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Newsletter February 2021

Mantel Farm is a family run garden farming business located in the heart of the East Sussex countryside
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Mantel Farm Newsletter - February 2021

Here we go agin!

As this is our first newsletter of the year, we wish you all the very best for 2021; although things are not getting back to normal as quickly as we had all hoped, there are signs of things improving as spring heads our way and we can all look forward to spending more time outside as the days get longer and warmer. In a rare moment of blue sky we spotted this Pheasant making the most of sun on our solar panels, although I do hope our hens couldn’t see as they are looking very miserable in their own lockdown!  We are of course giving them plenty of treats to keep them amused but they don't realise the ground is so wet outside they are probably better-off indoors, especially with snow forecast!

 

Don’t forget if you are wanting something to look forward to this year we have a range of rural courses on our website.  Our 2021 courses are now listed, and if we do have to reschedule any then we will offer a full refund if the new date is not suitable.  We have unfortunately had to postpone the early Jan and Feb courses, but we are hopeful that the spring courses will be able to go ahead as we can hold them undercover outside and only have small groups.  We are also looking at a range of zoom type training and video clips to help everyone with their beekeeping and chicken keeping, so watch this space!  

 

Our first delivery of chickens is due next week, so the farm will really come alive again and start to feel like spring once we have pens full of hens.  We now have the numbers confirmed for our deliveries of hybrids in Feb and we are looking forward to our first flock of Pekins being ready in March.  The hens are available to order on our website and are already proving really popular so to avoid any disappointment this year we would recommend planning ahead for any new additions to your flock.

 

We wish to assure you we are still doing everything we can to keep everyone as safe as possible during these times, we are offering customer collections by appointment on Fridays and Saturdays along with an extended delivery service.  Our shop is open on a Sunday, but we are limiting customers to one at a time, so as we get busier into the spring we would recommend placing an order through our website and booking an appointment for a Friday or Saturday whenever possible to avoid having to wait.

 

We wish you all the best for a better 2021... from Kerry, Jason and all at Mantel Farm.

 

 
Farm Feeds...

New Multi-feed Loyalty Cards...

£10 for 10 x  sacks -

£5 for 10x 5Ltr refills  and  £2 for 10x 2Ltr refills

Our loyalty and refill cards have proved really popular but we have found some customers pockets are full with all our different cards! so we have introduced a new scheme - you  now have just one card for each size of feed, simply get a stamp each time you buy and once your card is full receive a credit to spend on any farm/bird feed.

 

Dont forget you need to bring your tub to get a stamp on our 2Ltr and 5Ltr and refills!

 
 
Full Details...

A Bumblebee Experience Day...

New course for 2021

We are really excited to welcome Dr Nikki Gammons to join us at Mantel Farm with a Bumblebee Experience Day...

Not only will you enjoy a fun, informal day learning all about these incredible creatures in our gardens, you will also receive a free years membership to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

 
Order hens...

February Hybrids...

Our Feb hybrids can now be ordered on our website.  To operate with safe distancing all purchases of poultry will once again be by pre-order through our website with an agreed appointment time for collection.  Full details can be found on our website.

 

Collections for our first flock will begin from Friday 12th, if you have already placed your order then we will be contacting you in the next couple of days to book an appointment.

 
Biosecurity...
Hen treats...

Avian Influenza update...

H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza

Just a reminder that there is still a legal requirment for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of this disease.

 

So far this year we have only had one notification of an outbreak in the UK, so we hope the situatiuon is easing and once the migratory season has passed Defra will be able to lift restrictions.  We will let you know as soon as we hear, but in the meantime please keep your hens safe in their pens.  If you need a reminder of the restrictions they can be found here on our website:   Bird Flu Guidance

 

Dont forget to keep your hens happy and healthy with fresh bedding, flooring and pleny of treats to keep them amused!

 
Hatching Eggs...

Hatching Eggs...

We now have some hatching eggs available   

As our little flocks of hens come into lay we will start to list hatching eggs on our website.

Our eggs are availabe by pre-order and can be collected in our shop or posted to you.

 
Beekeeping...
Read More from Amanda...

Notes from our Apiary:

It has been a miserable winter so far with some extreme weather. This hasn't been at all pleasant for us , but it has been especially unpleasant for our bees.

 At the end of the season last year we had five reasonably strong colonies going into winter. They had provisions and were populated enough to ensure they should do well. Treatments had been completed and all was looking good.

 

I took a brief look in our hives just before Christmas as I popped fondant into the hives to make sure they definitely had enough food. Two did appear to have small clusters but seemed okay.  Upon checking them just a week ago, I discovered two of our five colonies had perished. The reason appears to be less a lack of food and more a lack of bees to maintain a cluster that could generate enough heat.  It is a real shame, but it goes to show how a seemingly strong and healthy colony can still be very much at risk.

 

Fortunately, the other colonies appear to be doing okay and are enjoying the fondant.  Fingers crossed they will all be okay and will have a successful season.

 

Amandas Beekeeping notes ...

As I write this, the sun is shining after Storm Christoph with frost still in the shade, but the colonies in full sun are all out playing even though the shaded ones are not. The crocuses are open and the bees are vigorously collecting pollen from them. On the last dry, sunny day, at ~6°C I was able to confirm what I found on the insert a week or two ago, that most of the colonies were alive and flying. ....

 

 

 

 

 

Accessories

Product Note Status Price
Pecking Block Fruit and Berry 280g Pecking Block Fruit and Berry 280g
£2.95 *
Pecking Block Garlic, Herb and Seaweed 280g Pecking Block Garlic, Herb and Seaweed 280g
£2.95 *
Brown Ranger - SOLD OUT Brown Ranger - SOLD OUT
£20.00 *
Black Pekin Bantam Hatching Eggs Black Pekin Bantam Hatching Eggs
£2.50 *
Newsletter  Avian Influenza - Update Dec 14th 2020 Newsletter Avian Influenza - Update Dec 14th 2020
*

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