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The LaverockHall Farm Blog

Whats going on down on the Farm? Find out here !!

Watch the Birdies

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We’ve been asked on several occasions as to why we don’t have small caged bird food in our Laverock Hall range of bird foods, and we can happily say that as of today we do now. Chris has worked closely with a locally well-known bird breeder and they have come up with a range of three new caged bird foods. These are Mixed Canary Food, Mixed Budgie Seed and Mixed Finch Food. They are a great addition to our Laverock range of bird foods and hopefully they will be well received by the caged bird breeders and by people who keep birds as a hobby too. They contain a good variety of seeds to suit most caged birds and are of the highest quality, so you can be assured that your birds are getting the very best food. The new mixes are packed in 5kg bags and 15kg bags, so they...
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RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2019

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The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch takes place 26-28 th January this year. It’s the biggest survey of birds in the UK as over half a million people take part. The data is important as the survey has been going for the last 40 years so when it is all collated it can be used to compare year on year information about trends in species plus it’s a snapshot of bird numbers across the UK so is comprehensive and is most important in helping spot problems and can be the first step to help to protect certain species. The big garden Birdwatch was started in 1979, but it wasn’t until Blue Peter featured this in a programme that it totally took off, although adults weren’t invited to join in until 2001. If you wish to join in with the Big Garden Birdwatch it couldn’t be simpler. Firstly, you need to find a...
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Veganuary

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  Dry January began a few years back in 2015 and is a great way of keeping healthy after a, perhaps, boozy festive period! This year a few official bodies have been encouraging ‘Veganuary’ to ask people to try and be vegan for one month. This may not be our cup of tea down on the farm, but one initiative we can get behind is the vegan mentality of looking out for the great outdoors and the wildlife within it – is the Laverock Hall lifestyle becoming fashionable? As some of you may know, myself and Chris are often spotted down fields and hedgerows spilling bird foods around in the cold weather to make sure our feathered friends are eating well, and to check up on our prickly friends and those with fluffy tails! Venganuary might be quite a tough challenge to keep up, and it might be a large lifestyle...
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Back to Normal

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Phew, welcome to 2019. Let’s hope that you all had a lovely Xmas and New Year and that all is back to normal in your households. We had a lovely rest, enjoyed spending time with friends and family, walked the dogs and generally recharged our batteries ready for the challenges of 2019. Our shop has reopened today and is fully stocked up, we are back in full production making our hen corns, pigeon foods and wild bird foods, ready for you to give your birds the best possible nutrition at prices that make you happy too. We have been interviewed for a farming magazine with Robyn, our youngest daughter. The magazine was initially interested in her story about how she coped with her epilepsy while living on a farm with the related challenges of not being able to drive etc, but they also interviewed Chris and me about our Bird food...
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Cover Girl

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What a lovely surprise to find out that Robyn is the cover photo for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution’s Winter edition of their magazine, using the photo I took on my iPhone.  It was taken outside our house when we took some pictures to promote our Wild Bird Food & for a bit of a laugh before she went back to University for her 3 rd Year. The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) is a long-standing agricultural charity and the work they do, without shouting about it at all, is amazing. It’s mainly used to support the countryside, farmers and their families as well as all things rural. We needed them to confirm that Robyn lives in a rural location and isn’t able to drive to support her application for her Personal Independence Payments for her epilepsy.  This money isn’t a lot, but as we don’t live on any bus routes...
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Get Stocked Up!

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We've had some very busy weeks recently with more to come until the big day is finally here. Thankfully, the farmwork is mostly completed at this time of the year, so we can concentrate on our Bird Foods. We’re busy manufacturing Wild Bird Foods, Pigeon Corns, Chicken Foods, stocking the shop, as well as delivering to our trade customers and preparing courier orders for the website too! So, it’s a hands-on busy time. We even had to house a couple of geese overnight until they could be collected to go to their new home, they’re pets not Xmas dinners, before you ask.  The wild birds visiting our bird table and feeders in our garden are many and varied at this time of year but they seem to visit by species for feeding, we will get a batch of sparrows, then some blue tits, then the pigeons come along for a feed,...
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Competition Time

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We are running a Photo competition to win a 12.55kg bag of either Laverock No Waste or Laverock No Wheat Wild Bird Food. https://www.laverockhallfarm.co.uk/wild-bird-food/no-waste-12-55kg-detail https://www.laverockhallfarm.co.uk/wild-bird-food/wheat-free-wild-bird-food-12-55kg-detail The competition is from Nov 27 th to Midnight on Tuesday Dec 4th & all you need to do to enter is to submit a wildlife or birdlife photo of your choice on our Facebook page as a comment on the relevant competition  Facebook post. This will be judged by an independent judge and his/her decision will be final. One entry per person & if you wish to share the competition with your friends and family that would be fab but isn’t obligatory. After that date the winner will be announced ASAP., and the prize can either be collected from our shop or it will be couriered to you if you live further afield. UK entries only please and only one entry per person. Could you...
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Not just for the birds

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We’re often asked in the shop which birds eat what types of food or is one mix better than another? While there’s no hard & fast rule regarding feeding I usually say that the smaller the seeds the smaller the birds they will attract. We make a few different mixes to attract all types of birds to your feeders, but some people find that some mixes work better than others and there are also obvious factors regarding how sheltered your garden is, or if you own cats which can affect which birds you will attract. Our Laverock Hall Deluxe Bird food was one of the first mixes we made many years ago. It is our what we call entry level bird food, it will attract birds to your feeder and will feed all types of birds, but it does contain wheat so will be useful if you wish to attract pigeons...
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Chickens, hens & poultry

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Hens, chickens, poultry – they conjure up a vision of either fluffy chicks at Easter or lovely brown hens scratching around a farmyard, but more and more people are keeping chickens in their gardens or backyards, and judging by our own customers they seem to really love their hens. Lots of people buy their chickens Wild Bird food as a treat, or mealworms so they can scratch around and enjoy finding their treats among their usual chicken foods. We have hens on our farm and we all know how lovely it is to have a freshly boiled egg with toast soldiers from a chicken we look after and feed, but some people only know of supermarket eggs and don’t have any idea where their eggs come from. Its lovely to meet with our customers and see how much the whole family can be involved in chicken keeping, and not just by...
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Walter the Vizsla

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It’s been a long time since I admired Wirehaired Hungarian Vizslas and we have had a few dogs in our lives in the meantime, all of them loved and treasured members of our family, living alongside our children and a variety of other pets along the way, including a ferret, ponies, and various cats, most of which found us rather than us choosing them! We currently have Frank, our smooth haired Hungarian Vizsla who was driven up from Gloucestershire almost 2 years ago to cause chaos and mayhem in our lives. He’s been like a whirlwind and I have described him as like living with a kangaroo in the house. Why oh why did I then agree to us having another one in the family you ask. Well the reason is that when we had Frank we also had my beloved terrier, Stanley who ruled our house and us to his...
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Coming and going?

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Migration isn’t just about birds moving continents, did you know that some birds migrate vertically – this means that they might move from uplands to milder lowlands for the Winter where food is more plentiful e.g. skylarks, meadow pipits and snow buntings. Even the Blackbirds we see in our gardens in January might be visiting from Eastern Europe. The most famous birds that most people know of that migrate are swallows who fly  to Africa for the winter and there are birds that  only winter here including lots of types of ducks and geese, fieldfares, redwings and whooper swans. The birds that stay here for the winter need our help and here’s a few for you to look out for on your feeder, bird table or in your garden. Number one is the robin, recently voted Britain’s national bird, a special favourite here as it’s our daughter’s name too; different spelling...
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Our new Conservation and Wildlife project

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Some of you will have seen our Laverock Hall Farm Facebook post with my video of the latest happenings here on the farm. We have been planning this project for a number of years and today it finally started, making this an exciting day to watch the beginnings of what will hopefully be around for generations to come. Our Conservation wildlife pond and woodland project has begun on one of our fields. This is a much bigger project than I envisaged but maybe I’m more used to garden projects than acres of woodlands. We have measured the boundaries and organised trees and fencing with the help of a Conservation Consultant, Harry Baker-Cresswell. He has advised us from the beginning and has been a great help with the choice of trees and location. We will be planting Hazel trees ( for harvesting and also to support our lovely native red squirrels), Alder,...
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How to make a simple Bird Feeder

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The nights seem to be closing in very quickly and although we have had very warm weather this week, the colder weather is just around the corner, and the birds will be looking for more food to keep them warm throughout the colder temperatures.   It is almost the school Half Term Holidays l too, and If you are looking for a project  to entertain children or grandchildren then this could be a great family activity  for you all  which is relatively cheap, involves recycling and also feeds the birds and is educational too. Here are my instructions;  How to make a simple bird feeder You will need 1.An empty plastic bottle, any size is fine, remember though that it will weigh quite heavy when filled with bird food. 2.Wooden dowels, pencils, old wooden spoons – these will be the perches 3.Wire to make a loop,  or strong twine is fine too,...
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Jobs & Hedgehogs

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Autumn seems to be upon us and after such a lovely summer it’s a bit of a shock to wake up to dark mornings and much cooler temperatures. The gardens are looking a bit tatty now and leaves are starting to change colour and drop, and Winter seems to be very close. Tidying up the garden is a regular Autumn job to remove dead foliage and prepare the beds for the coming season but maybe it might be a good idea to leave a few plants for the birds. I’m not suggesting that your gardens are full of weeds but if you have any thistles maybe on your compost heaps their seed heads are a great food source for many smaller birds, including finches and sparrows. Nyjer or Niger seed is in fact thistle seed and is grown in North America, we sell this in our shop in various bag sizes,...
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8 Seeds, 8 generations, and 8 reasons why Laverock Hall Deluxe is my choice!

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Our original Wild Bird Food Mix, Deluxe has 8 different seeds,pictured above is Robyn (8th Generation), so here’s 8 reasons to buy your bird foods from us! Deluxe Wild Bird food, like all our bird foods, are made here on our farm in Northumberland by Chris & the team. Chris is the 7 th Generation of the Hogg family who have farmed here so he knows a bit about crops & seeds, and if you come into our shop you can meet the man who makes your bird food! 2 All of our Laverock bird foods come in a strong woven polypropylene bag which is so strong it can be used again for e.g., garden waste, storage or even as a growbag – I have seen a picture of one filled with compost and holes cut into the sides to grow strawberries or potatoes! 3 We only use top grade ingredients...
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And Breathe

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Well, that’s Harvest over for another year, and what a year it has been! 2018 has to go down in History as one of the most extreme years as far as weather is concerned. The snows of the Beast from the East seemed long forgotten while we sweltered in some of the highest temperatures we have ever had, especially for a Northern Summer. The last of the Spring Barley was cut on the 2 nd September, in a more usual year we might have just started to cut wheat, but could not even have envisaged being all completed as far as corn cutting is concerned. The hard work hasn’t finished yet though as the fields all need to be prepared for sowing next year’s crop as soon as possible although cooler weather isn’t so much of an issue for ploughing or cultivating. As usual it has been a swings and roundabouts...
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Hot Harvest 2018

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And so it begins, Harvest 2018 in the most unusual year of our farming lives. After the Beast from the East in March 2018 we are now experiencing the hottest summer since records began if this hot season keeps up throughout August. We have begun by cutting the Winter barley, then Winter oats which were a very dry and crisp crop which is mostly droughted off but we will get what crop there is and it most certainly will not need to be dried as I’m sure there is so little moisture in the grain that it will be fried to a crisp. We use the same farming contractor every year and his new combine is fitted with tracks as you can possibly see by the photos, although I don’t think that they will be needed this year like in other years when we have been almost flooded out! The cutting...
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Help for racing pigeons in the hot weather

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Pigeon Racing season is in full swing at the moment and with the unusually high temperatures we are experiencing the pigeons are being really challenged and many of them need to rest and recuperate before they find their way home. I thought that some of you may often have racing pigeons visiting your gardens and feeders and would maybe welcome advice as to what to do if you found an injured or exhausted bird. We have even had pigeons brought into our shop and managed to contact the Pigeon Association to reunite the owners with their birds which are often very valuable. We once had a pigeon land on George’s tractor one harvest time which he nicknamed Mort and we nursed him back to health and got him back to his owner too! The Royal Pigeon Racing Association advises to give the bird seeds or crushed cornflakes and some water in...
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Summer Feeding - True or False?

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“You shouldn’t feed the birds in the Summer” Is this True or False, well actually its false as in the Summer the birds are usually feeding young and a regular supply of bird food ensures that the birds in our gardens are healthy and the next generation is getting the best possible start too! Breeding and egg laying can take over half of the female bird’s energy and they often moult at this time of year too. The migrating birds need sufficient fat reserves, built up during the summer months to see them through successful migration to their winter feeding grounds in Africa & other countries. Winter feeding is obviously important as natural feedstuff is usually in short supply and the colder temperatures make it more difficult for survival, but it is now acknowledged that supplementing natural foodstuffs for the birds all year round is considered the best option. Should we...
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Baby Boom

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Those of you who feed the birds, and thankfully there are many of us, will have noticed that your feeders are being emptied more quickly and that there are more smaller birds visiting your feeders and bird tables too. This is the time of year that our garden birds have juveniles which are ready to leave the nests; they are able to fly for short distances and are shown where the best food sources are by their parents, which is usually our garden bird tables and feeders. We have noticed some small balls of fluff, identified as baby blue tits waiting patiently near the feeders and watching carefully what mum and dad are showing them. As these youngsters are easy prey until they get older and wiser, and hopefully they will live to get older there are a few ways in which we can help them without too much trouble to...
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