black piglet

Piglets – Look at our new adorable piglets

Piglets

Here are our new adorable piglets. We have a boy and girl to keep our chickens and other birds company.

piglets piglet piglet snout

 No names yet. Any suggestions? Let us know on our Facebook page. Pinky and Perky are proving popular at the moment, but there are other suggestions too:

Pinky and Perky

Crackling and Apple Sauce

Trev and Suzie

Rasher and Dasher

Let us know what you think.

We'll be having some new lambs soon too. Photos and naming opportunities will come with them too.

Smallholders handbook

The Smallholders Handbook – 1 month to go

One month to go to the publication of chicken expert Suzie Baldwin's new book "The Smallholder's Handbook: Keeping & caring for poultry & livestock on a small scale" on 14th May 2015.

You can pre-order from Amazon now.

The Smallholder's Handbook is a detailed manual to start, plan and manage your own smallholding. Suzie explains the level of work involved, how much space you need and how to prepare your land. There are chapters on keeping poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese), as well as pigs, goats and sheep, cows and bees. She also explains why having a variety of animals makes the best use of your resources and how many of each type to keep. Comprehensive advice includes choosing breeds, transporting, feeding, housing, daily care and wellbeing, as well as international legislation that applies to livestock.

Summer Daisies in a watering can

April Tips for keeping chickens

A hen keeper for more than 20 years with a 300-strong flock on
 her Surrey/Hampshire smallholding, Suzie Baldwin offers her advice and April tips for keeping chickens.

Two of my pekins Fluff and Ethel are the proud Mothers of 18 chicks; they call them with
 a short, low cluck, which gets quicker and louder if their young fail to respond. They remind me of myself and my brood. Every morning, I calmly ask the children to make their beds and get ready for school and, as time ticks on and jobs aren’t being done, 
I raise my voice in a similar fashion. More chicks have hatched in the incubators so the nursery is very full and noisy. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, the March chicks, weather-permitting, will be out in the field with the sun on their feathers and the lush grass in their crops, giving them the best start in life.

April is a popular month for people to start keeping chickens. It’s important to take time to do research, especially when it comes to finding a well-designed coop with adequate ventilation, good perches and nest boxes, and strong bolts to secure it at night, plus a run that’s partly under cover for sheltering in bad weather. The house is the most costly part of hen keeping but a quality one is worth the investment. The good news is that other essential equipment such as feeders, drinkers, food and straw (for bedding), plus wormers (try Verm-X) and red-mite control products (I use Diatom), are relatively inexpensive.