Smallholders Diary: 30 June 2009
OUR original eight Light Sussex chicks are now six weeks old and its time to introduce them to the main run, once we have clipped one of their wings. It will be interesting to see how they get on with the rest of the hens, particularly as they will have t
OUR original eight Light Sussex chicks are now six weeks old and its time to introduce them to the main run, once we have clipped one of their wings. It will be interesting to see how they get on with the rest of the hens, particularly as they will have to sort out a new pecking order. Although we still can't tell the ratio of cockerels to hens, it looks pretty certain it will be at least a 50/50 split just by looking at their behavior. The four younger chicks will remain in their own run for another two or three weeks. We still have no clues as to what breed they are, other than from their growth they would appear to be some type of bantam.
To accommodate the Light Sussex cockerels we will be starting on a new enclosure in the next few weeks so as to fatten them up for the table.
Our two pigs are now 17 weeks old and continuing to grow at a steady rate and are noticeably longer. They are eating most things we offer them particularly from the vegetable patch. They continue to dig at a great rate and their enclosure, in parts, looks like a series of bomb craters. Now this is obviously advantageous to us as they are slowly clearing the ground of weeds etc, but is also of great benefit to them as we are able to fill a hole with water which they enjoy immensely.
This is a great time of year for the vegetable plot with the toils of our labour now coming to fruition. Produce is now coming thick and fast, so rarely are we short of any vegetables, with the likes of carrot, beetroot, spring onion, cabbage, turnip, spinach, broad bean, cauliflower, courgette, French climbing bean and broccoli all maturing.
The polytunnel continues to produce an abundance of lettuce, both the standard varieties as well as the more exotic types, albeit it needs pulling early to prevent it bolting and going to seed. Our cucumber plants are producing plenty of fruit, although the shapes of some of these would undoubtedly not conform to EEC regulations! Nevertheless they taste just as nice, and we have just started to pick our cherry tomatoes which are lovely and sweet. The flowers on our peppers and chillies have set and small fruit can now be seen. Finally we are now digging our second crop of first early potatoes from the polytunnel .