Life for two broody hens in our hen house, must seem boringly repetitious. Sit on nest. Get thrown off. Go back to nest. Sit on nest. Get thrown off etc etc

I do not want anymore broody hens. I have three hens sitting on guinea fowl eggs and an incubator full of guinea fowl eggs. My hens are supposed to spend their days raking around in their field, not going off lay and confining themselves to a dark nest box. My latest tactic is to let the hens have the run of the hen house up till lunchtime when I hope that all well behaved hens will have laid their eggs, throw the broody hens hogging the nest boxes out into the field, and shut the hen house entrance until early evening. At which point the unrepentant broodies go straight back onto their nests. It is war.

There has not been as many eggs as usual however because of the extremely hot weather we have had recently. My grandchildren Jessica and Oliver are lucky enough to have a small swimming pool in their garden and Sophie my other granddaughter revels in an extra large paddling pool.

Meanwhile the lambs have had a reprieve. John was due to take several of them to market but he did not think they were fit enough yet. The reprieve will be only short though as because we have plenty of grass ,they will soon make up the required gains in kilos. I try not to get too attached to stock that is destine for the table , ours or via a buyer at market.

We took advantage of the partial lifting of lockdown to go out for the day and indulge in that favourite farming obsession of seeing how other farmers are getting on with their crops. I am quite used to driving through the countryside at a leisurely pace which enables John to peruse every passing field. It must drive other motorists mad. Today’s conversation focused on hay. Although relatively late in the season, the fields stacked with big bales boded well for sufficient winter feed for stock.

A concern among many farming friends though is the increasing focus on set aside and bio diversity. DEFRA are encouraging farmers to sow acres and acres of wild flowers and nectar producing crops to encourage insects and pollinators. It will certainly benefit the bees but can man live on honey alone??