The Smallholder Series

By Suffolk Sheep Society 14th October, 2014

October 2014 Newsletter

See Article of the Month - Be prepared for Tupping Time


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The Smallholder Series


  2014 has definitely seen a bumper harvest around the UK due to the favourable weather this year. October sees an end to many of the crops in your vegetable garden, but there should still be plenty of apples left to harvest. Gently twist the apple and it should come away easily. If not, it's not ready to harvest. You can store apples by wrapping them in newspaper and placing them on a seed tray or shelf in a cool, frost-free place. Don't store any bruised fruit as they could rot.  

October is 'tupping-time' for many smallholder flocks. To help you plan ahead we have a handy 'Breeding Flock Planner' that will help you keep on top of what you need to be doing with your flock throughout the up-coming breeding season.

For expert advice and practical demonstrations on sheep breeding and management, see our DVD 'The Breeding Flock', programme three in our series 'Sheep on Your Smallholding'.

horse   5 things to remember
...backyard egg layers
- for quantity

1 Modern hybrids
(often with the suffix ‘Ranger’)
1 Austrolorp (origin: Australia)
1 Leghorn (origin: Italy)
1 Rhode Island Red (origin: USA)
1 Plymouth Rock (origin: USA)
1 Orpington (origin: England)
1 Ardenner (origin: Belgium)
1 New Hampshire Red
(origin: USA)
1 Sussex (origin: England)
1 Anconer (origin: Italy)
  Look for ‘utility’ strains of breeds, as some are bred for showing, often at the expense of productivity. A hen is born with a pre-programmed number of egg cells, so those that lay heavily in their first few years will slow and eventually cease production sooner.  

things to do on your smallholding this month

You’d think everything would be quietening down on the smallholding… far from it! With the sudden coming of the cold weather - and lots of rain, there's plenty to keep you busy preparing for winter...

  • Before they join the ram, check ewes’ condition, teeth, feet and udders, and 'crutch' them if they carry a heavy fleece.
  • The poultry breeding season is now at its end, and it’s time to use the remaining fine days to ensure your hens are fit and healthy.
  • Now the weather’s cooler, try to provide some shelter for your pigs against wind and rain, so they don’t get chilled.
  • Try to find the time to freeze, bottle, store, dry and preserve all the excess vegetables you’ve successfully grown
  • Vets are warning horse owners to beware of small encysted redworm – the larval stage buries itself in the lining of the gut and can lie dormant for some time. At this stage a Faecal Egg Count will not show their presence.

Keep up with all your smallholding tasks with our comprehensive guides to sheep, chickens, pigs ,the vegetable garden and equines. Just click on an image below.

Things to do This Month
Sheep Things to do This Month
Chickens Things to do This Month
Pigs Things to do This Month
Vegetable Garden Things to do This Month
Things to do Equines
Smallholder Series DVDs


Article of the Month
Be Prepared for Tupping Time

Moredun Health Bulletin
Cattle Pneumonia

Green Farm Diary
The girls are getting ready for their Autumn date with the ram

NADIS Health Alert
Liver Fluke forecast and copper deficiency

Recipe of the Month
Mustardy Pork & Apples


Article of the month

recipe of the month
Article of the month


autumn recipes

As Halloween approaches we thought we would try out some seasonal pumpkin and squash dishes.

Pumpkin & Ginger Teabread


Beef, Pumpkin & Date Tagine

Baked Pumpkin

Butternut Squash Cannelloni

Pumpkin Risotto with Pecorino

Stuffed Butternut Squash


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Rob Dunsford

Fantastic article - really enjoyed reading.

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