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July 2019 Farm Round Up
Summer rolls on and happily, a more British summer this year. I know not everyone appreciates a bit of rain every now and then but last summer's heatwave had significant downsides so this year's mixed forecast has been welcomed!
The grass (and weeds) are having a bumper year - the tractor has been kept busy topping the fields to try to keep the thistles and docks at bay. Pigs will eat most things but whilst nettles, dandelions, buttercups etc are fair game, the thistles and docks are ignored. We try to stick to the old farming adage: Top in May, they're here to stay, Top in June, they'll be back soon, Top in July, wave them goodbye! Timing is everything it would seem :-)
All pigs are now in their summer paddocks and all enjoying their wallows. Nothing better than the sound of a pig sloshing around - almost jealous!! Other than that, the farm is relatively quiet waiting for farrowing time in August. However, we did have one new arrival on the farm: Boris the Berkshire boar. He's a youngster just a year old and has been successful on the show circuit this summer. It's now time for him to start work and as he arrived without a name, Boris seemed an appropriate choice! He has all the right pedigree but is as yet unproven so we shall have to wait and see! He is currently in with our Berkshire sow, Eyelashes. On Day 1, she beat him up - she is a bit bigger than him - but I think he is in love - he's following her around the field constantly! He arrived with beautifully white markings, silky black coat .... but one week in with Eyelashes and he is covered in mud - he certainly loves the wallow. He may not look as good, but I like to think he's happier!
Our Barn Owl chicks have grown into monsters - the adults have done a great job raising their brood of 4. The trail camera has been busy and we've got some excellent clips.
Early in the month, the first hay cut was taken - the weather had been good and some 200+ big round bales were safely gathered in. They go from our farm to a local dairy farmer who supplies milk to Cadburys so next time you eat a bar of Dairy Milk, perhaps it started on Buttle Farm!
Robert was out with a proper camera this month - taking much better than my iPhone efforts and captured these two shots which I love - a deer keeping watch just before the hay was cut and the adult Guineas out exploring.
The first batch of Guinea Fowl keets hatched out this year are now fully feathered and no longer using their heat lamp. The next big adventure for them will be in a few weeks when we start letting them out during the day for flying training - the flying is usually pretty good immediately, but getting the landing right is a bit more of a challenge it would seem! Another batch of eggs in the incubator are cooking up nicely, although we did have a power cut which caused a bit of panic - the incubator was wrapped up in big bath towels while Robert got the generator going - fingers crossed we did enough :-(
As many of you know, we are supporters of the Great West Way, a tourism initiative being run by Visit Wiltshire focussing on the journey between London and Bristol - to attract visitors out of London and away from the tourism hotspots of Windsor and Bath, to show them some 'real' England. Their feature on our local town of Calne shows just how much there is to see along the route.
And last but not least, we hosted a wonderful wedding BBQ event for 50 here on the farm for Ella and Jeremy. With their families spread around the world, this was a chance for everyone to meet before the big day. The sun shone and introductions were made - a wonderful, happy event in lovely surroundings. If you need somewhere to host an event, do get in touch!
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