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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Half term at last - but it is Friday today and we must have blinked because I'm not sure where it has gone. I can say some things that have happened: a trip to the dentist; two trips to the doctor on the same day which, with all the waiting around to be seen, pretty well accounted for that day; a visit to a friend for the afternoon; a surprise visit from my daughter and family who then stayed for a meal; supermarket shopping; several trips to church to help with clearing up because lots of renovations are happening there. What about the allotment, helping our friend down the road with a repair to a door, finishing the repairs/redecoration to the bathroom and the 101 other little jobs that were waiting for half term? And the day out...?

The other job that could not be put off was the Light Sussex. Two of them had started crowing quite well - although not yet the echo-round-the-houses adult crow that just can't be ignored. We couldn't wait any longer so the more vocal one met his end on Monday and the second one on Wednesday. We decided to put them into the freezer for Christmas, which will give me a breathing spell before actually eating them. Oven ready, the first one weighed 4 lbs 3 ozs and the other one was a little bigger at 4lbs 8 ozs. I've made chicken liver pate with garlic and the dregs of a bottle of red wine and have cooked the giblets for stock for soup and shredded the meat from the necks. I feel obliged to stretch them as far as I can as it is the only way I can cope with this right now. I'm still not convinced whether the remaining two are male or female. Time will tell and probably quite soon. So far the four of them have cost me £38 and they are about 18 weeks old. It is expensive meat in terms of both cash and emotional turmoil. However, although I tumbled into meat production by accident, my husband has been wanting to give it a go for ages and I don't know if I would ever have got around to it voluntarily. The birds were well fed, felt the sun on their backs and rain too and had a reasonabe life as far as I can tell. But I will be thrilled if the last two smaller ones turn out to be female and I don't have to go through this again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It is birthday weekend in our house. My son and I both have a birthday over the weekend and the family got together for a meal yesterday evening. It was fun but my husband and I were not feeling very much like night out - we've both had a bit of a bug recently and I went back to work this week and well, suffice it to say it was a looooong week. My husband did 14 hour days at school on Wed and Thurs and wasn't fit for much after that. My one daughter brought before dinner nibbles, my son cooked a curry with rice and dahl and home made naan, and my other daughter made dessert. It was a good evening. I had asked for practical presents so amongst other things, I got a bale of hay and a sack of hen food........ :)

My hens have almost given up laying now. There are 4-5 eggs a week in total from the lot of them - 8 hens. I haven't had an egg from Mrs Speckledy since the beginning of September and the bantams have laid 2 eggs in total in 2008. The Warrens are down to about one egg a week each. Not paying their way! But they deserve a bit of a rest for the winter, I suppose. At least the Light Sussex have not started crowing yet. I looked at the calendar yesterday (instead of just estimating) and this coming Wed, we'll have had them for 10 weeks. So they are probably 16 weeks old. The Day is coming soon. : (