And so it begins……

Christmas goose gosling

And so the march to Christmas 2023 has now well and truly started with the arrival of 150 beautiful yellow balls of fluff this week.

Our time without poultry at the farm seems to pass quicker and quicker each year. This time it simply doesn’t seem possible that it is that time of year once again. Wether that is because we are so much busier with our beef enterprise or that the weather has just been so dismal if really hasn’t been feeling ‘Springy’!

Flora has been a bundle of excitement waiting for the arrival of as she would call them ‘the gooselings’. We keep telling her that they are goslings but she is determined that they are her gooselings! She absolutely loves them and has to have multiple cuddles with multiple birds and insists she can tell them all apart. We are far from convinced.

The goslings are currently kept in a round hoop pen which stops them crushing each other as there are no corners for them to get stuck in. They have a gas heater which keeps them at just the right temperature. This year we have started them off with an automatic water drinker rather than the usual manual fill drinkers we have used previously. They seem to love it which is brilliant as it takes the worry out of them running out of water – as waterfowl they consume a lot even as babies.

In other news we have officially finished calving for 2023. This is such a relief as it has been a long season for Will. After a slightly rocky start with a couple of stillborn calves and ‘Buster’ the bow legged boy who was born breach we have had a flyer. The rest were brilliantly healthy calves who are now all happily out in the fields with their mums. Even all our heifers calved without issue and took to their newborns.

Will’s hard work with Buster has resulted in a healthy happy calf who is out running with the rest of the herd. His legs are much straighter and he is skipping around with his friends. In time as he grows his legs will straighten more and become stronger.

Tractor work has been in full swing this week as Will and Kenny have been preparing a few fields for replanting. Theses are the fields where we outwintered half of our herd until the sheds were clear of turkeys! We will be planting them this week with more ‘herbal leys’ which is a mixture of grasses, legumes and herbs. Often described as a ‘fertiliser merchant, food manufacturer and vet all in one’. The diversity in the seed mix provides our cattle with more diversity in their diet and the range of plants provides a haven for insects, bees, birds and mammals. The deep rooting species in the mixture adds drought tolerance to the pasture as they can tap down to deep water sources. Providing our cattle with forage in the hot dry months. As we are getting hotter and drier summers this is becoming an essential lifeline.

The next job on the list is silage which we are keeping all fingers crossed that the weather will hold and we can do it next week. In the meantime Will needs to do some running repairs on the silage pit, we always plan to do an overhaul each year but time always seems to get the better of us so its another year of running repairs – maybe next year!

Our bulls Logic and Ned are looking forward to next weekend when they will be reunited with their ladies and the breeding season will commence once again.

Tukeys will be arriving in June which will be here before we know it. Then the Christmas countdown really will be underway!

It is a very busy time of year for us but then i’m not sure there is ever really a quiet time!