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Mantel Farm Newsletter - August 2016

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All growing up...
Growing Up, Foxes, Weather, Feeding Growing Chicks, Mite Protection, Hybrid Flock, Pekin Hens

Summer has finally arrived and with the nice weather there is a chance to sit and enjoy the sun but also a chance to stop and notice how everything is growing! That includes chicks, weeds, hedges and the kids! Just as our youngest son has started his School hols, our eldest son Bertie has started a full time job – I’m not sure how that happened - he was only a toddler when we moved here! Bad timing for him not to have the summer off and he still says he will work in the shop most Sundays, so we are pleased to say he’s not completely disappearing yet! (and Ernie can be spotted helping out in the shop occasionally).

We are working our way around cutting the hedges and seem to finally be getting them under control, our veg (or weed) patch is another story this year, as are our pig pens. We usually have pigs fattening nicely by now, but this year the pens took so long to recover from the winter, then we were into our busy spring/show season that we have now decided it's too late for this year. It will seem really strange not having pigs around through the summer and autumn as we have kept pigs here for over 10 years. It is a decision we have struggled to make, but if we get weaners now they will not be ready until late into the winter and then the pen will not recover again for next spring, so its best to have a break for a year and start again early next year! For any of you worrying about your winter supply of sausages, the Butcher who prepares our piggies for us also keeps a few free range pigs himself and has agreed to supply us some equally tasty sausages in the Autumn.


This Month's Feature:
Graham Burgess provides a local pest control service, including Bees, Wasps, Mice, Rabbits, Mink, Moles, Rats, Earwigs and Birds. This month he has written a feature on Foxes:

Pest Control Fox  

Foxes can be the bane of Poultry keepers lives and when they manage to get into a Chicken run can kill all the birds inside and gradually keep coming back to take them away especially if they are feeding cubs in early spring. There is little the suburban Poultry keeper can do apart from making sure they lock their birds up at night and possibly have a well charged electric fence around the pen.

Live catch cages can be used in suburban areas and town Foxes are often more easily caught in them. Once caught in Cage Traps they must be humanely despatched and not released in another area which is illegal and only moves the problem to someone else.


By far the best way to control rural Foxes is night shooting with night vision sights. Best left to the professionals who first check the area in daylight, making sure there is a good safe back drop. You must also notify the Police and neighbours of where and when you are shooting.


For pest control services contact Graham on 07876 108434 or 01424 251222


Our Local Weather Forecast:

August Weather Forecast - Weather forecasts for sea and freshwater anglers. - Tim's new publication.

Finally we’ve had a taste of summer – after regularly feeding our bees in the early part of the month the onset of hot weather has seen an explosion in the hive which led to another super being added in the hope that if it lasts we may be able to harvest some honey.

Will the weather last? Well there are already signs it is cracking a bit and we are due some rain, plus that humidity will have gone by the early part of August.


August is sometimes a disappointment when it comes to weather and for the UK as a whole it looks like this month is going to be no different although it’ll remain dry down here in Sussex. So the month will start changeable with bright showery weather interspersed with cloudier conditions with bands of rain. However it does look like we might be in for a warm, settled and humid spell in the middle of the month. Temperatures will probably average out around normal, with some warmer and cooler days likely.

These changeable, unsettled conditions are not great for boat angling but if we do get out then we know the mackerel have arrived and should provide some sport. I’m looking forward to grilling freshly caught mackerel on a barbie on the beach straight from the sea – you really can’t beat it.


Tim Macpherson is a digital publisher and angling film maker as well as being an obsessed boat angler for over 25 years! So he keeps a close watch on the Sussex weather for both his fishing, work and of course his bees and hens in his garden.


Pekin Bantam Hens £30 each

Pekin Bantams  

We have again a large flock of lovely little Pekin Hens available. Now around 8 weeks old we will guarantee they are hens. With many colours to choose from they make lovely little pets for the garden. More details on our website – we should have photos of all colours available soon (as soon as they stay still to pose for the camera!)

Pekin Hens £30.00 each


south of england show 2016

  Chick Crumb and Growers Pellets just £7.00  

Chick Crumb and Growers Pellets

It's the season for new arrivals in the flock, so why not plan ahead and purchase a 5kg back of growers pellets along with your 5kg bag of chick crumb?

Special combined price: £7.00 (normally £8.50)

  Hand Spray and Poultry Shield for just £10.00  

Poultry Shield Spray

With a few days of warmer weather recently we need to be alert for signs of red mite. We recommend spraying poultry shield regularly each time you clean your chicken housing and so are offering this hand spray for just £1.50 with each bottle of Poultry Shield purchased.

Poultry Shield and Spray just £10.00

  Flock of Hybrids Offer for £160  

Flock of Hybrids Offer

We are offering a flock of 16 hens for a bargain price of £160.00 (normal price £256.00). These are young hens, of mixed breeds that came into lay approx 3 weeks ago. We would like to sell these hens as a flock to free up a pen for more birds arriving soon, hence the special offer.

If you are interested please get in touch and we can give more details of breeds etc, or pop into the shop to have a look. A flock of laying hybrid hens for just £160.00

Mantel Farm Ltd, Henley Down, Catsfield, Battle, East Sussex, United Kingdom, TN33 9BN | 01424 830357 | VAT Registration No. 934 6204 31 |