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The LaverockHall Farm Blog

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

National Nest Box Week

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Hot on the heels of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is the National Nest Box Week.  This runs from 14th -21st February, as traditionally wild birds pair up on Valentine’s day. We’re not suggesting that you buy your loved one a Nest Box instead of a Valentine’s gift or card, but it certainly could be a lovely long- lasting gift and might be just the best most unusual gift you could give if you’re sure that it would be well received. We might think it’s cold and wintry outside, but the birds are thinking about pairing up and finding the best place to set up home for the breeding season, which is where the Nest Box comes in. National Nest Box Week was set up by the British Trust for Ornithology or BTO about ten years ago and is now firmly established on the Bird Watching calendar. This is a great...
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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 26-28th 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 good...
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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. The competition is from Nov 27th 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 please...
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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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Take Cover

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I know Winter seems like a long way away but as farmers we have to make preparations for crops sometimes years in advance, crop rotation (remember that from school history lessons, the Agricultural Revolution, Jethro Tull & all that) is a real thing and we really need to know what we will be growing in which field in years to come. We try to do our bit for wildlife and the birds, we fed tons of Wild Bird food during the snow and most of the Winter down our fields to keep the hedgerow birds fed and healthy as well as filling our bird feeders in our garden, it’s just bird feeding, but on a much larger scale. This year we are planting some crops that won’t be harvested so that the birds have food for the winter and they can feed themselves, this cover crop also provides the birds with...
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The Beast from the East

Well it has finally arrived , the snow is here, the news is full of weather pictures and we are inundated with reports that there is much more snow to come.  The fields, gardens and roads are covered and there seems to be disruption throughout the whole country due to this freezing weather. Hopefully you are reading this in your lovely warm , centrally heated house and well stocked up with lots of warming foods, after all this weather has been forecast for some time.  The Beast from the East is a Polar Vortex with weather coming straight from Russia coming in on Easterly Winds.  We can be prepared but how well prepared are the birds in our gardens? Most of us are really generous and do put food out for the birds but did you know that fresh water is also important, I know its not easy to put out...
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Big Garden Birdwatch 2018

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Are you taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch this year. It takes place from 27-29th Jan in your very own garden or even the local park. The RSPB ask that during these dates we monitor all birds that you see for an hour in your chosen space. Make a cup of tea, pick a comfy chair, turn off your phone, unless its to take photos and record the birds that you see for that specified hour, and hopefully you will have an enjoyable hour watching .They have asked that you record the maximum number of species that you see within that hour so for example if you see two blue tits then see two more - they may be the same ones so please record that you have seen two blue tits. They have then asked that you record your sightings on their website after your hour. This can be...
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Bird Table Envy

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Do you suffer from Bird Table Envy?, Is there such a thing as Bird Table Envy?.  I honestly did not think such a thing existed until I saw this photo of a bird table and felt I had to share the photo with you all. This is not my bird table, but I think over the coming months I will be attempting to copy some of the features shown here to create a veritable feast for the birds in our garden.  We are visited by many birds of all shapes and sizes, including house sparrows, tree sparrows, blue tits, long tailed tits, bullfinches, goldfinches and our old favourite mega pigeon, the pigeon so large he has his own postcode! I usually put out an array of our best selling Laverock Hall High Energy Bird food, plus sunflower hearts and a small Niger feeder for the finches, but this photo has given...
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Friday the 13th - Spooky or spectacular?

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Well it always comes doesn't it?, Friday the 13th and love it or loathe it there is no escaping it, its here and we all just have to get on with it. So why is it so feared? Apparently the sixth day of the week (Friday) and the number 13 are considered unlucky , so to combine them you have double trouble, or so it was thought. Friday was also the day that traditionally executions took place so it was considered to be most unlucky and also called Hangman's Day. The number 13 is also associated with the Last Supper and as Judas the traitor was the 13th person so the superstition continues, and it is not just in the Christian faith , Hindus also consider a gathering of 13 to be unlucky too so the number 13 seems to be an issue with many faiths and religions. In fact fear...
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Every day seems to be a listed day for #National Wear a Hat day, or #National Rice Pudding Day (August 9th in America if you're interested) , but today is #BackBritishFarmingDay and that is a bit more relevant to ourselves. First and foremost we are farmers and have been on both sides of the family for generations so you could say farming is in our blood. Certainly it seems to be continuing with two of our children doing Agriculture related subjects at University, but who knows what the future holds for farmers everywhere. I thought I would share a few interesting facts with yourselves about British farming, please forgive me if you already know them, but they certainly surprised me when I read them this morning. Did you know that for every £1 invested in farm support, farming delivers £7.40 back to the economy?, no, neither did I. Farming plays an...
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Small Straw Bales in a Soggy September

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Its a very dark ,soggy September day here on the farm, We have had four lovely weeks of dry weather, it has been dry for so long that this morning our Vizsla puppy, Frank, refused to go out in the rain until he was absolutely desperate, I think he had forgotten all about what rain was. He's in for a nasty surprise soon with the Winter weather just around the corner. The wonderful dry spell has enabed us to get the wheat and barley combined , the fields cleared of straw and a lot of ploughing started too. We only have one field of oats left to cut which wasn't ready yeaterday, plus the beans then we are all finished harvesting for this year. Its then time to sow the Winter seeds after the fields have been ploughed, cultivated and a good seed bed prepared so the crops get the best...
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Nesting and a Feeding Frenzy

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I don't know how busy your garden is but ours is alive with noise and the feeders are busy all of the daylight hours at the moment. Filling them is a must do job every morning, as well as filling the bird bath too. We have had numerous visitors to the sunflower heart feeders which are nearest to the kitchen window but all of the feeders down the garden have had an array of visitors. Its not easy to capture them with the camera as they are really timid but I was impressed with my photo of these lovely goldfinches.  We have had bullfinches, blue tits, long tailed tits, and I'm sure I even saw a chiffchaff earlier this month. The dry weather has been such a bonus to us here on the farm, enabling the spring crops to be sown and the spraying and fertilizing to be completed way ahead...
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