staying put for a while.
Lovely and clean
Brooder # 1
Brooder # 2
One hour or so later!

Today 🙂

Today I have applied for a cph number as we’re hoping to get some pigs in the next month or two and this is something we must have before we can buy them. They said we should have it within the next 15 days. That fits in well time wise. 
There’s no sign of any geese eggs yet but a couple of friendly bloggers have said it’ll probably be March time before we can get any. I’ve also checked for a nest and not noticed anything yet. They have started taking themselves to bed on a night though so that’s a nice step forward.
The geese having a nosey at what seeds I am planting in the greenhouse
Follow the leader
The hens are doing well and the eggs are intermittent. Some days we get 3 and others 2 but that’s fine by me for now. They are young girls after all though maybe some would say that means they should be producing daily.  They are starting to follow the older girls and getting closer to my daughter, occasionally getting close enough to eat from her hand.
Loving our hens
We have also managed to move a ginormous water container in to place to harvest rain water. That will be used to water the plants and for the geese to wash in etc. I’m not sure if it will be OK for the geese and hens to drink so I will look in to that.
The first water container in place.  2nd one behind it ready to be installed.
Seedlings wise I have planted a few more tomatoes as I’m trying to do them staggered over a few weeks. The first lot I sowed are looking strong which I am really pleased with as I thought they might die.
I’ve set myself a challenge if only shopping every 2 weeks for food and the first delivery is on Friday.  I’m going to update the menu plan page for those interested. The budget is £350 a month for all groceries Inc meat and toiletries. That’s to feed these monsters :).
Our gorgeous daughter and her chick
My amazing som with his little chick
The mood last night – stunning
The moon tonight – again, stunning.