Friday 1 September 2023
Wednesday 19 July 2023
I have four crias. The first three are female, so their names are Not On Your Nelly, Flaming Nora, and Sweet Fanny Adams:
The fourth is a boy, so his name is Gordon Bennett:
For unknown reasons, he doesn't seem to be able to get enough milk from his mother, so he comes over for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Saturday 24 June 2023
Saturday 3 June 2023
I have some yellow-shoulder heritage turkey poults for sale. The yellow-shoulder colour morph (sometimes called calico or tricolour) wasn't available in the UK so it became a pet genetics project of mine, and after managing to breed them consistently for a couple of years I've decided to make them available to other breeders who want to enjoy them. I also possibly have a few of the 'pavement pastel' version with the blue gene. Please see the page on the website under 'smallholding' for more information.
Thursday 8 December 2022
One of the challenges of breeding dogs and ending up with seven of them when most people would normally choose to have one or two is organising individual time with each dog. When it's possible, I like to take out a daughter with her mother alone. The younger bitch I find learns a lot from having time with her mother as well as me, and their interactions together are different than how they behave with other dogs. Not that I think animals and their behaviour should ever be romanticised or anthropormorphised as they are quite interesting and lovable enough just as they are.
Wednesday 10 August 2022
Edit: this puppy has now found his family.
As a result of a cancellation, I have one brown poodle boy available to a suitable loving person/family. Please see 2022 litter 'Sausage Party' under the poodles section of the site or contact me if you would like more information or to come and meet him and his parents, two grandmas, a grandad, a half-aunt, and a second-cousin-once-removed and ask any questions. He would enjoy doing a sport with his person but would also fit in well with an active family or couple.
Sunday 5 June 2022
Last year, I decided to seed some new grazing areas with diverse forage species, to benefit both my stock and the environment. The areas we established were of two different types: land that had been used for arable pretty much for living memory, and land disturbed by groundworks that had to be reseeded. The establishment and species balance has developed rather differently in each environment, even though the seed mix used was identical.
This is an area that previously had been taken up by a Nissen hut that had reached the end of its life and an ancient summer house that had collapsed. The buildings had over time become engulfed in the hedge and a stand of fruit trees that had self-seeded there, and the area surrounding them was covered with rubbish. The rubbish, the buildings, and the concrete slab they stood on were removed. The hedge was cut back and the fruit trees were pruned and the dead and damaged trees removed for firewood. The soil in the area was high in organic matter from the buildup of dead leaves and plant matter over the decades, so it was spread out evenly and seeded.
Here, chicory is the dominant plant, and has produced a dense stand of flower stems which attracts flocks of goldfinches. Part of the plans for this paddock were to use it to put alpaca mothers with young crias as it's easy to keep an eye on them there, but it's so overgrown at the moment that the crias would probably get lost. The sweet clover (the yellow-flowered thing) seems to like it here too.
My Sewer Runneth Over
This is a paddock reclaimed from an area that has been depleted by arable farming over many years. The soil is clayey brash that seems to contain little organic matter. The paddock was seeded with grass a few years ago, which performed poorly, with the exception of one small area that many years ago, a malfunctioning sewer used to regularly flood. Last year it was overseeded with the same seeds used elsewhere. The seeds established well considering they were broadcast on the existing sward just before heavy rain was due. Here, legumes dominate, with sainfoin and clovers beginning to bloom. There is very little chicory.
This ground is pretty much identical to the sewer paddock, which it lies next to. In addition to the same seed mix used in the other areas, wildflower seeds were scattered, and some of these are flowering. Wildflower meadows are not supposed to be grazed or cut during the spring and early summer, and the sainfoin and birdsfoot trefoil are doing well here.