Well the winter is certainly here! Not been much above freezing for nearly a week and its been a bit of a chore trudging back and forwards with water for the animals as all the external pipes are frozen. The exercise area is even frozen solid so the horses have to stay on the yard. The council don’t grit our country lane so we can’t even walk them up the road to our other paddock. The Golden Guensey Goats are all puffed up against the cold and have been in their pens for two days now. The chickens seem to take the cold in their stride and the light in their shed is producing regular eggs. The poor ducks are struggling a bit as no sooner than I give them some water to play with, it freezes up! Forecast is for milder weather next week so things should improve.
We necked the 8 cockerels last weekend as they were starting to fight and draw blood. Not one of my favourite jobs and, no matter how many times you do it, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. They’ve had a good life up till now so we don’t feel too bad, and as each of them weighed in excess of 2Kgs plucked and cleaned, they were worth the investment. Won’t be short of chicken for a while! All the feathers will be dug in to the polytunnel as they make good compost, the giblets get fed to the dogs so very little is wasted.
The blonde beer and stout I made before Christmas went into bottles and went down well at our last MAG (Motorcycle Action Group) meeting. A good few of them are Real Ale buffs and they were pleasantly surprised and complimentary about both brews. The worst comment was “I’ve paid for worse”. Another traditional bitter is in the fermenter at the moment, with another brew due at the end of the month. I am slowly building up a a nice collection of bottled beers.
The MAG group had a good breakfast rideout rideout recently on one of the more mild days. We went up to Aberaeron on the West Wales coast where we had a great breakfast and social gathering. Our next rideout on the 19th February will be to honour Fred Hill who died in Pentonville Prison where he was sent for refusing to wear a crash helmet back in the 70’s.
The Billy has gone back to his owner and the goat pens have now been cleaned and disinfected. The goats in kid have been seperated into their own pens but have been kept next to their mums for comfort. No problems with the expectant mums so far and they seem to be progressing nicely. The first babies are due at the beginning of March with the others due at about 6 week intervals thereafter.
Irene’s e-bay business is still doing well although it has tailed off a bit since Christmas. The best item we sold was an Australian Vintage Tablecloth that went all the way to …. Australia! She is getting a good turnout for her stitch and bitch club too.
Gary has been practising his accordion regularly now and has been teaming up with one or two friends for the monthly ‘open mic’ event at the local pub. This has gone down well and the New Years Eve event was very well attended and enjoyed. He is enjoying the fact that he has to practice a bit and he is learning more and more.
Well that’s all for now, more updates and pictures soon.