Owl!

We have a new visitor, who has been hanging around our fields.  Hopefully it’s going to put a dent in our rodent population, but either way a wonderful sight to behold.

Sadly however I was not able to get close enough to get a decent picture, this was the best I managed…

Owl at a distance

Pigs Poultry and Poo – another Plug!

So my book is now out, and available from all the websites, including one which was proving particularly recalcitrant.  You can buy it from Amazon – see link to the right, or direct from my publishers (who DEFINITELY have it in stock!):

http://www.crowood.com/details.asp?isbn=9781847973917&t=Pigs,-Poultry-and-Poo—An-Urbanite-Couple%27s-Journey-to-Country-Life

Pigs, Poultry and Poo – Book Status

Ok, so Amazon says it’s temporarily out of stock.  This was due to a slight delay with the printers, but all is good now, and they should either already have the books or have them imminently, so they’ll be sending them out soon.

Of course there are other sellers who have copies, per the other options to buy, if you’re desperate to get a copy.  Click on the link to the right to be taken to the page on Amazon…

My Book is Out Today. Honest! Yay!

Pigs Poultry and Poo, which tells the story of how we started keeping all these animals, is out today.  So if you’ve bought it from Amazon then it will be winging its merry way to you.  If you haven’t yet bought it then you can always click the link on the right hand side of the page and it will take you directly through to it…

My Book Has Almost Been Published Today! YAY!

My book, Pigs, Poultry and Poo: An Urbanite Couple’s Journey to Country Life was supposed to be published today, but a slight delay with the printers means it will be delayed by a bit – only a few days hopefully.  I’ll blog as soon as I know!  It tells the story of how we started with the animals, and introduces some of the characters I’ve blogged about over the last year or so….

The nice Amazon people will sell it to you if you click on the link to the right.  —–>

Update – Fencing

One of the things we decided to finally do properly was get some of our weakest fencing sorted.  This meant paying someone to come in and do it professionally.  And he did a truly fabulous job.

One of the things he did differently was in using a slightly different type of mesh.  Most meshes we use have continuous horizontal strands, and then individual vertical strands (though it’s the other way round in this photo!):

What this means is that the vertical strands can be pushed about quite a bit, and it isn’t as robust as it could be.  Our new fencing man uses mesh with complete lines both vertically and horizontally to provide extra strength:

He’s done some great work.  We now have electric stand-offs on both sides, and an electric wire on the top.  This should both stop the cows form leaning against it, and the more athletic sheep from attempting to leap it!  It’s also nice and straight…

Back…

The last few months have been a little manic, which is why I’ve written nothing.  things have calmed down a little, but I’ll probably still be infrequent, or perhaps erratic, in my updates.

With the animals we’ve been engaging in a more dedicated reduction strategy, and over the past short while have reduced our pigs by 22, and our sheep by 30 or so.  Most of these went to new homes, only a few went on holiday… and the last OAP Soay Ram died which was sad.

We also sorted out a lot of our fencing, and the new stuff is pretty impressive.  It allowed us to get a few more chickens, I’ll take some photos and get them online soon.

I shall try and write an update on each animal group over the next few days to get back in the swing of things.

Bees!

A week or so I replaced all the tubes in the two Mason Bee containers we had.  One was for Red, and the other for Blue (slightly smaller), and I filled them up as much as I could.  I’d bought a bulk set so was left with quite a few, but decided I’d have them for next year.

Today I went out to check on the nests, not expecting much to have happened.

Much to my delight the first nest was entirely full:

The second was half full (here with a bee just emerging from one of the tubes) and there was a constant stream of bees visiting the tubes:

The red bottoms showed that they were red mason bees.

Alex suggested we put the other tubes up as well, given the ones already in place, so we set up a more makeshift tube holder, but hopefully it will do for them.  The bees certainly seemed interested and we had our first bee in and checking things out before we’d even finished tying it up!:

White feathered pheasant – still with us

While he disappears on occasion, sometimes for days at a time, our white feathered pheasant is still in residence.  I assume his trips are to help spread the white feathered genes, but I wouldn’t want to make assumptions.  It’s nice that he still comes to visit, and it gave me a chance to get a better picture of him.  He certainly is less scared of me than he used to be, and is clearly not at all bothered by the sheep: