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The LaverockHall Farm Blog

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

Now you see him now you don't

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We are so fortunate to live in this part of the UK where it is still possible to occasionally see Red Squirrels, we even had one in our garden last year and I managed a very quick snap of him/her from the kitchen window. I was shaking so much with excitement I am surprised it was possible to see the squirrel on the photo at all. I did share it on our facebook page and in a blog post last year. A friend of ours who lives on a neighbouring farm has been helping with the local Red Squirrel group and has managed to take some amazing photos of squirrels and other local wildlife. Take a look at his work on his website. https://www.leonsavagephotography.co.uk We are in the process of creating a specific squirrel mix because we are asked more and more for Squirrel Food as many customers have spotted squirrels...
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Sunshine & Showers

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What a mixed bag of weather we seem to be having this Summer. We got really high temperatures during the growing season for most of our plants, then extreme rain when we were trying to make hay and now we seem to have a combination of the two, although it doesn't seem to dry up before it manages to rain again. Even the tennis at Wimbledon have experienced our Northern weather - sunshine and showers which are totally unpredictable, and forcing us to take an umbrella , even on a seemingly sunny day. The activity on the bird feeders seems to have slowed down a little bit from last month, the young fledgings seem to be managing to use our feeders themselves, without their parents flying backwards and forwards to the feeders and the nest. We had a lovely sight of three young sparrows feeding at our bird table a couple...
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Carry on carrying on

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I am sure that we have all been shocked at the tragic news from Manchester this week, the images will stay with many of us for a very long time. We are assured that we must carry on regardless and I think that we can take a cue from nature with this. Nature does not suffer from terror attacks but it can be really harsh and terrible with devestating consequences for those involved. We have seen floods which must have wiped out rabbit burrows or flooded nests of baby birds, droughts where birds have dropped with exhaustion due to heatwaves and no access to water, plus much more. Those rabbits and birds just carry on and dig another burrow or build another nest and try again and carry on. The birdsong in our garden has been positively deafening this week , the garden has finally burst into life after a few...
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Feed One Feed All

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This is a picture of our Robin & Songbird Mix of Wild Bird Food. Looks exciting doesn't it? Well I'm sure if you were a Robin or a Songbird it would be just the diet for you so I'm not surprised if you're none too impressed with the photo of plump juicy raisins, suet pellets, chopped peanuts,groats, sunflower hearts, pinhead oatmeal, mealworms and cut maize. I know it looks like a luxury muesli but trust me it is meant for Robins & Songbirds, or is it? Since I have been putting this food out we have had even more variety of birds at the feeders and bird table so I am asking customers and blog readers not to be fooled by labels, this really is a feed all bird food, not just as it says on the label. We have had chaffinches, bullfinches, pigeons, pheasants, blue tits, great tits and even...
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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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Has Spring Sprung?

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Another dry, sunny and pleasant day today but is this Spring or will the weather turn cold again?  The forecasters would have us believe that we are due cold wet weather and possibly even snow but the activity in the garden makes me think that Spring is already here. The birdsong is so loud from that I am convinved that our feathered friends seem to think that better weather is here to stay and its time for nest building, the feeders are being emptied daily rather than every two days so we are feeding more birds and they seem to be in rather a frenzy to get Spring underway. We are feeding Laverock Hall High Energy Bird food in our feeders at the minute to give the birds a Spring energy boost and they seem to be thoroughly enjoying this feed after feeding them no wheat and no waste bird feeds...
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National Nestbox Week 14-21 February

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Now is a great time to put a nest box in your garden as some types of birds , such as blue tits, start to look for nest sites as early as February so you could be receiving visitors very soon to your new box. National Nestbox week takes place from 14-21 February and people are being encouraged to put up a nestbox in their garden or outside space if at all possible. The main reason for this is that natural sites that birds would more usually nest in are disappearing as people tidy their gardens or knock down old outhouses where birds might have nested and they have less and less places to safely nest and breed. If at all possible your nestbox should be facing North, to avoid blustery wet weather and bright direct sunlight, both of which could impair the survival of the feathered inhabitants, your nest box...
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New Year and Frank

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Happy New Year to all of our customers and Blog readers. Here's hoping that 2017 is a great year for us all. Ours got off to an unusual start as Frank arrived between Christmas and New Year. He is a Hungarian Vizsla and is nine weeks old and has taken over our lives and hearts already. We already had Stanley, our 12 year old Border Terrier and we have always had at least two dogs at any one time. When our last dog Marjorie died suddenly at 3 years old we were heartbroken and it has taken a long time before I would agree to have another dog. Many years ago we had a Hungarian Vizsla, Barry, who was absolutely wonderful even if he was 'slow to mature', and we always said that if we had the chance we would love to own another one. Frank has arrived and my life...
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Avian Flu - what can we do?

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There has been lots on the news in the past couple of days abput Avain Flu and I thought I would clarify a few points as to how it affects poultry keepers in the UK. Poultry keepers in England have been told to keep their birds inside for 30 days to protect them from a highly infectious strain of Avian Flu in Europe.  The H5N8 bird flu strain has been found in poultry and wild birds in 14 countries including Germany and France.  Please do NOT panic - the risk to humans is very low and NO Uk cases have been found up to now.  These measures are precationary but still very importnat and according to DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) they apply to both farmers and hobby chicken keepers alike. The main thing that we as chicken keepers can do is to keep the chickens inside their...
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