One morning as I stepped out with a coffee in hand and a fag in the other - something small, fast, and very very angry swooped a bare inch above my unsuspecting noggin of a head. Shrieking loudly at the stupid human that had dared to invade their turf, one very small, but agressive little New Zealand Kingfisher gazed down upon his little kingdom and glowered. Not even the cats were exempt from the strategic attacks. Day in day out it's still the same old routine. I figured at this rate I'll have to invest in a motorcycle helmet or if things get really bad I'll raid someone's medieval armour collection and clunk around in well forged metal.
We named this little grumpy bird Oscar the Grouch, and I think Oscar the Grouch of Sesame Street fame would be pleased he has a namesake. Today though, Oscar got a little too agressive and in the haste to pick at some unseen victim, the little Kingfisher hit the window. The cats were quick to pounce, but not before I had got there ultra fas,t and nabbed said Oscar literally from the feline jaws of death. Cats were locked up and Oscar the Grouch was put in a nice quiet place to recover. I got a couple of photos before Oscar finally flew back to the grand tower called the power pole and shriek loudly - letting me know a truce would not be coming anytime in the next millenium. So does anyone please have a spare suit of armour - I think I'll be needing it...
Sharemilker Merit Awards:
- Top Variable Order Sharemilker – Aaron & Kate Murdoch
- Reeves Middleton Young Communication Award – Greg & Hannah Topless
- Abacus Group Best Endeavour Award – Carey Rielly
- Blue Wing Honda ATV Safety Award – Greg & Hannah Topless
- DairyNZ First Time Entrant Award – Amanda Jordan
- Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Carl & Sharon Coley
- Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Greg & Hannah Topless
- LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Greg & Hannah Topless
- Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Paul Davidson & Lorette Astwood Davidson
- Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Shaun & Anna Baxter
- Westpac Business Performance Award – Paul Davidson & Lorette Astwood
Farm Manager Merit Awards:
- Allied Farmers Livestock Outstanding Attitude Award – Marc Jackson
- DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Adam Pearce
- RD1 Farm Management Award – Michael Prankerd & Ruth Churchman
- Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Aaron Riddick
- Honda ATV Safety Award – Mathew & Jemma Morrissey
- Nick Hoogeveen & Associates Strategic Planning Award – Jacco & Carmen Verheij
- Corson Grains Pride in the Property Award – Daniel Bishop & Christine Phillips
- DairyNZ First Time Entrant Award – Spencer & Antoinette Langdon
- Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Steve & Andrea Mills
- Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Jacco & Carmen Verheij
- LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Gavin & Sally Roden
- Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Steve & Andrea Mills
- Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Gavin & Sally Roden
- Westpac Business Performance Award – Gavin & Sally Roden
- Harkness Henry Future Aims & Attitude Award – Lesley Shaw
- DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Paul Mahoney
- RD1 Farm Management Award – Lesley Shaw
- Westpac Financial Planning and Management Award – Paul Mahoney
“Further, given that many parts of rural New Zealand rely on dial up internet speeds from the 1990s, it is essential that the NIU is committed to investing in rural broadband to reduce the technological isolation of rural New Zealand.
I found it again in Dargaville 20 years after vanishing - sadly falling apart and now perhaps beyond repair. Once it trundled around the streets of Auckland perhaps or another part of New Zealand.At least though some of the old trams have been restored and saved so we can still enjoy them
The couple won the cash and prizes as well as the kudos gained when they were announced the winners at the Northland Dairy Industry Awards dinner at the Copthorne Hotel, Paihia, last night.
“We entered for the first time this year as we thought our business would benefit from having a more in-depth look into what we do and from the feedback we would receive through the judging process,” they say.
The couple is 50% sharemilking 650 cows for Gordon and Isabel Greenwood at Wellsford, targeting 210,000kg milksolids this season.
They say a strength of their business is the way they work together as a team. “We’re both passionate about the industry and have different strengths that seem to complement each other.
“We’ve also got a strong work ethic and just get stuck in and get the work done.”
Greg Foster, 36, is an electrician by trade and still enjoys a game of rugby. Their goals are to increase their herd size and eventually own their own farm.
Waiotira 50% sharemilkers Shane and Stacey Speedy placed second in the Northland Sharemilker of the Year, winning $5000 in cash and prizes. They run a 515-cow split calving herd for Waireka Dairy Farm and anticipate production of 150,000kg milksolids this season.
Whangarei 50% sharemilkers Gavin and Jennifer Kay placed third, winning $3500 in cash and prizes. They milk 335 cows for John and Jenny Waterhouse and target production of 115,000kg milksolids this year.
The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, Honda, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown and RD1, along with industry partner Agriculture ITO.
The 2009 Northland Farm Managers of the Year winner, Ray and Jenny Wiegersma, and 2009 Northland Dairy Trainee of the Year, Charlotte Barr, were also announced at the awards dinner.
All three winners will now compete for the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year titles and a prize pool of more than $100,000 in Wellington on May 16.
The 2009 Northland Farm Managers of the Year Ray and Jenny Wiegersma manage a 260-cow herd for Martyn and Anne Smith at Hikurangi. They won $6000 in cash and prizes.
They too had never entered the competition before, doing so to gain from the experience. The Wiegersma’s say strengths of their business are their enjoyment of dairy farming and working with livestock. They plan to own their own small herd by the end of 2010 and move into sharemilking.
Kaeo farm manager Mark Clements placed second in the 2009 Northland Farm Manager of the Year, winning $4500 in cash and prizes.
Northland Dairy Trainee of the Year Charlotte Barr has been farming at Ruakaka for former Northland and New Zealand Sharemilkers of the Year, Bruce and Julie Paton, for more than three years working her way up from farm hand to more senior positions. She is now involved in a 260ha farm milking 800 cows and won a $2400 prize package.
“With this position I like having more control over how the farm works. I also enjoy the record-keeping side of it (most of the time) and take pride in getting the herd records up-to-date.”
Miss Barr is currently studying towards the National Certificate in Agriculture through Agriculture ITO and plans to use the qualification to assist her in achieving her goals of sharemilking or equity ownership.
Wellsford trainee Joshua van der Weyden was highly recommended.
Northland Sharemilkers of the Year Greg and Phillippa Foster will host a field day on Thursday March 19, while Northland Farm Managers of the Year Ray and Jenny Wiegersma will host a field day on the Hikurangi farm they manage on Wednesday March 25. Further details on the winners and field days can be found on www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz.
Sharemilker Merit Awards:
Blue Wing Honda ATV Safety Award – Greg & Phillippa Foster
DairyNZ First Time Entrant Award – Greg & Phillippa Foster
Ecolab Farm Dairy Hygiene Award – Wayne & Sarah Pepper
Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) Leadership Award – Ian & Kaysha Bellamy
LIC Recording and Productivity Award – Shane & Stacey Speedy
Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award – Wayne & Sarah Pepper
Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award – Gavin & Jennifer Kay
Westpac Business Performance Award – Greg & Phillippa Foster
Farm Manager Merit Awards:
Northland Regional Council Sustainable Land Management Award – Ray & Jenny Wiegersma
DairyNZ Human Resource Management Award – Mark Clements
RD1 Farm Management Award – Matthew Jarman
Westpac Financial and Planning Award – Mark Clements
“Grain crops seem to be the proverbial canary in the commodities mine, yet current data emerging locally and internationally points to the fact that grain and seed prices are steadily on the increase.
Jennifer has asked me what kind of chickens we have here on the farm here's the types we keep here
By far my favourite breed of chicken. Maggie May is a Black Australorp. Reliable, nice natured and she lays an egg every day except in winter or when she's decided to go broody. Also great for for the dinner table. This breed if you can obtain it I'd highly recommend. The history below is from Wikipedia
The original stock used in the development of the Australorp was imported to Australia from England out of the Black Orpington yards of William Cook and Joseph Partington in the period from 1890 to the early 1900s. Local breeders used this stock together with judicious out-crossings of Minorca, White Leghorn and Langshan blood to improve the utility features of the imported Orpingtons. There is even a report of some Plymouth Rock blood also being used. The emphasis of the early breeders was on utility features. At this time, the resulting birds were known as Black Utility Orpingtons.
The origin of the name "Australorp" seems to be shrouded in as much controversy as the attempts to obtain agreement between the States over a suitable national Standard. The earliest claim to the name was made by one of poultry fancy's institutions, Walter Wallace Scott a.k.a. W.W. Scott, before the First World War. Equally as persuasive a claim came in 1919 from Arthur Harwood who suggested that the "Australian Laying Orpingtons" be named "Australs". The letters "orp" were suggested as a suffix to denote the major breed in the fowls development. A further overseas claim to the name came from Britain's W. Powell-Owen who drafted the British Standard for the breed in 1921 following the importation of the "Australian Utility Black Orpingtons." It is certain that the name "Australorp" was being used in the early 1920s when the breed was launched internationally. In 1929, the Australorp was admitted to the Standard of Perfection.
It was the egg laying performance of Australorps which attracted world attention when in 1922-23 a team of six hens set a world record of 1857 eggs at an average of 309.5 eggs per hen for a 365 consecutive day trial. It must be remembered that these figures were achieved without the lighting regimes of the modern intensive shed. Such performances had importation orders flooding in from England, United States of America, South Africa, Canada and Mexico. Well looked after Australorps lay approximately 250 light-brown eggs per year. A new record was set when a hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days.
Feather pictured above is a Golden-laced Wyandotte. Great nature, a great egg layer and another great breed for meat as well. I'd also go for this breed as well. The information below is from Wikipedia
The Wyandotte is a medium sized breast with a rose comb and clean legs. The chicken feathers are broad and loosely fitting. The area around the vent is very fluffy. The legs are yellow, although some silver laced may have grey.
There are eight colors recognized by the APA (American Poultry Association) which are golden laced, silver laced, white, black, buff, Columbian, partridge and silver penciled. In bantams there is also buff Columbian, black breasted red, blue red, lemon blue, barred,brown red, and birchen that are recognized by the American Bantam Association. However, there are more colors than that which are either recognised by similar organisations in other countries like the PCGB (Poultry Club of Great Britain). These colors include blue laced red and buff laced. Overall there are 17 colors.
The Wyandotte is a breed that suits both free range and confinement in a run. They occasionally go broody. They tend to be quite friendly, and not flighty, and so make good pets for people. They are also very vocal, uttering soft clucks on a regular basis.
The hens (females) will lay around 200 eggs a year with an exceptional hen laying around 240 eggs a year. The eggs are brown or tinted. The hens weigh around 6 pounds and the cocks weigh around 8 1/2 pounds. The hens also make great setters. It is sometimes difficult for natural insemination to occur, due to the number and thickness of feathers in the tail area. for the same reason, they are prone to accumulation of feaces on vent-area feathers that needs to be regularly washed off, or the vent could become clogged.
We also have Brown Shavers which are a commercial laying breed but their laying lives are very short. After around 18 months old their egg quatlity begins to drop but they can lay for a couple of years after. I've found that the commercial breeds are more prone to diseases and laying complications. If anyone elso has some suggestions please add it onto the comments and I'll update this post as we go. Thanks guys!
Hint on chickens: Worming every three months with Aviderm (available from your local veterinary clinic) will prolong the life of the birds and prevent health complications and/or death. Don't consume eggs or meat for ten days after administering this product.
Bridget from Cabbage Tree Farm Has Indian Game & Araucana Chickens
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Cornish, known as the Indian Game in its native country of England, is a breed of chicken originating in the county of Cornwall. Cornish chickens, as well as crosses of Cornishes, are the most-used breed in the chicken meat industry. They are heavy, muscular birds that lay eggs poorly, and require substantial amounts of feed.
It is a large, stocky breed, and is often crossed with other breeds to enhance meat production. There are two varieties, the Cornish Game and the Jubilee Cornish Game. The Cornish Game is dark blue - green in colour, with brown patterning on the hens. Jubilee Cornish Game are much lighter, and less stocky than their counterparts. They are usually light wheaten in colour, with light brown patterning.The Indian game, also known as Cornish, is sometimes called the bulldog among chickens; you can actually see the roast chicken shape in it. It was created because people wanted to cross the Asian game breeds with old English game to create a fantastic fighter. However what they got, though not the right build for fighting was a fantastic meat bird. It comes in many colours and is quite a popular show bird, though it has a tendency for bad legs due to widely spaced hips. It is also when crossed with a Sussex or a Dorking, an excellent backyard meat bird.
AraucanaThe Araucana, also known as a South American Rumpless, is a breed of chicken originating in Chile. The Araucana is often confused with other fowl, especially the Ameraucana and Easter Egger chickens, but has several unusual characteristics which distinguish it. They lay blue eggs, have feather tufts near their ears, and are rumpless.
The ancestors of the modern Araucana chicken were purportedly first bred by the Araucanians Indians of Chile -- hence the name "Araucana." The Araucana as we know it today is a hybrid of two South American breeds: the Collonca (a naturally blue-egg laying, rumpless, clean-faced chicken) and the Quetros (a pinkish-brown egg layer that is tailed and has ear-tufts). The Collonca male and female are very similar, with very few secondary sexual characteristics like comb, wattles or tail coverts to distinguish them. Naturally, after centuries of introgression with other South American races, for example, Quechua, Huapi, Ona and Mapuche, South American Indian villages Colloncas are more often than not, composites. The Quetro or Quetero is also nearly combless but the sexes are markedly dichromatic. The male of both Colloncas and Quetero have unusual voices. The Quetero has a multi-syllabilic laughing crow. Colloncas have a slightly musical crow. Muffs and beards are present in most South American domestic fowl. The European equivalent of the North American show standard variety Araucana is what one comes across in South American villages. Quechua and Mapuche do not have tufts and resemble the Ameraucana. The Quechua is larger, and more powerfully built. It is shaped more like a game fowl than the Mapuche which is smaller, lighter and less domesticated in the sense that it is a semi-feral bird while the Quechua is a domestic bird reared for meat and eggs.
The current world wide Araucana standard (except North America) indicates a medium to large sized chicken with a tail that lays bluish-green eggs. Specific features are feather ear tufts, muffs and beards, with a very much reduced comb, a small feather crest and a complete absence of wattles. The current North American standard calls for a chicken that is rumpless (missing their last vertebrae and lacking a tail), possesses ear-tufts (feathers that grow out from near the birds' ears), and lays blue eggs. In the United States and Canada, muffs, beards, and tails are all disqualifications.
The Ameraucana should also lay blue eggs, but unlike the Araucana it has a tail and possesses muffs and a beard, which are quite different from the tufts of the Araucana, and no feather crest. Muffs and beards are fluffy poofs that grow on the cheeks and chin of the bird, whereas tufts are actual feathers that grow from fleshy lobes called peduncles on either side of the birds' face. Tufts are associated with a lethal gene, which makes them difficult to attain.
The Easter Egg Chicken is not an actual breed; the term refers to any bird that lays colored eggs. The vast majority of birds sold as "Araucanas" or "Ameraucanas" are actually neither. Instead, they are mixed breeds with no APA (American Poultry Association) Standard that lay colored eggs, ranging from bluish and greenish to pinkish-brown, and sometimes even tan, gray or white.
The Araucana's eggs are not more nutritious than eggs of other colors (despite popular myth), but the birds are reliable layers of medium-sized eggs. The Araucana, if hand-raised specifically, is extremely well-tempered, calm and trusting.
After several doses of glyphosphate the weeds finally gave up trying to grow back and breathed their noxious last - clearing the way for me and Mr Pitchfork to start ripping out the dried dead remains of Miss Californian Thistle 2009 and her deceased friends. Underneath is actual soil? A couple of years of potato growing helped a lot and loads of horse and cow manure added in as well improved the horrible clay no end. I'm still digging it over as you can see in the photo. It's not a small area either. Once it's all done and the ground is all turned over and fertilised I'll be rigging a six wire electric fence around it to keep the chickens and the turkeys out. Maggie is still trying to get into the other much smaller garden but is slowly but surely getting the message. Fence bites stay out chicken. Mr Screech won't be able to eat the garden either. He's cunning and waits now until dark to eat the plants. I haven't been able to get a photo of him lately the kids keep chasing him is why - he picks on the cats a lot so the kids get mad at him.
These two have found out all about Mr Screech and his big snappy beak. Yowie and Saaquatch are now three months old and causing twice as much trouble. They're headed back to the vets this week for their last vaccinations then in April they'll be having another appointment to get fixed. Cats and kittens are a big No No here on the farm. They all get desexed. Kaite and Buffy my Mum's two kittens will be done at the same time. I'm still convinced this farm has become an insane asylum. Six cats causing havoc around here? Enough said. I'll leave you with those two above after they had a wonderful time tearing up my sofa.
He'd rather be sound asleep with his mum than doing this silly show thing Highland Calf at the Paparoa A & P Show
The Zoo War written by my very close friend Lisa for the third time (I love it thank you Lisa!), then put up with the Terrorist complaining about the rain. I put her cover back on for a couple of hours and that seemed to keep her happy. Normally I don't spoil my calves this one though has been spoilt rotten - little toad. I enjoyed my day thoroughly - nothing to do but relax, read, and enjoy a very good movie As Good as it Gets with Jack Nicholson. One of the best films ever produced as least I think so anyway. Worth a watch if you haven't seen it already. And I have just watched Maggie attempt to raid the garden and get yet another shock off the fence. She'll learn...eventually!