Pheasant and Duckling Rescue
Being lucky enough to live where we do we are very privileged to see wildlife every day right on our doorstep. We also have to deal with the heartache that there are some people that don't care as we do and this was the case over the last 2 days.
We visit our smallholding at least twice a day and it was whilst returning from our first visit that I screamed at Richard to stop the car as I could see chicks running frantically in the road. A mother pheasant had been trying to cross a main road with her chicks and unfortunatelly someone had not seen them or was not bothered at seeing them and a masacre had occured.
We shot out the car and ran to the aid of the remaining 2 chicks one on one side and one on the other. I gathered them up and as I was unable to do anything for the others returned to the car. The babies were unharmed but scared and huddled into me.
Back home we put our two new little ones into a brooder unit so as they had access to heat and I'm pleased to say they are comming on fine.
But our rescuing didn't stop there. The following morning we were on our way to the smallholding and again I screamed to stop the car as this time there was a lone duckling running down the road. I pulled across the road and Richard leapt out and scooped up the duckling. We looked everywhere for any signs of it's mother and after waiting to see if she would return to no avail we bought another stray baby home. This little sweetie is in a different style of brooder as it needs a water bath and wet food. So welcome to Fin's Farm little one.
I'LL NEVER HAVE A GOOSE
Never say never thats what mum always say's and don't you just hate it when your mum's right. After an incident when I wa younger involving a gaggle of geese I always siad that they would be the on bird that I would never own. Enter Al.
At a bied auction we had attended there was a collection of boxes on benches all containing ducks that is except one that had a single goose in it. The poor baby was so lonely that it kept trying to escape so me being the sap I am and knowing that Richard wanted a goose bid and won the tiny bird.
All the way home the gosling peeped if Richard didn't hold it and cuddle it and that is what he still has to do. I couldn't resist taking this pic of Richard and his beloved Al having a bit of male bonding !!!
Now when most people turn 40 they look forward to private number plates, spa breaks or expensive jewellery, but not me. My 40th isn't till mid November but my present has already arrived in the shape of a breeding pair of saanen goats.
Lucky and Lady are aprox 10months old and are full of fun and mischief. We nicknamed Lucky Rocker as he has a quiff like a rockerbilly.
On their first day in their paddock they attracted the attention of Cersie our elderly goat who in 8 hours taught them how naughty she was even though she is an OAP. She has always known how to escape her own paddock and go and eat any tree or bush round the farm but when the babies arrived she decided that she would rather like to join them and make a little herd. So she escaped her paddock leaving a very sorry Leo and headed for the babies enclosure. Now as they are lively babies we had put both cattle fencing and barbed wire round to keep them in, but this was no problem for Cersie. She used the cattle fencing and bent it over the barbed wire so she could step over and join her fellow goats.
So now we have a little herd of 3 goats led by the wonderful Cersie.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 26 October 2011 08:13)
Chickens in jumpers
I'm not one for encouraging dressing up animals but in some cases it becomes necessary to aid with health issues. Over time I have accumulated numerous items including coats for goats and doggie fleeces and waterproofs.
With birds it is much the same. As we rescue battery hens some girls that come to us don't have many feathers due to the intense heat in confined battery huts. If we just placed them outside they could catch a chill so for short terms we kit them out with chicken jumpers. This is where Nanny comes in as she knits the online sensation chux tux and delux chux tux which are chunky and thick. I on the other hand knit chicken tabards which are smaller and more suited to bantams which was very lucky for one of my girls the other day.
At the compound there is a large cage where most of the lone birds go and in here as there are a couple of water birds we have a bath so they can swim. It was in this bath though that poor Winny the gold laced winedotte nearly died. It looked like she had wondered onto the bridge across the bath and fell in. Being a chunky hen she swiftly got soaked and when we found her only her head was above water, she was very cold and was drifting in and out of consciousness. We raced her home and I washed her in clean warm water. Then I sat for over an hour drying her as best I could with the hairdryer. As she still seemed cold we decided to keep her inside and I put her a little chicken tabard on for extra warmth. It was the special tabard with FF on it for Fin's Farm.
You will be pleased to hear that Winny has made a full recovery and is happy at home with my special girls group but I must admit she looked so cute in her tabard that I was reluctant to take it off.
After the rain last week I decided that I really should venture up to the top of my garden and check out the fruit bushes. What I found was astounding the bushes were laden to the floor with fruit. The red currants were the biggest I've seen them and the black currants wern't far behind.
Now although most people find picking fruit laborious I actually find it relaxing possibly because it's the only time I have to myself and because it's a great feeling having looked after your plants to harvest the produce to eat.
Instead of just doing separate fruit jams I've found that sometimes it's best to mix fruits. Red currants I've found tend to err on the tart side where as black currants tend to be a little overpowering on flavour but together the two bring out the best in each other and make a fab jam
Recipe for Black-currant and Red-currant Jam
-3lb sugar (there are many that say use jam sugar but I've found that normal sugar works just as well)
-1 pint water
These amounts make enough jam to fill 6 1lb jam jars.
Simply place the fruit sugar and water in your jam pan and slowly bring it to the boil. Keep the pan simmering to allow the magic that is jam making to happen not forgetting to keep stirring. This will take some time usually at least 20mins to half hour. If you are new to jam making then the best way to test if it is ready to go into the jars is the wrinkle test. Take a clean saucer and drop a little of the mixture onto it. Leave it a minute to cool then using the edge of a spoon or as I do your finger, just gently push the edge of the drop if it wrinkles up then the jam is ready as it is setting. If no wrinkles then keep on simmering and stirring and test again after 10mins.
Last Updated (Sunday, 03 July 2011 21:56)