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A cheery and vocal addition to the walled garden, Mount Stuart is home to 150 beautiful Isa Brown chickens. The lucky ladies wander, graze and forage in a two acre paddock by day and live in a well-kept Mount Stuart timber house by night.
Their eggs, as a result of their happy free-range lifestyle, are particularly tasty with beautiful deep yellow yolks. Collected twice daily, these eggs are well used for the Tea Room's bountiful baking, the Mount Stuart Restaurant, and can be found for sale in the eatBute Farm Shop and in Ritchie's of Rothesay.
With their quirky character, our chickens are definitely one of the Kitchen Gardens' finest features.
Hailing from Andrew Abrahams' wildflower apiary on the Isle of Colonsay, our generous black bees both pollinate our exuberant gardens and enthusiastically cater to our collective sweet tooth. Housed in four hives by the Chicken pen in the Walled Garden, sources of pollen and nectar are abundant in the policies nearby.
Honey is harvested during the summer months when there is a surplus; however as autumn approaches the bees require the elixir for themselves. During the colder months they are fed on syrup, before lying dormant throughout the winter. As spring arrives they are fed once again in order to build up their strength for the summer's honey production.
Their hives are checked regularly to ensure that queen cells are not allowed to develop. Should that happen, there is a danger that the bees will swarm and desert their hives in order to found a colony, leaving the original hive under strength.
If you share our sweet tooth, a one-day beekeeping course bookable through our Events team is available at Mount Stuart in the early summer. For more information please phone (01700) 503877 or email email@example.com.