June was the month of the" Big Guns" for us! First the wonderful cockerels from Norfolk. We have hatched some pedigree Partridge Brahma chicks, so everything is working and we hope to sell some pedigree lavender and gold partridge Brahma chicks and eggs in the summer.
The golden Partridge Brahma hen is particularly beautiful with stunning markings on her feathers, I call her the golden eagle.
The Partridge Brahma breed, for all their finery, have very small white eggs but the rather plain, brown Well Summer hen is nothing to look at but has the stunning big brown eggs that always look delicious.
Reminds me of the small wild roses who smell gorgeous and the huge modern roses who smell of nothing. Moral, is something like don't judge a book by its cover?
Then Singleton arrived. He is big and black with horns and the highland cows have taken to him instantly. He is named after a malt whisky blend, apparently nothing to do with his marital status. Hopefully his 3 month stay will lead to 3 highland calves next spring.
I will miss this little face with his tiny horns peeping through his hair.
No less impressive, Sherlock was then unloaded to live with Duchess. Duchess was happy to see the 7 piglets go for weaning but might have appreciated more than an afternoon to adjust before her visitor turned up! Sherlock is a Gloucester old spot crossed with a Duroc boar (son of Braveheart if that means anything to you), and is very good looking with ginger curls and floppy ears.
Piglets got to visit all the other grown ups - some with very large noses and large teeth.
They were also very happy to have visitors and tried to attract attention when ever they could.
The piglets didn't have time to miss Mum as they were straight into individual attention with ear tagging and worming...
...and the reward for being brave was a new home in the middle of a jungle, well tall grass!
Although our visiting males are all young and not fully grown a spell at Berry's Farm is perfect for them as they don't feel too overwhelmed and we are nice people!
Wandering around this time of year I am always surprised at how many nests seem to have been deserted after all the work and effort of making the nest and laying the eggs - this one has been deserted, possibly a cat scared them off?
However, this pheasant is sticking to her nest what ever, and she is very well disguised.
These two young Collar Doves with very attentive parents have been told to stay on the table what ever happens. They were looking quite worried.
The Open Farm Sunday had double the visitors this year with over 200 families rolling up to see how the Berry's Farm worked. I had barely finished my toast and the customers were wondering up the yard, from that moment it was full on with lamb and calf feeding, tractor climbing, meadow walking, pony washing, story telling, piglet chasing and general farming activities.
The black and white twin calves had the busiest week. They were born on Wednesday, bottle fed on Thursday, ear tagged on Friday and were the main event for the Open Farm on Sunday.
Craig also, did a sterling job with the BBQ which was a sell out.
Sadly, I was away for the Haytime Festival, but I gather everything went to plan without me (probably rather better). I didn't recognise Harry, the pet lamb when I got home, he was finally clipped during the weekend and his fleece was then weaved into a woollen square.
Doris, the pygmy goat was enjoying standing on her log and looking down on Harry for a change with his diminished size.
Also, celebrating the Haytime Festival was the folk music, dancing and craft displays, the tables were overflowing into the farm yard. I must go away more often!
We are getting a lot of interest for the live Music in the Courtyard evening on Friday 25th August. I was hoping to be rock and rolling with my other half but as he is laid up with a pot repairing a ruptured Achilles tendon it could be touch and go!
Tough life with only Wimbledon, Test match Cricket and Lions Rugby for company.
It has been quite a week with a sad family funeral, extra driving jobs and doing the farm animals so Tim can have a well earned rest after running the fort in my absence.
I am hoping for a lively farm tour this afternoon to cheer us all up, ideally with all the animals getting out and lots of laughs!