Mantel Farm Shop, East Sussex - Beekeeping Courses, Animal Boarding, Chickens For Sale, Beekeeping Equipment

Mantel Farm Newsletter - October 2017

Happy Pigs, Autumn Colours, Chicken Coop Jobs, New Flocks

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Happy Pigs...

happy pigs autumn colours

A Happy Pig Snuffling Acorns

The leaves are dropping already! The plum tree is now nearly bare and there are conkers and leaves all over the track (time to start raking!) The Oaks are only just beginning to turn, but they are loaded with Acorns this year and much to the pigs delight they are constantly dropping into their pen! There are also lots of dropped Apples and Pears for the Pigs to enjoy, our trees fruited really well and there are far too many for us to use. it is also the start of 'Spider Season' so don’t forget to pick up some conkers and place them in the corners of windowsills etc to keep the spiders away (please let me know if you think it really works or if I am just going a little crazy!).

Before the days get even shorter and the temperature drops more it is a good idea to give your chicken house an extra thorough clean. Leaving it much later in the year will mean it struggles to get dry before the birds return in the evening. We always recommend a thorough application of Poultry Shield and Diatom in the house, along with a dusting of BioDri over the outside run (hopefully you have taken advantage of our recent offers on these products). The birds should also notice the drop in temperature, and it should stop hens from being broody, although you always get the odd hen that prefers the comfort of the nest box and just continues to sit! At this time of year we find our boarding pens are a little quieter so it is a good time to go around our own flocks and give a each bird a health check and each pen a thorough clean before the October half term when our boarding pens again get busier (we are also getting booked over the Christmas period so don’t forget to book your birds for their stay here if you are hoping to get away during these times).

The shorter days also give a great opportunity for introducing new hens to a flock. Less daylight hours means less time for the flock to get bored and mischievous, and so pecking can be less of a problem. The longer nights also mean that you don’t have to be up so early in the morning and late at night if you are introducing the birds at night but separating them during the day. This month Jason’s Home Farmer Article is all about introducing birds to a flock so do take a read if this is something you are considering.

This Month's Pest Control Feature: Rodenticides...

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 Rodenticides.

pest control feature - rodenticides

At this time of year it is worth checking your garden or plot for signs of rats before the winter months set in. If a rat population is low then control measures can be carried out yourself using licensed baits and traps, but if an infestation is found then you will need to call in a pest controller to solve the problem, so early action is best.

Read more on our blog about Graham's advice and the planned approach needed when using Rodenticides to avoid a threat to non target animals including pets and predatory birds including owls.

Our Local Weather Forecast...

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 -

Weather forecast for October

Unfortunately we haven't been able to bring you Tim's weather forecast this month due to time constraints. Instead, please have a look at this wonderful video made for us by one of our fantastic customers. It is a glimpse into what goes on at Mantel Farm, from chickens to training courses and everything inbetween!

wonderful mantel farm video

Ian's Gardening Tales from the Weald...

Ian is a Gardens Manager living in Crowhurst, working as part of a team in three large country gardens in the Sussex and Kent Weald, where he is passionate about natural gardening.

Ians Gardening Tales From The Weald

This month we begin our hedge cutting regime in all of our gardens. Except for the minimal reduction of lateral growth in the summer for access, we haven't cut since the end of February. This allows the birds to complete their second or even third brood cycles. Read more on our blog about hedges and nesting birds.

Ian Donovan:  Hips and Haws Gardening, Crowhurst

Jason's Home Farmer Magazine Article:

Introducing birds into an existing flock
This month, Jason talks about all of the possible scenarios involved when integrating new birds.

integrating flocks of hens

You can read Jason's full artice here on our blog, and subscribe to Home Farmer Magazine for many more smallholding tips and articles. 

£10 Gift From Us To Spend In Our Shop:

Thinking about keeping chickens or simply want to top up on your knowledge? Then why not join us for a chicken keeping course on Friday 6th October. This month we’re offering every new booking placed for our chicken keeping course a £10.00 gift voucher to spend in the shop - no ties… our gift to you.

chicken keeping course gift vouchers

We have limited spaces available, so to book your place call 01424 830357 or book online.

Mealworms Offer: 800g Tubs

Now Only £10 - Save £4.95!
Mealworms are a brilliant protein boost for our feathered friends. Birds require high energy foods during colder weather to maintain their fat reserves which keeps them warm throughout the winter months.

mealworms tub offer

Gift Vouchers Available For Christmas:
Our gift vouchers make a thoughtful Christmas or birthday present and are a perfect way to say thank you to that special someone. Our vouchers can be redeemed online or in store against any product.

vouchers promotion

We currently have cash values of £5 and £20, or we offer the full value of our chicken and beekeeping courses.

50% Off Rat And Mice Pest Control:

We currently have 50% off our RACO rat poison.

Raco Pro paste sachets 24x10g is now only £3.95!

Raco Pro bait blocks 15x20g is now only £2.95!

Raco rat and nice pest control

Our Next Beekeeping Training Course:

Beginning Your Beekeeping Weekend with Jill and Mike - 18th & 19th November 2017

Only a few places left on this course so book your place soon to avoid disappointment!

Beginning Your Beekeeping Weekend with Jill and Mike - 18th & 19th November 2017

Smallholder Range Feature:

Natural Free Range Layers Pellets / Crumble

This month, Emily from Allen and Page gives us an insight into what makes up their natural free range product line. Read on our blog the benefits of this feed and what makes it so nutritious for your chickens.

smallholder range layers pellets

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