The sun is shining and its a beautiful spring day - the grass is growing and everywhere is looking green and verdant. As we keep horses on our land adjacent to the yurt camp, we have to maintain the pastures on a regular basis. Horses are reputed to be the farmers bane, as they will not graze where they dung and will only eat the sweetest grass leaving patches of weeds. This means that we regularly roll, harrow and fertilise our fields and rest them to allow the grass to replenish and rejuvenate. This week we have had the fertiliser spread on the lake field and the horses are taking a holiday in the top barn field. Grass can be the enemy of small ponies such as our shetland pony, Ellie. During the peak growing season she has to live on a small (and unfertilised) patch or "sin bin". This keeps her weight down and allows us to prevent a common disease in ponies called laminitis. Ellie however is not always complicit in our attempts to keep her in her diet paddock and is often trying to work out new ways of how to escape!!
This week has seen a wonderful Easter treat for our yurt guests with the arrival of 17 bantam hatchling chicks. I set the incubator with the eggs 3 weeks ago, and despite the fact we had storms and a lengthy 10 hour power cut a few days ago, the chicks arrived a day later than expected just in time for Easter. The chicks are a mix of Lemon, Porcelain and Silver Millefleur Sable Poot bantams along with a mixed bunch of feathery footed bantams. These are very cute due to their small size and are highly resilient to the fact that the incubator was off and going cold for at least 10 hours during our power cut. Guests this weekend with their children are delighted to see these little birds. Easter has brought us some beautiful sunshine and the weather is set to get even warmer in the next few days. The chicks will remain in a brooder (under a heat lamp) for 3 - 4 weeks until they are old enough and well feathered enough to go outside into a small run. Hope the warm weather continues!
Liz Jeffery - owner of Hemsford Yurt camp