Monday, 12 March 2007

Paris Show

I am back in the UK after our visit to the Paris show. On the first day we went to SIMA which is the Paris machinery and equipment show. It is amazing the size of some of the machinery and the large number of exhibitors there. However there was nothing for the Domestic Fowl Trust . Some of the machinery would have problems turning round in our fields let alone getting through the gate!! They also cost the equivalent of a small house so we will have to make do with our second hand vintage machinery. There was a wide range though, there were several stands selling small milking machines and machinery for small farms. You rarely see small farms catered for at agricultural shows in the UK.

The next day Clive and I went to SIA. This show is on the opposite side of Paris to SIMA at the Porte de Versailles. This event showcases French agriculture. I took some photos of the egg exhibit . There was lots of quizzes for the children to do and cookery demonstrations.

The main chickens on display in the poultry area were Warren type for eggs and the naked neck shown below which are kept for meat. They were also showing chicks hatching which was exciting for the children. As I can't speak French I could not understand what the demonstrators were saying about the hens but it must have been interesting because the place was crowded.

There was also a poultry show for the exhibition breeds but there were not as many birds present as at the British Championship show . The winner was a Charolais Cockerel which resembled our Ixworths but a much lighter bird. It was too dark and crowded to take decent pictures.

There were exhibits of all species of animals including dogs and cats. All the French breeds of cattle were present including a miniature breed of cows called the Bretonne Pie Noire. As you can see Clive had a long conversation with them.

I did take some pictures of the Mules for Jenny as she is our resident Mule expert.

Back at the Domestic Fowl Trust we are getting ready for Easter. I am organising a series of poultry keeping courses.To cover choice of breeds, housing, feeding, welfare etc.

The first is on Tuesday 27th March from 10.00am to 3.30pm .

then each month after that

Tuesday 24th April

Tuesday 22nd May

If you want to book telephone 01386 833083 to reserve a place. The cost is £50.00 per person to include lunch in the cafe. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

The chicks are hatching now and we are selling a large number of hatching eggs . I was on Radio Mercia this morning talking to them about incubating and brooding chicks because they are incubating some for Easter. I hope they have a good hatching rate.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Spring is in the Air

The time has flown past again. I have been busy replacing all the name labels on the pens so that the different breeds can be recognised. The main problem with the signs is that the Muscovy ducks perch on them and tear them. We have overcome the problem with the signs fading but the damage to the signs is difficult to avoid. I have used card for the signs and thicker laminating plastic. Time will tell if it solves the problem.
The sheep have started lambing and we have several young portlands around. Not so much luck with the goats though. We had one kid overnight with triplets but unfortunately she was not a very good mum and the difficult birth meant that they weren't strong enough to survive. Shannon however has just kidded with twins and so far they are doing well. One of the Bagots also kidded with a little girl. One of the Irish Moiled cows has calved . It is a bull calf so we probably wont keep it.
The chickens are also coming into lay and we will be selling hatching eggs shortly once we have bred our own replacements.
We now stock MS incubators and the one we have been using as a demo worked very well and is now full of chicks.

A few weeks ago our old dog died and we got a new one from the Dogs Trust. His name is Larry. He has settled in very well .He doesn't chase the chickens but he is very boisterous and loopy so the cats have left home and have taken up residence in the barn just appearing at feed time.

We are also getting ready for Easter with all the new gifts we bought at the gift fair coming in now. They are not yet in the online catalogue but they can be bought through the shop. We have some chicken and duck watering cans that have been handmade in India and also new doorstops and Rocking Roosters . We also have a large number of different designs of luncheon serviettes ready for your Easter tea or Hen Party. Telephone 44(0)1386 833083 for more details
The pictures below show the watering cans. Some of the kitchen ware and the Rocking Roosters.

We have also had a delivery of the New Batch of Bluebells, Sussex Stars and Amber Stars so we have plenty of laying pullets in stock. They are selling fast so come early if you don't want to be disappointed