Category: Tales & Stories

Hoolets In The Hayshed

When we first came to Lanternside the local expert told us we were too high up to get barn owls but we soon saw them along the roadside at night in areas lying higher than our place. Then two years ago we were approached by National Parks, advised by the same expert, to see if […]

A Silkie Story

In the summer of 2005 we visited Bob’s sister Isabel in Northamptonshire.  She took us up to the field to admire her hens.  Almost before the words “Oh aren’t they lovely” were out of our mouths, 3 little silkies were packed in a box ready for their long drive north to Newcastle.  Of course not […]

A Doctor Writes – Inferiority?

As a doctor I am often asked, “do smallholders ever suffer from an inferiority complex?” Generally the answer is no. I have found during my long medical career that statistically, smallholders are less likely than most other groups to suffer from the feelings of inferiority or inadequacy. However, there are of course “the exceptions which […]

A Doctor Writes – Contagious?

“Dear Doctor, is a smallholding contagious?” writes a worried reader. I am often asked this question and the answer is “no”, however recent medical research suggests that the condition could be genetic. The symptoms often manifest themselves in later rather than earlier life and can cause considerable stress to the sufferers family even though the […]

The Lucky Hatch

As I’ve mentioned in previous Biddy stories we’ve never kept a cockerel, in order to keep the Biddies happy we buy in fertile eggs for them to hatch. One very late spring “Ami” went broody, so we hunted around and bought her a mixed setting of Silkie eggs, hoping this would result in a brood […]

A Goose Called Wilf

We’ve never kept a cockerel, but almost all of our Biddies are Silkies (a breed notorious for going broody) and therefore we regularly buy-in eggs to hatch. One summer we bought white Silkie eggs resulting in a brood of chicks in January the following year; and as is usual with Silkies, continue laying until they […]

Backyard Biddies

Do any of you ever wonder how on earth you came to keep the type of stock you do? Most of us grew up in an era when everyone’s family had at the very least a few hens in the back garden, or even a pig. Now I imagine those of you who have smallholdings […]

Can You Swing A Scythe Boy?

When we first rented half an acre from Lord Tollemache behind our cottage in Suffolk I decided to buy a scythe and a rake to keep it in order until we got some creatures to graze it. With some difficulty I found my way to the Rake Factory in an obscure part of the county. […]

Foot & Mouth Experience

Foot and Mouth Disease was well established by the end of February, but by the time I decided to volunteer my services as a Temporary Veterinary Inspector (TVI) I was snowed in at Low Common with little prospect of escape until a thaw set in. However a plea for help to Lilburn Estates resulted in […]

Walking Miss Daisy

Daisy is our Bulldog who we sort of adopted last year; we didn’t actually decide to adopt her, she just inexplicably insinuated herself into our affections and then suddenly she was a permanent addition to our household… much to the surprise of our incredibly large miniature twin Yorkshire Terriers, who, up until then had had […]

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