Snow December 2009

Over the past 4 days it has been snowing on and off in our region and for the past 3 days we have had a covering of snow on the ground.

This was the farmhouse and the lane to and from the village this morning.

The Farmhouse in the snow December 2009

The Farmhouse in the snow December 2009

Snow in the lane to the village December 2009

Snow in the lane to the village December 2009

Snow in the lane to the fields December 2009

Snow in the lane to the fields December 2009

So how has the snow affected the livestock on our farm? Well on Saturday the water trough to the cattle had frozen up, the locks on the poultry huts have been frozen, the lids to the poultry drinkers have frozen on.

We have had to put a couple of round bales infront of the gates into the fold yard to stop the wind and snow blowing into the fold yard. The poultry have not been out for 3 days as the guinea fowl do not like walking on snow and I don’t want to unecessarily get the ducks and hens feet chilled in the snow.

The poultry have had more straw in their huts . Egg laying has ceased in the quail hut so the temperature is really affecting the quail and infact they are huddling togther more so more straw has been placed in their hut.

How has the snow affected you and your livestock?

If you would like to catch up with the latest chat with me and the other farming friends members then you join the farmingfriends forum http://farmingfriends.com/forums/ or you can find farmingfriends on twitter http://twitter.com/farmingfriends, farmingfriends on facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/York/Farming-Friends/165905205668 Look forward to chatting with you soon.

Happy Farm Facts

I am pleased and honoured to be tagged by Julie from Succulents by J for 8 happy facts.

So here are my 8 happy farm facts:

  1. I am happy when my five beautiful white and ginger cats greet me in a morning and I am particularly happy if none of the cats are missing!
  2. I am happy when Hatty the hen looks healthy and is laying her beautiful flavoursome eggs every day.
  3. I am happy when I have found the ground nest that my guinea fowl like to lay their eggs in and I am especially happy when this nest is not in the middle of a nettle patch and the circling magpies have not taken the eggs.
  4. I am happy to have seen at first hand calves being born and it is a special moment when they stand and start to suckle.
  5. I am happy that my husband decided to allow me to have my pigs (Cagney and Lacy) and that I saw my first Saddleback piglets being born.
  6. I am happy when the eggs start to pip in the incubator and I am even happier when all the chicks have successfully hatched out.
  7. I am happy when I see the farm wildlife merrily going about their business – it is a thrill to have seen such range of animals from the barn owl, pheasant, hare, deer, toad to the snail, mole and even the fox, as long as it keeps away from my poultry!
  8. I am happy when I hear my guinea pig squeaking out as I walk on by the guinea pig hutch.

The Rules

When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you, then post the rules and list eight things that make you happy. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to eight other people.

If you would like to write eight happy thoughts then consider yourself tagged. I hope you have enjoyed my eight happy farm facts.

  1. I love your happy farm thoughts Sara, I am with you on all of them. As you already know I spent many years growing up on a farm, and I loved every minute of it, although only seen in the eyes of a child, it was much harder for my Dad, but although long hours and many sleepless nights, I am sure he loved it too. x Comment by Louise – December 19, 2007 @ 9:54 am
  2. Hi Louise,
    Thank you so much for your kind words.Living on a farm is a wonderful experience. I can highly recommend it as you do.I find it hard work too but very enjoyable. spending time with all my livestock is my favourite past-time. Thanks for visiting and commmenting as always.
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Comment by Sara @ Farming Friends – December 20, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

Seven Random Garden Facts

Last week Michelle from My Grandpa’s Garden tagged me for the seven random garden facts about me. I was very surprised and pleased that Michelle had thought of me as it was the first time that I had been tagged. I have spent the last week contemplating what random gardening facts I can share with you all so here goes.

I have decided to give you a tour of my garden stopping off at seven key features or areas of my garden – so I hope you like the tour.

1) The beautiful rose archway leads us into my garden. We inherited the rose from my husband’s Grandma who loved roses and had lots of varieties growing all over her garden which we have been lucky enough to inherit. I am not sure what variety this rose is, but what I do know is that it is very beautiful with it’s full blooms.

2) My wooden seated arch is a great place to sit both for me and the cats. On a sunny morning I can enter the garden to find up to five cats sitting on the seat basking in the early morning sun. I like to sit on the seat and watch the wildlife getting on with life around me. My clever dad made this seat, so thanks dad, I love it!

3) The wooden reindeer garden ornament resides in our orchard all year long. The reindeer was made for me by my husband as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago and is the perfect gift. As villagers walk up and down the lane they will often admire my reindeer and Stephen now has orders for more reindeers.

4) The large conifer tree stands tall and proud at the front of the house and is a magnificent tree. Unfortunately it was planted quite close to the house and the roots are too close to the pipes that run from the house to the septic tank. This beloved old tree may have to be removed at some point, but whilst it still lives in my garden I intend to admire it all I can.

5) The underground well in the garden is no longer used. We discovered it 2 years ago and found out that the person who had filled it in was my husband’s father! We think that at some point in the future we might add lights to it and cover it with reinforced glass so that it becomes a feature.

6) The memorial Christmas tree is an important feature as it evokes a number of memories. The Christmas tree itself was the first Christmas tree that Stephen and I shared during our first Christmas together. We have planted it here on the farm so that the tree lives on and the memories of that first Christmas will always be close by. It is now also a memorial tree as my two beloved cats Tigger and Go-cat are buried at the foot of the tree. When I visit the tree I can remember my two lovely happy go lucky cats that were taken from me early in their lives.

7) The final garden area I would like to share is the lit up brick path that borders the vegetable garden. My husband and dad worked hard to build the brick path and my Grandma bought me the lights so that when I make my journey to the poultry huts during the dark Winter nights I will be able to see where I am going. Thanks Gran and thanks Dad and Steve for the great path.

Well that’s the end of the tour and the seven garden facts. I hope that you have enjoyed this random tour of my garden as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.

Now it’s my turn to tag – here are the seven sites that I would like to share their seven random gardening facts;

  1. TopVeg
  2. BoggyWoggy’s Cache
  3. Me, My Life, My Garden
  4. The Cottage Smallholder
  5. Prims Place In Spring Valley
  6. Adekun’s Japan Blog
  7. Tea And Margaritas In My Garden

The Rules

Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 random facts as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 other garden blogs and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.

Today’s News From The Farm Yard

This morning the cattle were let out to grass for the day. Three of the older calves are ready to be weaned and were separated from the rest and left in the fold yard. This did not go down well with the mothers who have been balling out all day.

The cattle were not the only ones to be unsettled by the change in routine. The movement of cattle to the back fields caused havoc in the guinea fowl world as they have had the freedom of the grass fields surrounding our farm all Winter. I don’t think they were very happy about sharing.

Mid morning I went to check on the guinea fowl and found five of them down the hedgerow bordering the field where the cows were grazing. Charlie the oldest male guinea fowl was keeping a look out for his female hens. On close inspection I found Camilla sat in the middle of a large patch of nettles. I accidently disturbed her and as she moved back, she revealed a collection of three eggs. When I picked them up, one of them was still warm. Just laid perhaps?

On seeing me, Camilla moved further back into the hedgerow and sat crouched down with her wings splayed out. The guineas and cattle do not mix so I tried to move the poultry away from this area, but when I moved towards Camilla she started to open her beak and practically hissed at me like a goose, with her wings flapping. I couldn’t decide whether she still needed to lay an egg or whether she was just petrified, so I left her in peace.

I made a quick exit from the field because there are a few gaps in the hedgerow and I wasn’t sure if the men had remembered to turn the electric fence on and I didn’t want to be chased by a herd of cows with newly born calves.

When I found myself at a safe distance from the cattle, I tried to track down all the guinea fowl and pin point their location in a hope of finding more eggs. On a quick search of the garden I did manage to locate 4 eggs in a well dug out nest in the unkept part of my garden. Egg count today therefore totals 7 guinea eggs and 1 Hatty egg, so I am doing well.

This afternoon I did another patrol of the garden and field hedgerows but I did not manage to find any more eggs. I also went back to where Camilla had been nesting but either she didn’t lay or the magpies took the egg. I fear those pesky magpies are winning the egg hunt!

As well as getting the cattle out and then back in tonight, the menfolk have been busy trying to complete the front of the new grain store. More news and photos on the new grain store to follow soon.

Whilst writing this update, the cattle have returned to the fold yard, but the incessant balling from the mother cows has not stopped. The reason for this is that the calves we are weaning have been separated to another pen which the mothers can see. It must be difficult for them because they have been separated all day and now they can see each other but just can’t get close to each other. This must be the trials and tribulations of a cow and weaned calf. I just hope that they don’t make that noise into the night.

When I went to put the guinea fowl and Hatty away for the night, I did one final check for eggs and found another in the well dug nest in the unkept part of my garden. This makes the total egg count for the day 8 guinea fowl eggs and 1 Hatty egg. A record egg collecting day for me. Victory for the human over the magpies!

Another interesting day from the farming friends farm yard.