Ann's Farm Journal
Keep up with all of our updates from the farm including what’s new in season!
It has been another stormy weekend on the farm. So far we have not seen any major damage - branches down and stuff blown around seem to be the only hiccups outside. Inside we are having the odd power outage, thankfully, we have our generator for longer spells of power being down. The animals are all tucked up inside their own houses. They do not like the wind and tend to surface just for food and water…it is the weekend after all and maybe they are just being lazy.
The chickens are still on lockdown due to Avian Bird Flu. We are underway with covering a large part of the new chicken run on a permanent basis. This will ensure that the girls have even more space to range during such times when our biosecurity measures need to increase. It would seem that the ‘powers that be’ have suggested that bird flu will be a thing each and every year in the future. This is partly due to Climate Change. The temperatures are rising during our winter months…just look at January which has been the sunniest January on record! The migrating birds are now popping across to us earlier, particularly geese and ducks. They are also changing flight patterns and as a consequence, mixing with birds different to their normal encounters. All birds have flu, just as humans have a flu variant, but they are now subject to a more virulent virus which is highly contagious. This all sounds so familiar!!! We are being particularly careful especially as the virus has been detected in Cumbria, Washington and The Ouseburn. Toooo close to home.
All that said…I do enjoy, big time, seeing the birds and we do get lots of birds. This weekend has been the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Even if you do not contribute to the survey it is good to watch AND listen to all the beautiful and colourful birds we have. On the farm we have an abundance of birds (bees and insects) which I love watching and listening to. Since moving to The Shire and creating our own dream, the amount of life we see here has definitely increased. Establishing two ponds was a method we used to deal with the excess water we have on the land. This was our initial reasoning. However, we now have moorhens (who have set up residence), mallards, herons, dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, bugs and insects in the water, frogs, toads and so much more. We built a barn and we now have barn swallows nesting along with other birds. The swallows swoop across the pond and are just brilliant acrobatic birds to watch.
My all time favourite is the owl. The owl I truly love to see and I have no problem sitting and waiting, whatever the weather, to catch a glimpse of this unbelievably good looking bird. It’s the eyes…they are all knowing. We are also working with Pete (our friendly ornithologist) who is going to be putting up an owl house in the next couple of weeks).
The Soil Association have suggested that Organic Farms are likely to have up to 50% more natural life living around them. I don’t know what the percentage of an increase is on our farm from when we moved here…but it is a lot and very enjoyable to see. Mother Nature at her best.
Till next time…keeeeeep looking!