After the battle (435 days to go)

by Max Akroyd

Shhh! The girls are sleeping... (Those round black things are piglets)

 

I returned to the site of yesterday’s great piglet battle with a bit of a heavy heart, diminished somewhat by the pain in my throbbing finger. The former cow stall turned pig pen is now forlorn, empty and in need of a proper clean. Best to just get on with these things and plan for the future.

The area in question will be home to our meat hens. These birds don’t get a big outdoor area in which they would only exercise off their value, but I’m determined they should have a large, comfortable indoor space – it’s about 7 metres by 5 metres of floor space. The small outdoor enclosure will be shut off to them at first and will be resown after being denuded by the previous piggy residents. I’m going to try a sowing of green purslane there; I read this was a good way to get get omega 6 oils into our diet via the hens. I’m trying something similar with the laying hens too – a sowing of chicory for them to eat, which is meant to make the yolks of their eggs a wonderful deep orange colour.

Funds permitting, we’ll take a trip to the market in beautiful Châteauneuf-du-Faou during the Easter holidays and stock up with about twenty birds – the idea being to get on with self-sufficiency in poultry with no further ado. That’s the plan from now on, in fact: to focus on each major food type and get them sorted for home production one by one. More on this bigger picture tomorrow.

Without being hassled by pigs it was very straightforward to get the place clean, although I’ll attack it with the power washer before the hens move in. The same can’t be said off all the other animal houses which also needed a clear out today: there’s only so many hens you can stroke and pigs’ ears you can scratch before time becomes of the essence. For there was yet more cementing to do… from another gate post to, of all things, a rotary clothes line! 

There’s another storm forecast for tomorrow so I did a fair bit of batonning down before deciding to put my feet up for the rest of the day. It’s been a busy ten days or so, my body is falling apart at the seams and, joy of joys, this year’s tax return has just arrived!