Saturday, 29 March 2014

Come with me to collect the eggs

Would you like to come with me around the field when I go to collect the eggs?
Under the honeysuckle arch, we'll follow the path through the vegetable garden

Turn right along the side of the workshop and hay shed. This is the driveway onto the campsite, they go round to the right, but we will go straight on up the field.
We've gone through that gate you could see and now we'll walk all the way up to the top of the field. Yes I know the pylons are ugly, but we all need electricity! And I would rather have them at the top of the field than a six lane motorway.
We'll go the pretty way, the pond is on the right - covered with duck weed and although the level drops it never dries out completely, and the overflow ditch is on the left, it will dry out soon if we don't have rain
Mind how you go! Careful as you cross the bridge.This is where the pond goes into the ditch. In summer there is no water beneath the sleeper. We didn't have duckweed until a few years ago now it covers the whole pond.
Round the back of the pond, almost under the pylons.This isn't really our land but as it's unusable no one bothers. We know who farms  the land all around us but no-one except the agent knows who it belongs too!
Here are the first group of chickens, they know I will throw some wheat in to keep them out of the way while I collect the eggs from the shed behind me and go in the run to top up their water.
Down the field a few yards and here are the second group, they are the oldest chickens. Their eggs are getting thin shelled and sometimes wrinkled. Once the 60 new young point-of-lay hens  we are buying next month have started laying these will go off to be ferret food! Sorry if that upsets you, but that's the reality of earning a living in the countryside.We can't afford to keep pet hens.
We'll go down the field now through the young trees we planted 3 or 4 years ago. The 25 silver birch are just coming in to leaf. We planted 100 Ash trees too but they may have the new Ash die-back virus which is sweeping through the Ash trees in the UK. They are always later coming into leaf than other trees.
Here are the third and youngest group of hens, among the young Ash trees. I've thrown the corn in and then I won't trip over them when I go in to collect their eggs from the shed. Yes, you can look back and see how far we've walked around the field. Its a four acre field and walking all round is about 400 yards.
Off the field now and onto the half of the campsite that we use mainly for tents, we've already cut the grass twice this year, it grows too quickly. Through that willow hedge on the right is the other part of the campsite. The trees in the centre of the picture we planted 20 years ago to form a little copse beside the campsite
Off the campsite and along the path that the campers follow when they come to the house to check in. You can see the Horse Chestnut leaves unfurling from their sticky buds.
The Quince trees are just coming into leaf and the primroses have been wonderful this year.

 Now we'll go in the back door and sort out all these eggs. There should be 7 dozen to go out for sale tomorrow.
I hope you enjoyed walking round the field with me, it's lovely when the sun is shining.

Welcome to Tilly Trotter,( love the name! have read the book!) follower 153 on Google friends, and Nichola is follow 122 on Bloglovin'.
Hope you enjoy your visits to our simple Suffolk Smallholding.

Thanks to lots of blogging friends for comments about the school nature table, wild flowers and other stuff yesterday.

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