The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


Update on Mrs Boss and the ducklings: Moving on

Posted in Chickens, Ducks, Guinea Fowl | 7 comments

Update on Mrs Boss and the ducklings: Moving on

It’s been over a month since the last update on the Indian Runner ducklings. They are now 9 weeks old and seem almost as big as The Chicken Lady’s grown up flock. We have discovered that Eric is a female duck and Tipex and Freddie are drakes. Eric clearly hasn’t burnt her bra as she’s extremely deferential to her male companions. Waiting to drink and eat after them. She is dark brown and the black Wellington feet that she was born with are now an elegant shade of tan. Freddie and Tipex are beautiful too. Similarly...

read more

Escape

Posted in Cottage tales, Guinea Fowl | 9 comments

Escape

I opened the back door as John Coe was about to come through. He was speaking. “I can hear her in the next garden.” I opened the door wide. His face crumpled when he saw that it was me. He stood there wearing my uncle’s old trilby and Danny’s waxed jacket. It had been raining hard when I left for work so I’d kitted him out. As I wasn’t expected back for hours he thought that I was Danny returning from a wild guinea fowl chase. When he saw my expression, he looked a bit panicky. “Who exactly is in the...

read more

How to tell if your eggs are fresh

Posted in Chickens, Cottage tales, Guinea Fowl | 10 comments

How to tell if your eggs are fresh

When I cracked the eggs into the frying pan this morning, one egg was clearly much fresher than the other. The first had a yolk standing just right above the white like a small hillock. The next had a much flatter yolk. It smelt fine but the flatter yolk indicates that the egg is not so fresh. Even if I put the ‘flat’ egg on my plate Danny always notices and offers to swap. “There must be some way of knowing which eggs are the freshest.” We have a superb wooden egg stand that I inherited from my Aunt Pickles. This holds...

read more

Update on Marco and Gep. Our two male guinea fowl that were adopted by The Chicken Lady

Posted in Guinea Fowl | 3 comments

Update on Marco and Gep. Our two male guinea fowl that were adopted by The Chicken Lady

Marco and Gep had settled really well chez The Chicken Lady at the other end of the village. “They spend their time preening and gazing at each other,” she explained. “Preparing for the arrival of the girl friends,” chipped in her husband. A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to their girlfriends. They had a pit stop on their nuptial journey to meet their new husbands. Three pretty pearl grey guinea hens were in a sturdy wooden crate in the boot of TCL’s car. Pearl grey actually looks like darkest grey with...

read more

Update on the Farming friends – Cottage Smallholder guinea fowl breeing event. Just left with a couple of birds.

Posted in Guinea Fowl | 7 comments

Update on the Farming friends – Cottage Smallholder guinea fowl breeing event. Just left with a couple of birds.

Towards the end of May 2007, Sara at Farming Friends offered us six guinea fowl eggs to put under a broody hen, the rest is history. Five keeets hatched out and finally last weekend, we were left with two. The boys have gone. They were collected last Sunday afternoon. The Chicken Lady, her husband and son arrived in a snappy VW Golf, looking calm and confident. As we walked through the garden, I explained that we’d had problems catching them and briefly outlined the pitfalls. They listened attentively as I pointed out Thunder &...

read more

Update on the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Breeding Event. A new home for the boys.

Posted in Guinea Fowl | 7 comments

Update on the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Breeding Event. A new home for the boys.

June 2007 saw the launch of the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Guinea fowl breeding event, when Sara sent us six guinea fowl eggs in the post to put under our broody hen Mrs Boss. Since then our guinea fowl have grown up and become sexually mature. With 3 cocks and one hen, we needed to find a home for two lone cocks. While we waited to find a suitable home our guinea fowl have finally sorted themselves out. Cloud, our lone guinea hen, has chosen her mate. A handsome hero of the beach type, with large pendulous wattles and...

read more

Update on the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. One wife and a handful of husbands.

Posted in Guinea Fowl | 15 comments

Update on the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. One wife and a handful of husbands.

It seems ages since Sara at Farming Friends sent us six guinea fowl eggs in the post. June 2007 saw the launch of the Farming Friends’ – Cottage Smallholder’s Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. Now the guinea fowl have grown up and I must admit I have fallen in love with these gentle creatures. A couple of weeks ago I went down to clean out the chicken house. Carol (our Roman Empress Maran hen) was looking a bit rumpled and was clearly rattled. She was squeezed on the roof of the chicken house – there is just enough space for...

read more

Update on the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. Gentle beings.

Posted in Guinea Fowl | 10 comments

Update on the Farming Friends – Cottage Smallholder Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. Gentle beings.

June 2007 saw the launch of the Farming Friends’ – Cottage Smallholder’s Interblog Guinea Fowl Event. Looking back at the guinea fowl posts this is a well rounded cycle. Amazing highs and lows and even tears. Everything started here when Sara at Farming Friends sent us six guinea fowl eggs in the post I love my guinea fowl. They are gentle docile beings. Hanging about in a group, they communicate constantly with one another. I went down at dusk on Saturday to lay some gravel in the gluey, muddy run. They had settled in the...

read more


Copyright © 2006-2012 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder


FD