Farming Friends Website Having A Makeover

Dear Farming Friends visitor or regular reader.

Thank you for visiting farmingfriends. I hope that you have found the information that you are looking for. Please leave a comment if there is something specific you want to find information on.

Unfortunately on Thursday 9th January due to a mistake by our hosting company, the farmingfriends website and forum and all the backup data was deleted.

Fortunately I have been able to retrieve  the data and I am currently rebuilding the website.

I have decided to make this a positive and give the farmingfriends website a Spring clean and a makeover.

You may find a post without photographs or links that are not working. This is my next job, to input my images and check all the links, so please bear with me.

To all my visitors, readers and customers, thank you for your support at this time.

The farmingfriends forum is now back up and running. I have added all the questions and comments that I have been able to retrieve. I am afraid that if you were a registered member , your username and password has been lost and you will have to register again. I am sorry for the inconvenience and hope to see you at the forum soon as I very much appreciate all the contributions that have been made to the forum. You can go to the forum by clicking on this forum link.

Please note that the farmingfriends website and forum will be having a makeover in the next few weeks so don’t worry if you arrive here or on the forum and the page looks different as I will be trying out different themes until I find a suitable template.

I am sorry for the inconvenience and hope to see you back at farmingfriends and the farmingfriends forum soon.

Kind regards

Acorns – Green Thumb Sunday

I love this Autumnal photograph of the acorn.

An Acorn

An acorn is the fruit of an oak tree.

The oak tree is one of my favourite trees. What is your favourite tree?

Green Thumb Sunday Logo


Gardeners, Plant and Nature lovers can join in every Sunday, visit As The Garden Grows for more information.

Apple Jelly

Yesterday I made apple jelly for the first time. I have only made jam once and thatb was not successful!

I am pleased tol say that the apple jelly was very successful and Steve said it is, “Wonderful.” Praise indeed!

Apple Jelly Recipe


  • 4lb cooking apples – diced but not peeled or cored.
  • 2 pints of water.
  • 1 lb of sugar per 1 pint of juice.


  1. Do not peel or core the apple, just dice them up.
  2. Put the apples into a pan with the water.
  3. Cover the pan and simmer gently until the apples have broken down to a smooth puree.
  4. Sieve the puree through a jelly bag.
  5. Measure the juice and add 1 lb of sugar per 1 pint of juice.
  6. Heat the juice and then add the sugar stirring so that the sugar can dissolve without forming lumps.
  7. Bring the juice to the boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
  8. Pour into sterilised jars.

This recipe made the equivalent of about 5 ordinary jars of jelly.

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Cattle News

The Cattle

On Wednesday the cattle that have spent the Summer at the Ings were moved back to our farm.

Injured Calf Standing

The day was spent moving the cattle in the livestock trailer into our back field. The grass has grown in the back field since the calves from last season were brought in for the Winter so the cows and this years calves have some grass to graze on.

The injured calf is now limping about the field and sucking from his mother which is great news.

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Photo Hunt : Theme Pink

The photo hunt theme for this week is pink which was potentially a difficult one for a farming website. However the well known sayings, “red sky at night, shepherd’s delight” and “red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning” reminded me that I had some farming landscape photographs with pink skies.

Farming landscape with pink sky.Farming landscape with pink sky.Farming landscape with pink sky.





If you would like to join Photo Hunters then click on the image below for more information.

Photo Hunters




Halloween Sweet Treat

Halloween Sweet Treat Award

I am thrilled to receive this fun Halloween Sweet Treat award from one of my photo hunt pals, TeacherJulie, who regularly visits and comments on my photo hunt posts.

A great halloween treat are toffee apples and as I have an abundance of apples from my orchard I am going to make toffee apples to give out to the trick or treaters who call at my door.

I would like to share this Halloween Sweet Treat Award with the following;

SI from Sunk Island

Fiona from The Cottage Smallholder

Lorna from Family Natters

Louise from This Is My Patch

Maiylah from Picture Clusters

This award was created by Anni.


Toffee Apples

I have never made toffee apples but as I have an abundance of apples from the orchard, I thought toffee apples would make a good treat for the trick or treaters that will call by on halloween night.

Toffee Apple Recipe


  • 6 small eating apples.
  • 100g/4oz butter.
  • 225g/8oz granulated sugar
  • 225g/8oz golden syrup.
  • 6 wooden lolly sticks.


  1. Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a pan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolves.
  2. Boil steadily until the toffee cracks.
  3. Wash the apples and wipe dry.
  4. Insert the wooden lolly stick into the base of the apple.
  5. Dip the apples into the toffee and leave the toffee to harden by placing on a baking try lined with greaseproof paper.

I’ll let you know how the recipe goes both with me, the cook and the trick or treaters!

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My Gilts Before Farrowing

My gilts (Cagney and Lacy) are pregnant and likely to farrow in the next week or two so I am busy preparing for not one but two births and two sets of piglets. (Aaahhh!!!)

Gilts Sleeping Next To Each Other In Barn

Gilts Sleeping Next To Each Other In Barn

Things to do before the gilts farrow;

  • Separate the gilts.
  • Make sure the farrowing crates are suitable for the gilts.
  • Get the gilts used to the farrowing crates.
  • Give a dose of wormer to each gilt in the form of an injection.
  • Wash the gilts teats and tummy area.
  • Buy more pig troughs and feeders so that each gilt and set of piglets have access to food and drink.
  • Disinfect the pig stye area.
  • Create two pig styes.
  • Set up pig lamps for the piglets.

I think that’s all I need to do for the time being (thank goodness)! Watch this space for more news from the pig stye.

Just to let you know that I have set up a free forum with a section on pigs where you can ask questions. Farming Friends Pig Forum

An excellent book which I found very useful when I was starting out with pigs. Click on the image below to visit to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Coccidiosis In Chickens

What Is Coccidiosis?

  • Coccidiosis is a common parasitic disease of poultry which affects the digestive tract and is primarily found in chickens and turkeys.


  • Ruffled feathers.
  • Unthriftiness.
  • Head drawn back into shoulders.
  • A chilled appearance.
  • Diarrhea which may have blood in it.
  • If not treated can lead to mortality.


  • Coccidiosis is caused by a protozoan parasite (coccidia).
  • Poultry are exposed to the protozoan parasite via their droppings, dirty drinkers and damp litter in their huts.
  • Coccidia thrives in damp conditions such as damp chicken litter and is found in chicken manure.
  • Coccidia can also be found in water that is not kept clean and free of chicken droppings.


  • Separate affected poultry and use medicated feed and water.
  • Use of coccidiostats.


  • Keeping poultry on a wire floor where their droppings can fall through.
  • Feeding coccidiostats in the growing diet can help the poultry to build up an immunity to coccidiosis.
  • Vaccinate against coccidiosis.

If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.

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Visit Wells Poultry For All Your Poultry Equipment & Housing

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Comments received

  1. Do the chickens recover if it is discovered quickly enough, with proper treatment? This was a sad post….I always thought it would be fun to raise chickens, but now I would wonder if I could handle it.

    Comment by Julie – October 25, 2007 @ 12:54 am

  2. Hi Julie,
    Yes the chickens can recover if it is detected quickly enough. I hope that this has not put you off. I have only had two guinea fowl adults die of what I suspect was coccidiosis out of about 60. I just wanted to make chicken keepers aware of this disease. The reasons for keeping chickens and the fun and joy they bring certainly out weigh the sadness. It is sad when one of my poultry dies but then I remember that they have had a good life free ranging on the farm.
    Thanks for your interesting comment and for visiting.
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – October 25, 2007 @ 1:48 am

  3. Does this mean that your chickens are sick?
    I hope not.
    Good information though.

    Comment by chigiy – October 25, 2007 @ 3:12 am

  4. Hi Chigiy,
    Thanks for your concern. I am pleased to say that all my poultry are doing well. I currently have 39 birds to keep me busy. Although I have been rearing guinea fowl for 3 years now, it is still good to remind yourself of the signs of illness to look out for. I am always checking to make sure Hatty the hen is doing ok and if she looks out of sorts the first thing I do when I get back to the house is grab the poultry manual! Thankfully all are well.
    Thanks for your lovely comment and visit. Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – October 25, 2007 @ 5:53 am

  5. I have a hen which died, she had pinkish tint things in her droppings that looked like brain material, a spongy typpe substance, cone appeared bluish, Im treating hens now for coccidosis,but my question,my oldest hen died, now 2nd oldest sick, I am reading coocidiosis mainly effects younger hens, ,thanks debbieComment by debbie – July 12, 2008 @ 7:08 pm
  6. I found a reference that said they used to use milk (cow or goat) to treat coccidiosis ( So I tried it – giving milk to drink and putting it in their food. Within 2 days, our japanese bantam had recovered significantly and has continued improving. This was a relief because if you use the sulphur based medication, you can’t eat the eggs. I hope this helps, Shaun.Comment by Shaun – October 5, 2008 @ 2:40 am
  7. Hi Shaun,
    Thank you so much for this tip about using milk to treat coccidiosis. I will find this very useful as will my readers.
    Just to let you know that I have recently set up a forum which is free to join
    with categories about chickens, guinea fowl, ducks and quail which you may find interesting.
    Thanks again.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – October 5, 2008 @ 10:41 am

  8. why do chickens get coccidiosisComment by danielle – October 23, 2008 @ 10:33 pm
  9. Hi Danielle,
    Chickens get coccidiosis when they ingest the oocysts (a capsule with a thick wall protecting the parasite) that are in the droppings of infected birds. As chickens pick food from the ground they can often pick at the droppings in the litter. Oocysts can also be spread by wild birds, shoes, dust and insects, so it is not just the conditions that the chickens live in that causes the coccidia to be present.
    Coccidiosis usually affects younger birds because older birds build up an immunity to the disease once they have been exposed to it. Older chickens can be affected if they have not been exposed to coccidiosis.
    I have been told that giving milk to birds that have early signs of coccidiosis will help the birds but the birds can be treated with medication from a vet.
    I hope this information helps.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – October 26, 2008 @ 10:24 am

  10. Just had my favourite bird die of it and not wanting it to spread among the flock.
    I am now using wood shavings instead of straw beding to make it easier to clean out and hopefully stop the litter being wet on the floor.
    Have read that vinegar in the water helps prevent it, has anyone any experience with this?
    I read to use cider vinegar however people I know swear by ordinary vinegar to de-worm so maybe this would help against coccidiosis also?

    Comment by abi – November 3, 2008 @ 4:54 pm

  11. Hi Abi,
    I am sorry to hear about your favourite bird. I have also heard that vinegar can help. I have just googled about it and found this site that sells apple cider vinegar for poultry @ £7.99 for 2.5litres.
    It seems that lots of people on the web use apple cider vinegar for their poultry and game birds. They put one tablespoon per gallon of water. I have read that you need to use real apple cider vinegar.

    Hope that helps.

    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – November 3, 2008 @ 7:35 pm

Farming Songs

I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of farming songs both old and new.

  • The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key) – The Wurzels.
  • Thirty Years Of Farming – James King.
  • Daddy Won’t Sell The Farm – Montgomery Gentry.
  • We plough the fields and scatter – A Hymn.
  • Old MacDonald Had A Farm – A Nursery Rhyme.
  • Farm on the freeway – Jethro Tull.
  • Farm Aid Song – Neil Young.
  • Maggies Farm – Bob Dylan.

This is only a starting point – if you have a favourite farming song that you would like adding to the list then please leave a comment.