A silver lining to save the day

July 21, 2014 at 7:30 AMCoombeMill

I have been sitting on this story for a couple of weeks now becoming more and more excited to share, however after the rabbit and the squirrel tale from Guy I was rather nervous of tempting fate with this one and rightly so, no sooner had I written the post than all turned to disaster. However I decided not to ditch the post but to share the story anyway, after not all farm stories can end 'happily ever after' and there is a silver lining.

We had two adorable baby peachicks born at the beginning of the month.

Peachicks at Coombe Mill

 

It hasn't been an easy journey. Nick originally bought our young peacock and peahen back in 2011 at the Wadebridge fowl auction claiming "they were a good deal". It transpired they were in fact not that much of a bargain as he then spent a fortune building a home for them on the shady side of his shed to ensure they couldn't escape. To this we added our two guinea fowl who took to wandering up to the village and annoying the villagers roosting on their cars.

 

 

Peacock & Peahen in the Aviary

Patiently we fed and nurtured the group through to the summer of 2012 and were rewarded with 4 eggs. Our peahen showed no sign of knowing what to do with them so we set the incubator up in our house and tried to hatch them ourselves. Alas only one began to break free from the shell on the due date but never made it out, one other died just before term and two were non starters. For 2013 there was only one egg which we left waiting in vain for more to appear and in 2014 after the long wet winter the pair began to look anything but spritely and loving when they should have been in their prime.

Farmer Nick took the decision to free range them and let them take their chances with the dangers of nature and a possible loss for us, they were clearly unhappy and not going to reproduce anytime soon where they were despite our cleaning them out and providing fresh branches to roost upon.  

Nervously they took their first tentative steps into the world beyond their Aviary venturing no further than a few feet for days. Immediately they began to roost on top of the Aviary and to this day still come back to this same spot each night. Within a week they had discovered themselves and were clearly enjoying life on 'the other side'and their fun characters began to shine. 

 

Free Ranging Peacock & Guinea Fowl

 

Days turned into weeks and the peacock's feathers grew like never before. A proud male at last he fanned his feathers daily at his lady who feigned disinterest every time; we decided this was all a part of the courting ritual and they became affectionately named Percy and Priscilla.

 

 

Peacock Courting

 

Slowly they began to build a nest. It was a precarious location she chose on the edge of Jurassic park and eggs kept tumbling out. Prscilla didn't seem to be sitting on them so we took them and placed the six in our incubator.

This however wasn't the end, she continued to produce and create a new nest in an equally unsuitable spot still just feet from their old Aviary. We toyed with the idea of taking these eggs in too but decided she was actually sitting on them and that we would let nature take its course.

 

Peahen nest

 

This turned out to be a mistake as one morning we discovered the nest empty and our lovely lady limping badly. We suspected a badger was to blame but we will never know for sure. Thank goodness we had six slowly developing in our laundry room. All we could do was wait. 

On the last day of June we heard chirping coming from the incubator. This was followed by a cracked shell and finally a fully hatched chick.

It was two days before another joined him and sadly the rest never hatched. However the two looked strong and healthy and we were so hopeful of creating a peafowl group free ranging here at the farm. Each morning the children were delighted to open their little house for a cuddle.

 

Peachick cuddles

 

Then after two full weeks of me sitting on this story the unexpected happened, Farmer Gill was on duty and doing the morning rounds to check the animals ahead of the feed run and found not one but two curled up still peachicks in their house. We will never really be certain of how they died but they had taken to hopping in and out of their nesting box under the heat lamp as their strength grew and we guessed that they had hopped out on this occasion and waited till they were too cold to hop back in. A stark reminder of how fragile life is for baby fowl. Thankfully all our early morning checks meant the guests never saw the peachicks that morning and moved straight onto visiting the growing sussex chickens. 

We will have to wait till next year now for another go at peachicks, but atleast we came one stop closer this year and Percy and Priscilla have proved that they can look after themselves whilst happily free ranging here on the farm.

I led the feed run the following morning as "Farmer Fiona" while Nick went off to the fowl auction to see what he could find by way of day old chicks to bring on. Sadly there were no peachicks but he did come back with a pretty baby rabbit, some eggs for the incubator and cute Cuckoo Maran, Rhode Island Red and Welsummer chicks for our nesting house to the delight of the guests. 

 

New chicks and baby rabbit

Every cloud has a silver lining. 

Linking up with Magic Moments and What's the Story 

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Greek Baklava a la Coombe Mill

Greek Baklava a la Coombe Mill

February 19, 2013 at 9:47 PMCoombeMill

An all time favourite

I had never heard of Baklava before I met Nick, then again apart from one holiday to Rhodes Island with my parents, and inter-railing as a teenager I had no real knowledge of Greece full stop. When I fell for Nick I also grew to love the country his father grow up in, from the customs and welcoming nature of the people to the wonderful food the country boasts. I am known for my sweet tooth and as such Baklava is just heaven to me. I have been disappointed with bought replicas in England so, for Nick's Big Greek Birthday Party earlier this month,  I decided that I would make my own. I was pretty sure from a Google search on recipes that I could come up with a combination that would beat the shops and indeed I did. This Greek traditional desert is actually very simple yet looks like it took hours to prepare!


Baklava Coombe Mill Style

Ingredients

180g Granulated Sugar

50g Runny HoneyBaklava Ingredients

180ml water

15 - 20 ml squeezed lemon juice (1 good size lemon)

120g butter (ideally unsalted) melted

420g Filo pastry (2 packs of filo pastry from the chiller cabinets in the supermarket is ideal)

175g pistachio nuts

250g Dried figs (if you don't like figs, dates work just as well)

Method

In a saucepan, gently heat the water, sugar and honey. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat then stir in the lemon juice and set aside to cool.

Brush a shallow 20 x 30 cm baking tin with melted butter

Line the tin with 8 sheets of filo pastry brushing each sheet with the melted butter as you go.


Baklava Making


Chop the pistachio nuts into fine peices (I used a food mixer) and sprinkle over the buttered pastry layers

Layer another buttered 6 sheets of filo

Chop the figs as the nuts and sprinkle these over. Finish with another 8 sheets of buttered filo.


Adding pistachio nuts and figs to Baklava

Brush the top with any remaining butter.

Cut the Baklava into 20 peices with a sharp knife

Bake at 180degrees for 30 - 35 minutes till golden and crisp.

Pour over the syrup mix and leave to cool in the tin.

Baklava ready to cook

Serving

Delicious served alone or with Greek yogurt.

 

Finished Baklava

 

 

Crazy with Twins   Link up your recipe of the week
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Please share our family farm holidays, I'd be so proud

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all. 

Thank you for voting

MAD Blog Awards

Follow on Bloglovin

Grab the badge & join the linky for outdoor fun Sat - Thurs

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Ruggles Leisure

A family run Jacuzzi hot tub retailer & proud supplier of hot tubs to Coombe Mill. We understand that family/ leisure time is precious; we aim to source products that make this time more enjoyable.

I'm proud to be a

Activity Toys Direct

Official Forest Blogger

”Official

Thank you: Family Fun 2013 Business 2012

MAD Blog Awards
MAD Blog Awards

Thank You!

FINALIST BiB 2014 SOCIALMEDIANOMINATE ME BiB 2013 SOCIALMEDIA NOMINATE ME BiB 2013 LIFESTYLE

Best Family Friendly Travel Destination & Best Family Accommodation

Loved By Parents Winner Best Family Friendly Travel Destination
Loved By Parents Winner Best Family Accomodation
Loved By Parents Runner Up Blogger fo the Year 2012
Blogger of the year runner up 2011

UK Self Catering Holidays

Mumsnet Best Self Catering Holidays

  Mumsnet Best

Coombe Mill Holidays SBS Winner 2011

SBS Winner

Coombe Mill Holidays Winner 12.6.13



Page Rank

Ebuzzing - Top Blogs Ebuzzing - Top Blogs - Parenting

Follow Coombe Mill

Coombe Mill Kids Perspective

Kids Perspective from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Month List


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