The year is rushing along quickly, our main Spring / Summer shows are now behind us, the weather has been kind and we all had great fun. Thanks to all those who came along to say hello. As usual it is good to see both new and familiar faces at the shows. At the end of the South of England show we even managed to get us all together for a team photo – looking a little hot and tired after a long weekend, but it was a nice chance to all be in the same place at the same time – something that doesn’t happen often when we are juggling the shop, animals and shows, so many thanks to all the guys for their hard work, we couldn’t do it without them!
This year we ran 2 competitions at the show to celebrate the South of England’s 50th Anniversary. A “guess the number of golden eggs” competition and a “guess the weight of honey” competition at this summer shows.
First off, the winner of the “guess the number of golden eggs” is Lesley Lott who correctly guessed 93. This was also guessed by one other person but Lesley won the tie-break random draw – congratulations! Secondly, the winner of the “guess the weight of honey comb” is Mark Simpson who correctly guessed 2.01kg. Congratulations to you! (Yes I did convert the guesses made in pounds and ounces! ) We hope you enjoy your prizes from this year’s summer shows.
Our next flock of Quail have arrived – including some Golden Quail – with more Point of Lay Hybrids and Pekin Bantam Hens following shortly. The majority of the hybrid flock we have here are now laying eggs, so it’s eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the moment! These slightly older birds are fantastic if you are looking to introduce new hens to a flock. It is surprising how just a few weeks older and a few eggs laid makes a far more confident hen.
The recent extreme heat has made it even more important to give our animals an extra bit of care. For your chickens please make sure there is always a fresh supply of drinking water and adequate shade in the run. It is also important to provide good ventilation in the chicken house, with the temperature remaining high some nights it is surprising how hot a hen house can become, especially if well stocked. The heat also brings with it perfect conditions for fleas, lice and mites, so do take extra care with your cleaning duties. Use plenty of diatom powder in the house, cleaning with poultry shield and generally checking and cleaning more frequently.
It is also a busy time for bees, with plenty of forage about and perfect conditions for flying the bees are very active, working hard to grow the colony and build up their food stores. It is thirsty work for a bee, so make sure there is a supply of fresh water for them; a chicken drinker with a few pebbles for easy landing is perfect. It is also a likely time for swarming, so regular checks are essential to spy signs of swarm preparation and make sure there is plenty of room in the hive, adding supers as necessary.