Apologies, apologies, apologies for not posting last week. We are just so busy at the minute that I am really finding it hard to get on the computer. I think I may have to start allocating some time to writing and just put everything else aside, but the problem is sometimes things just happen that need dealing with there and then and writing takes  second place. It has to really, as this is our livelihood and has to come first. That said, this morning, I am writing this before the chores begin and if it works I may decide to get up earlier on a Monday just to find the time to write this blog and post in other places.
Good news! The ducks have finally started to lay eggs! We have been finding them dotted around the place and now they are getting more regular. So far we have taken away half a dozen to eat and they are delicious.
Bad news! Our little white banty that was sitting, didn't manage to hatch one chick. We let her sit 3 days past her time but no luck. This is common with the first time sitting but at least we know she will sit on eggs. Also next time she will be fine as she has learnt from this experience too.
We had another pig delivered last week. We made 8kg of bacon, some dry salt cure and and some in a brine. The dry salt cure bacon has been boiled and then roasted with honey. This makes honey roast ham, which is truly amazing and lasts about 5 seconds in this house.
The end of the week was used to make pork pies, 2 types of pork sausage, pork, apple and oat and Lincolnshire style along with some chorizo to keep in the freezer. We can only cure chorizo in the winter and as it is warming up fast here, I tend to make fresh to eat cooked on the barbecue.
Friday evening another guest arrived for 10 days, so whilst sorting the pig, we also had to clean the house and prepare the bedroom for her arrival. She has stayed before and this time she said she wanted to help us all she could. We don't have to be asked twice...all help is gratefully received and so by the time she arrived we had an A4 list of jobs ready for her.
Saturday we spent cooking. I had not had time to prepare anything for Easter (which is very unlike me!) so we set about making chocolate brazils, coconut balls covered in chocolate, chocolate cakes and ginger biscuits. We made cup cakes and iced them with orange flavoured icing, all dairy free and delicious!
Sunday Kev went out with the shepherd, helping with the sheep shearing. He was gone most of the day. As we knew he would be late back we decided to cook our Easter day dinner late in the evening and this left me and Jan free to do some work in the garden. We built a pathway in the new terrace that was filled by Gary when he was here. Jan collected all the rocks (previously dug out by yours truly) using the wheel barrow and I put them in place. We made short work of it, within 2 hours it was finished. By that time of the day it was too hot to do anything else but we were impressed with our work.

It just needs filling with straw and wood chips now and then planting up.
Monday and more of the baby bunnies had escaped into the banty chicken run! Kev and Jan spent an hour chasing them back in with mum, while I cooked scotch eggs and crumpets for an order. They coaxed the rabbits back in with food in the end. Where I have placed the straw around the garden it has started to grow. I have left the shoots and we are now pulling them and feeding them to the rabbits. In the afternoon it was decided that we needed 2 new rabbit runs for the babies. Since we still have the 2 from last year, in one run, the second run will enable us to split them up and start breeding from them too.
Tuesday, while Kev was out, Jan and I started to clear the land of stones. It took us all day to clear enough space for the netting to go down. It got rather hot by lunch time but we were determined to get it done.

This is only half of it, it doesn't look much but it was hard work all the same!
Wednesday Kev set about laying the netting on the floor and putting the fencing up for the first rabbit run. This one will be for the baby bunnies. We had decided to try to build a little warren for them using tubes and our broken water containers.

All that was left to build was a gate and then reinforce the bottom of the fence with smaller chicken wire to stop the babies escaping...hopefully!
That evening we had a couple of friends turn up and whilst chatting one informed us that his brother bred Flemish Giants. Kev has always wanted a breeding pair of these and asked about buying them and how much. The next morning we got a text and Kev replied  and so another 2 rabbits are on their way to us. Trouble is this meant we now need 4 new runs, not 2!
Thursday saw Jan and I back out on the land clearing more stones. We had to move the large oil drum that we had placed out on the land for the animals, before we could continue, as well as the compost bins I built last year. Again it took most of the day and again the sun shone and it was very warm. We have to make sure that we stop regularly for drinks as it is very easy to dehydrate whilst working outside. 
Friday was spent barrowing soil to cover the netting and building the warren. It has 3 sleeping compartments hidden and two are linked by a tunnel.

The corrugated iron is the tunnel from one box to another and the grey pipe is the opening.

This is the finished run...all apart from the plants. We are planning on putting herbs and some small trees in here to give shade and a choice of food. They will have to have wire netting around them at first but as they grow the rabbits will be able to eat the shoots that poke through the netting.
Saturday and Kev built a new gate for the run and reinforced the bottom of the fence so that the bunnies cannot squash through the holes.  
We also saw our first turkey chick of this year. Cranberry has been sitting for 4 weeks but so far she will not move from her eggs. So we have only seen one little chick! Our white turkey hen (onion as she has been named!) gave up sitting on hers, but again it was her first time of sitting. We will give her a second chance but if she does it again she will have to go. It sounds cruel but we cannot afford to feed her unless she can produce babies for us to sell as this pays for the feed until we can find a way to produce our feed for them.
Sunday we got another sheep. Kev cut it up and boned about 6 kg of meat so that Jan and I could make lamb and mint sausages. 
All in all I think our visitor had a very busy week with us. She was a star, helping with everything we did. She went home this morning and we will miss her.

Here are just a few photos I thought you may like to see

The finished gate into the new rabbit run


This is the oil drum we moved whilst clearing the rabbit run. We cover it with branches to make it look more natural out on the land.


Inside the oil drum...duck eggs!!!!!! We are leaving these...fingers crossed for ducklings.


This is all the land Jan and I cleared...enough for another 3 large runs