Newsletter December 2017

Mantel Farm Newsletter - December 2017

Christmas Cheer, Winter Poultry Care, Gift Ideas & Offers

mantel farm shop christmas 2017


Sunday 17th Dec - Open as normal
Friday 22nd Dec - Open as normal with hot drinks and mince pies (see event below)
Sunday 24th Dec - Closed

Friday 29th Dec - Closed

Sunday 31st Dec - Closed
Friday 5th Jan - Closed
Sunday 7th Jan - Open as normal

Please bear in mind that our local delivery service can bring your order straight to your door during the festive period.

We are still boarding animals during this period but cannot offer drop-off or collections on Dec 24th 25th 26th 31st or Jan 1st

(Please book soon if you haven't already as we are nearly fully booked)

So it’s the last newsletter of 2017! I know we all say it; but where has the year gone? With the recent sharp frosts lasting most of the morning, and the fire alight in the shop, it is beginning to feel a little more like Christmas and it doesn’t seem quite so strange putting the decorations up (I must make those mince pies!)

Jason’s poultry feature this month is about keeping your hens happy in the winter weather. He has been writing for the Home Farmer Magazine for 6 months now and has lots of ideas for topics to cover next year. However, one thing we have learnt is that we need to plan ahead for the photos. Having to write the articles over 2 months in advance can prove tricky if we can’t find photos from our huge library (I am sure it isn't normal to have as many chicken and other garden farming pics as we have!) but could we find a suitable photo of a bird with snow at a drinker? Well, I'll just let you imagine the scene here one morning as we chipped ice from the freezer and then tried to convince a hen to have a drink and pose for the camera! Have a look at the article and see what you think; there are some handy tips now we have some real cold frosts!

Anyone calling into the shop may have noticed the pigs are still out and about enjoying themselves wallowing in the mud that has now replaced the dropped acorns and leaves. This means that we don’t yet have any sausages for sale - our butcher was unable to take them when planned and now the small local butchers are all busy with the Christmas preparations, so our 2 little pigs may be with us to see in the New Year! Had they been a commercial breed this would have caused all sorts of problems with their size and fat content but being a traditional pure breed they only get better (and we enjoy them longer). We will however have to keep an eye on the pen and move them if it gets too wet (more fencing repairs!) but no chipolatas for Christmas!

We are looking forward to then relaxing with family over the Christmas break. This year has been extremely busy with many things achieved and so I would like to end 2017's newsletters with a big thank you to the guys who work here and also to all of our customers who make this possible - we really couldn’t do it without you all.


With many thanks and our very best wishes for 2018,
Kerry and Jason


mince pies and hot drinks

We Have One More Event For The Year

Please Join Us For Mince Pies And Hot Drinks

On Friday 22nd December, Jason, Josh and Graham will be in the training room all day discussing and answering questions on chickens, bees and pest control - so please pop in for a chat and festive greetings. The shop will then be closed over Christmas, re-opening Sunday 7th January.


winter poultry care




Jason's Home Farmer Magazine Article

Poultry Care - Getting Hens Through Winter

It was early one very cold January morning, many years ago when I learnt something about keeping poultry that I have passed on as a warning to many other keepers. We woke up to a thick layer of snow that morning, and as ever when it comes, what a sight to wake up to! I always want to rush out with my camera - there are always so many great 'snowy' shots to take around the farm. This particular January morning I noticed something that hadn’t come to my attention before - I noticed that there were fox footprints around ALL the pens!

verm-x food offer


Buy Verm-X...


Verm-X Offer - Get A Free 5kg Bag Of Food

Receive 5kg Layers Mash Or Layers Pellets

During Winter your Poultry, Ducks and Fowl could use a health boost. Verm-X is a natural control of intestinal hygiene. 100% natural - no artificial chemicals. Veterinary approved. No waste - you can eat your hens eggs whilst your hens are fed their Verm-X. A powerful and effective formulation for supporting intestinal health during periods of challenge. Verm-X is a herbal recipe and therefore not classed as a medicine.


butterfly on hive




Amanda's Beekeeping Notes

Checking Hives & Equipment, Apishield, Neonics

There is little to do in December except checking that the hives have not blown over, or been damaged by woodpeckers, damp or vandalism and that the entrances are not blocked by dead bees. Equipment can be cleaned, I still have a load of frames to scrape and boil up to sterilise. Mead and candles can be made, also any stored comb should be checked to nip any young wax moth larvae before it does too much damage. I shall be looking at my records to decide which colonies performed best this year and might be used for queen rearing next year.

kiln dried logs and firewood


Buy Winter Fuel Pack...


Winter Fuel Pack - Only £15.00

Yule Love This Offer! - Save £5.70

Available to buy in the farm shop or online. One each of:

- Kiln Dried Firewood Logs, Approx 10 Logs Per Bag

- Flaming Firewood, Approx 10 Logs Per Bag

- Kiln Dried Kindling, Approx 112 Sticks Per Box

- Flamers Natural Firelighters, 24 Pack


From sustainably sourced woodland in Britain. For immediate burning on all wood burning appliances. Kiln dried logs approved under the Woodsure 'Ready To Burn' accreditation scheme. Firewood sold under this scheme has a moisture content less than 20%.


mantel farm gift vouchers


Buy Gift Vouchers...


Christmas Present Idea

Mantel Farm Gift Vouchers

Our gift vouchers would make the perfect present. They can be redeemed in the farm shop or used online via our website. They are available in the following denominations:

- £5.00 money voucher

- £20.00 money voucher

- £38.00 chicken keeping training voucher

- £98.00 beekeeping training voucher (one day course)

- £198.00 beekeeping training voucher (weekend course)


pot bellied pig food


Pre-Order Food...


Smallholder Range Feature

Pot Bellied Pig Food - Available For Pre-Order

The amount of feed a pig requires depends on its age and reproductive state. Pigs which are given the opportunity to free-range to any degree will obtain some of their food from natural sources, such as vegetation, brambles, acorns, apples and even earth worms, however it is important to supplement this with a balanced compound feed. Find out more about how this to prevent obesity, encourage foraging behaviour and approaches to responsibly giving treats

winter pest control advice




Graham's Quarterly Pest Control Advice

Checking For Hidden (and hibernating) Creatures

Now the colder days and nights are upon us the pests are looking for somewhere warm and dry to spend the winter days. So now is the time to be on the lookout for pests making a home in your attic, garage or shed. Not all are a pest - I had two hedgehogs hibernate in my chicken house a couple of years ago! A serious risk from rats or mice in the attic is that they can gnaw on electric cables and cause a fire. Also be on the lookout for Wasps...

laurie the psychy poet


Read An Xmas Poem...


Laurie Wilkinson - The Psychy Poet

Books, Poems And Much Much More...

At a recent business event I had the pleasure of meeting Laurie, who has written so many great poems - his books are definitely included in our family’s stockings, and I just wanted to share his work with you all here. Laurie has supposedly retired, now spending his time writing and sharing his poems. All the profits made from his work go to the Help for Heroes Charity so this is a great way to enjoy a poem, buy a great gift and help a great cause.

Mantel Farm | Mantel Farm, Henley Down, Catsfield, East Sussex, TN33 9BN, United Kingdom

01424 830357 |


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