At Jimmy’s Farm we have had busy week. Preparations are well on the way for Lambing and Eggs are in the Incubator. Chicks will be hatching during Half Term. The apprentices candled the eggs (to check fertility rates). Good result for this early in the season 50% fertility. If you have poultry at home, keep a close eye on those Cockerels. They should be getting rather randy soon. I suggest that you don’t rely on having a broody hen to hatch eggs. You can get a small simple incubator for less than £20 which is a good thing to have as a backup plan!
New Pig Husbandry Course starts tomorrow. Great for the beginners or for those who want to dip their toe in the water! I think I will also get the participants to handle and weigh a few of our weaners and go on a behind the scenes tour of the farm. With a bit of luck they might get to see a sow farrowing!
Twin Pygmy Goats born on the farm today, at about 3 o’clock. Stunning boys! The first thing you should do from a husbandry point of view, is to dip/spray their navel with Iodine. As it takes up to 48 hours for the navel passage to heal, there is small window of vulnerability from infection. The Iodine will add a level of protection against bacteria.
Well, it’s been a bit Windy Miller this week! The weather does remind us that it is still very unpredictable. Don’t jump the gun and be tempted to get plants into the ground too early. A common mistake is when we get a mild start to Feb, the keen and eager go crazy on planting out. Just be aware, in February we can still get a few late sharp ground frosts. If you are going to sow Onions, Garlic or Artichokes during Feb, then keep a close eye on the forecast, if you suspect a little cold nip, cover them up!!!
At Jimmy’s Farm we have started a very interesting feed trial. One litter at weaning will be fed AM and the other litter fed PM. Already the behavior differences are plain to see. The AM fed pigs are up bright and breezy first thing, but then stuff themselves silly with grub. The PM fed pigs seem to eat little and often, I think that is partly because they have already been rooting around and have found a few tasty things to swallow! I wonder how this will effect the growth rates, taste and texture of the meat??? only time will tell.
How doo folks, I hope you liked last nights first episode. It was more about establishing who was who and what they are about as a couple. Next week you are in for a treat! we really start to see what they are made of !!!
New master-classes at Jimmy’s Farm are about to start. Take a look at their website and see what class may help you! “I have designed the classes for the smallholders and enthusiasts alike. With this in mind I recommend that you start off on the Introduction to Smallholding first. The course will lay down the foundations understanding topography, soil type, location and local climate. Upon completion you will understand how to maximise your land however large or small your space may be.”
To follow, Jimmy has a range of bolt on courses from animal husbandry to growing your own. If you really want to become an expert yourself then take a look at Marketing your Produce and Grassland Management days. “Oh, don’t forget our Tractor Driving courses!!!”