We have had a bit of a birthing spurt over the last few weeks and it has been a real joy to see new life coming onto the farm
It started with 4 new chicks that we incubated from some of our Sussex eggs and our little bantam hen. We hatched 3 Sussex, which we are pretty sure are one male and two females and a delightful yellow and black bantam chick which also looks likely to be a female.
The biggest surprise has been the rabbits …..
After the disappointment of losing all 12 babies during the summer, we decided to try a more natural approach. We had originally housed the rabbits in a large rabbit cage, with a house. We were a little uncomfortable about the arrangement because all our other animals are free range and to see the rabbits in a cage, without freedom of movement, didn´t seem right.
We decided to let the rabbits roam free and moved the female into the large chicken pen and the male moved into the slightly smaller chicken run after we had mated them.
We were pretty sure that the female had dug herself a burrow under the chicken house, even though we had provided her with a lovely little house for shelter.
As the weeks went by, she showed no signs of being pregnant and we had pretty well given up on the idea of rabbit breeding. Imagine our surprise yesterday morning when we saw 6 healthy, chunky young rabbits running around the pen. It was clearly their first day out of the burrow and they were enjoying the morning sunshine with
mum. They look in absolutely fabulous condition and we estimate that they around four weeks old.We have a male and female Muscovy ducks and she started laying a couple of weeks ago, which was another surprise. We had not expected eggs until the spring, but she has layed virtually every day for the past fortnight. They mate every evening before going to bed so we are fairly sure that the eggs are fertile and we are currently incubating eight eggs, so we could have some baby ducklings on the way in the very near future.
Our vegetable crops are coming along and we have been particularly pleased with our carrots. We struggled a bit with carrots last year, but this crop has been fantastic. The lettuce and cauliflowers are coming on well and we have just planted out another batch of each, which we grew from seed in the greenhouse.
We have been to a number of local craft fairs, with our hand painted signs, olive wood candle holders, homemade chutney, and organic dog biscuits and we have been overwhelmed by the response. It seems that a lot of people read our articles and follow our progress on facebook and it has been wonderful to meet with you face to face and have a chat.
We would like to wish a Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year to everybody from all of us at Olive Tree Farm.
You can follow our progress on Face Book – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Olive-Tree-Farm/192628504275135?ref=hl
You can also see lots of videos on our You Tube Channel…..search for Olive Tree Farm