Monday, December 28, 2009

Piglet Moving

These are the first generation of pigs we have reared from scratch.



Two of them are weaners for a local family the other four are for fattening ourselves.

We moved them off their sows yesterday, this you may have heard if you are within 10 miles of us a touched piglet is a noisy and wriggly beast.

Apart from the trailer technique which would have chewed up the ground at the moment, the best technique we found was to insert piglet, hams first into an old paper feedsack and carry it with its head and front legs sticking out of the bag. This method met with grunts of approval ..... thankfully.

Needless to say when food is placed in front of pig or piglet all other memories are immediately forgotten hence the friendly greeting received this morning despite the pignominious moving technique yesterday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Christmas to all our Customers and Visitors

Just a quick note to say THANK YOU to everyone that has supported us over the last year and given us such wonderful feedback.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Produce

We are about to get back our Christmas supply of Bacons and Hams from our Rare Breed Large Black Pigs. The pigs are reared outdoors in sheltered fields on the woodland edge.

We have always used Organic rations for pigs and they are now have a Soya Free Diet. Organic Oats from Cornwall, Organic Barley from East Anglia and Organic Peas from Europe, needless to say this is a huge reduction in food miles.

We will have available for delivery on 23rd December,
  • Smoked and Green Hams
  • Smoked and Green Collar and Shoulder Joints
  • Smoked and Green Rindless Streaky and Back Bacon
  • Suckling Pigs
Hams and Collar Joints are cut to order and vacuum packed. Sliced Bacon will be available in pack sizes of approximately 200g

All this Bacon has been hung, cured and cut at Philip Warren's of Launceston and smoked over Oak at Tregida Smokehouse. Both are companies we trust to deliver a superior piece of Ham for your Christmas Table.

Suckling pigs come in various sizes to order and are oven ready, try these for the most succulent pork and the crispiest crackling.

To find out more click on the "Contact Us" button at the top of this page.

Large Black Weaners for Sale - ALL SOLD

We now have Large Black Weaners for sale, boars and gilts. These are all birth notified which means if you decide to, you can register them as pedigree breeding stock.

They are extremely hardy pigs and particularly docile, at full size they can be kept behind a single strand of electric fence. They are a dual purpose pig and produce succulent and tasty Pork and excellent Bacon.

Typically we deliver pigs to your site, with all required paperwork and are very happy to share our experiences of pig keeping.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Milfred's 9 Piglets

Our first litter of pedigree Large Black Pigs

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Organic Conversion

Finally ...... paperwork and RPA maps done and we start the organic conversion paper trail!

Next stop OELS (Organic Entry Level Stewardship)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

iggy

This is iggy he is 4 weeks old now and fattening up a bit, and has gallops around the field with his mum.

He managed to get to the other side of the fence the other night, but no milk thievery by the look of it. And got a bit alarmed being returned and shocked at the same time.

Blackthorn

I love Blackthorn it is great and a real treat in the hedges.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The first pork

Got the first of our pigs back this week 46kgs of beautiful sweet pork. A renowned local butcher did the hanging and cutting and commented they were good which means a lot to us as we have put a lot of effort in trying to get it right.

Had our first piece of belly last night .... yum ... Roast potatoes cooked in the fat, you can see why dripping used to be so popular, the stuff off your standard crate/shed reared pig on fast grower rations doesn't compare.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Iggy and Hazel Escape!

The proxy mother is causing more shenanigans. Bedtime animal check found these two in another field having scrambled over a bit of bank. Cow hurdlesn nuts and halter to the rescue and another piece of hedging to add to the list

Friday, March 27, 2009

Milking Devons

Been milking Heather a month now and been using her milk to make all manner of things and are now up to a gallon a day of creamy raw milk mostly off grass with a couple of handfuls of organic nuts for enticements.

Some of the women in the village have been passing on tips for clotted cream making, have also managed yogurt and the skimmed goes into making a really rich bread with a nutty crust. First attempt at butter has failed but we creamed some sugar in and made the cream into lemon cake .... it worked. The picture is of a batch of cream.

Not bad for a Devon first time calver believed by many to be a beef only breed. Some know them to be a multipurpose cow and to have very rich milk, which I have heard called "double gold top"

Problems though with Iggy the
"Milk thief" suckling two mums. He was caught in the act and now greets his second mum across 3 strands of electric fence styled after the border wires Steve McQueen tried to jump in the Great Escape. Hope this will be effective they did not like being split up and Heather, a willing accomplice in the matter has been watching "her" calf over the fence.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Arrival

Hooray Hazel has given birth to Iggy.

Been on tenterhooks for two weeks waiting to see how she turned out after death of the previous calf so have rewarded selves with sleeping all night.

New heifer to be added quite soon to be named Honey .... Next challenge a bull

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Our first calf

Our first calf arrived today dead on arrival a month earlier than pd' absolutely gutted hadn't even got round to naming mum

It was a cracking sized bull calf and got stuck on the way out one foreleg and head and dead when we found him. Vet assisted getting the rest of him, the mother has been in the corner of the field all day looking rightly glum.

Been milking the mother out and will see what happens next with her.

Double portion of grog tonight me thinks

Lambs on the other hand we did alright with, so far 12 lambs from 9 of our 10 ewes despite them lambing outside when the snow started. One missed, a first timer so we will give her another chance next year.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Arrivals

Its been a busy weekend!

Twin lambs born on Saturday one on the weaker side though both starting to thrive now they feedin more regularily. Major challenge for Devon and Cornwall Longwools is finding a teat, though mother ewe has been particularily attentive in keeping lambs out of the wind.

The pup is called Flint and is 1/4 bedlington terrier and 3/4 whippet. Be a while yet before he is assisting the pest control. This is him testing out his new home though he is currently living a more luxurious life until we get a thaw.

Snow

Ahh who would have guessed it.... Snow probably the first like this here in a number of years. Was only speaking a while ago about how the cold and snowy winters follow rainy years.

The benefit of being a fat and furry devon is that snow does not melt on your back tho not as well insulated as the sheep.

Nice January Day for 383

This is in-calf heifer known currently as 383 making the most of a January sunny day that hints of spring. She has a buddy called 386 which is a bit more devon than this one.

This also day saw me finishing a post hole in a t-shirt ......

... am ending this after a weather change!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Devon and Cornwall Longwools

Some of our sheep :) who do not fulfil both parts of the sheep pledge "escape or die" only performing the latter, touch wood we have not had a mortality yet.

Compared with the northern sheep we are used to these are better respecters of inclines and banks and pretty much stay put.

We have over the last few months found one of their flaws..... their propensity for getting rigged they especially like to do this on a bit of fresh grass. Best day so far has been seven inversions and crows have been circling for an eyeball at least once. The one front and right is affectionately known as suicide sheep, she gets rigged, righted, waits till your back is turned and then inverts herself again and lies there pathetically for assistance.

They are due to lamb end of January and we will be pleased if we get 10 good singles the odd twin will be a bonus.

Based on the price of fencing these should pay for themselves if we can get away with electric for now and improve the Cornish Hedges.

Large Black rooting over the veg patch

This is one of the four Large Black Weaners we have bought rooting over a veg patch planned for this year.

Not as efficient as digging but a lot easier, raise beds will follow this work.

You can see why these are called the black elephant pig :)

One of these goes for meat in Feb.

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Chapel Bank Farm Blog by Derek Wells is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at www.chapelbankfarm.co.uk.