The Hubbard chicks are now seventy days old,
Our friend who had twenty chick's has them in a much smaller run, fed on conventional feed plus a daily supply of green veg, they have very little grazing, his however are growing faster and he has slaughtered the first ones which gave a oven ready bird of 5lb 5oz at sixty eight days. I suspect that restricting the ranging area gives a quicker grown bird, which although cuts down on the feed requirements is not so different from conventional rearing. We do not know how the third persons birds are growing, they are totally free ranging and I don't think a weight check has been done yet so it is hard to make a comparison as to the best way of rearing this type of bird which is a slower growing bird than is used for battery reared poultry.
I have now finished with wine making for this year,
One thing that we are finding a little strange is the difference in the taste of our bread if it is cooked in the range as opposed to the gas oven, exactly the same recipe, method and time spent raising it, the cooking time is the same but bread tastes much better when cooked in the range. Just one of those things that does not make any sense to us.
At last we have tasted Ratte potatoes, although I had ordered some seed of this variety we somehow lost it, we were a little disappointed as we like to try out different varieties. Visiting a friend this week somehow the subject of potatoes came up, Oh, she says, I have some Ratte, I must check on how they have done. This friend had recently moved house and planted them into very large pots as they had no garden prepared, so we examined them, she had a great crop, totally disease free and totally forgotten about, she had two large pots full of them, she kindly gave us some which we had with our Sunday dinner. they are lovely, a great nutty flavour, we will defiantly be growing them next year and will probably do them in pots which is how I will try doing the Pink Fir Apple.
It might be dark earlier at night now and there might be a slight chill in the air but next years plantings are already being planned and some seeds have been sown, more fruit trees and bushes are ordered , and the garden around the Straw Bale building has been planned . All things to look forward to and spring wont be too long in coming.