This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It is now two weeks into the autumn term. We've had Open Days yesterday and today. We had such a lot of people come to look round. I've got a Book Fair to organise this coming week, now that displays for the Open Days have been done.

Haven't been down to the allotment since the term started. We just don't have time to go down little and often. So when we do get there, it is really hard work and then the next time, it is all to do again. Still, we've had some reasonable crops, despite the weather's best efforts this summer.

The hens were really off laying and then we spotted some red spider mites. We've dealt with them and the hens are happy and back to laying again. I've had a couple of new people ask me for eggs and I've had to say no. The four bantams (that I took on when their elderly owner could not look after them any more) have laid a grand total of three eggs since the beginning of July - so I reckon they must be getting on a bit now. When they have gone, I'll get some more hens because by then, the Warrens will not be laying so many. But until then, I'll continue to share out the spare eggs among the customers I already have. I'm off out to give the hens a handful of corn now.


  • At 11:01 AM, Blogger Melanie Rimmer said…

    What are you going to do with the non-laying banties? Do they get a long and pampered retirement, or do they get short sharp shock?

  • At 11:45 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    I have a problem with this - the bantams were an old gentleman's pride and joy and I took them on for him when an operation on his knee went sadly wrong and he was unable to look after them. I promised that I would look after them well. Does the short, sharp shock when they are no longer laying count as "looking after them?" I also have a problem with killing an animal or chicken merely because it is no longer convenient for me to look after them. Had I taken on the bantams, or indeed any of my hens, solely as food producers, then they would probably end up in the pot. However, these are really pets because I am a suburban smallholderwannabe. If I am being honest, I keep hoping that these bantams will hurry up and pop their clogs of their own accord. My Warrens are now into their third season and will lay fewer eggs this coming year. So next spring, or the following one at the latest, I will need to get a new set of hens and I'll need the bantams run for their home. At that point, I may well have to make a decision on how to solve my little dilemma. My husband quite likes the idea of raising some chicks and putting any cockerels in the freezer. He would be prepared to do the deed - and prepare them. What I would like to know is at what age a cockerel starts to crow. My next door neighbour is not incredibly tolerant...


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