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Pets With Intolerances

Poorly Moggy

Ever wondered why your moggy has bald patches in its fur or keeps scratching its back under the kitchen table till the skin is raw? Your dog certainly can be intolerant to its food – may be gluten or cereals, or surroundings like pollen could be to blame.

A colleague found that her dog continued to be sneezing and scabs were seen on the skin. She headed to the vets to hopefully find some answers. Steroids were given for the first two years but there was the usual concern over the long term use of steroids of liver damage.

As an alternative to steroids two blood test packages can be performed. One for Food and one for Pollen. Vet examinations, of course are never cheap. Whole  package costs around £400, but they can be cheaper if there is a specific suspicion of what can cause the allergy.

Paddy the CatFor the food package, cats and dogs can be tested for cereals such as: gluten, wheat and barley, meat eg lamb, pork and beef, and any reaction to cat or dog. So your pet cat may be allergic to your pet dog! The pollen package includes allergies to trees, shrubs and grasses, flowers etc.

Once diagnosed, it is sense of relief. Food intolerances can be avoided by typically not giving the pet the food. For example a dog with a gluten intolerance, the owner would feed gluten free pasta or rice with no biscuits or bread and to check all labels. Often pet food is poorly labelled as it does not require the same strict labelling as for human consumption. Treats can be poorly labelled. The word ‘protein’ can be written but the source of the protein, ie. the type of meat, can be unknown so a dog intolerant to pork could not be given this pet food.

POOCHS Yoghurt Snaps

There is an expanding number of pet food companies offering alternative foods. Pouches do a wide range of treats.

A range of Pooches foods have been tested by the Glebe Farm dog crèche and were a great success!

Diagnosis to pollen allergies can be resolved by vaccination solutions, made up by the vaccination laboratory. The aim is to build up immunity slowly with doses administered every 2-3 weeks in the beginning and monthly thereafter. An ongoing monthly injection can be administered by either the vet or the owner once trained. The injection package can be around £150 per solution, but if dog is allergic to more pollens than 6, more solutions have to be prepared which will increase the cost as well.  Immunotherapy will help, as it increases the immune system and reaction to the allergen, it just takes some time and does not happen instantly.

In summary, seeing a loved pet in pain is a great concern to its owner. It can be very stressful until the diagnosis is made. Even then, there is a lot of time and patience required visiting vets and reading pet food labels. But best of all there are a growing number of specialist petfood manufacturers to treat and feed your pet!



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Visits to Glebe Farm

When the sun is shining and the crops look at their fullest just before harvest, there is nothing we like better than to show the farm at its best.

The group’s organiser brought a coach of 35 people to do a tour at Glebe FarmColchestet groupWe have been lucky enough to have the Colchester Coeliac Group around in mid June. Beryl Whittingham, the group’s organiser brought a coach of 35 people to do a tour at Glebe Farm.

Guests where invited into the farmhouse kitchen for a cup of tea and a slice of ginger and chocolate cakeAs well as being able to see how the gluten free ranges were made, including Glebe Farm’s bulk porridge oat range and retail packs of gluten free porridge oats, muesli and granolas, flours and mixes, guests where invited into the farmhouse kitchen for a cup of tea and a slice of ginger and chocolate cake.

Visitors where given the full tour of the facilitiesLater at the end of June, a group of 30 local business members of The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) came over. Visitors where given the full tour of the facilities.

Many were impressed over the size of operation and to know that Glebe Farm is probably the largest grower and processor of gluten free oats in Europe.

Malcolm Lyons, the Huntingdonshire branch chairman gave the vote of thanks and liked to see this kind of agri-food business succeeding in farming’s uncertain times. He said “Glebe Farm was growing and exporting and bringing investment into the rural economy of Cambridgeshire.”

Glebe Farm are FSB members, thanks to the work place pensions, insurance, advice and lobbying support.  Rebecca said she was pleased to welcome fellow business owners to the farm to gain knowledge through networking and events. For further details on FSB see

Last but not least, the local Riptons Womens Institute came round. Their previous visit had been about 8 years ago during Glebe’s organic days. They had certainly noticed a transformation from the farm’s past to present, with new buildings and new laid concrete.

We welcome groups to come and tour the farm.
Please ring the office 01487 773282 or email us on and book a day.

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Crash Landings


BBC Radio Cambridge Logo

Glebe Farm’s Wellington Bomber and Mosquito WWII planes.

There has been a lot of publicity recently about WWII aircraft being dug up in the local area.

A few years ago part of a Mosquito under-carriage was pulled up by a tractor pulling a farm implement. Nobody really new what it was but it was suggested that it should be taken to the Pathfinder Museum at RAF Wyton. Then all went quiet…..

Marc Marshall, from Glebe Farm, was keen to try his new metal detector.

Glebe Farm's Marc and Mosquito Site

The crops were still standing in July so he started digging at gaps within the crops. Without realising it, these sparsely cropped areas, no bigger than a size of a small car, were dotted with sand patches within the soil. This was evidence that oil seepage had been found as the RAF usually would have filled the area with sand after a crash.

An elderly gentleman, Ralph Dodson in Kings Ripton village, was asked to recall his old memories. He remembered, as a boy, hearing a loud explosion and ran towards the enormous fire coming from the fields at Glebe Farm. He said he heard a sheep bleeting, but Cambridgeshire is not a county for sheep to graze! Instead what he heard was an airman who had been catapulted out of his aircraft into a hedge and was asking for help. The story of the Wellington MK III BJ716 continues…


Glebe-Farm-Foods-WellingtonBomber_79x300This aircraft only had one successful mission and took off from Warboys airfield on the 27th August 1942 with that nights target being Kassel. The aircraft was attacked by a night fighter while over Hamm/Munster but after retaliating with machine gun fire, the fighter retreated and the Wellington returned with minor flak damage.

The Wellington’s second fateful mission was to target Saarbrucken on the night of 1st September 1942, unfortunately just after takeoff the aircraft crashed into land at Glebe Farm, bursting into flames and killing three of the crew who are buried locally at Houghton / Wyton churchyard.

Although the majority of the wreckage was removed at the time of the crash many parts have been found in the area with a metal detector such as the geodetic construction tubing (air frame), parts of a bomb sight, oxygen regulator, radio parts, engine parts, electrical connections, remains of .303 cartridges and many fragments of aluminium, some of which formed into ingots from the heat of the fire.


The second crash site on Glebe Farm is believed to be a De Havilland Mosquito as many parts have been found that relate to this type of aircraft but the investigation is still ongoing and currently being researched. Parts found include parachute buckles, cockpit gauge, fragments of wood, Perspex and many fragments of engine casing.

Marc’s other hobby, other than metal detecting, is brewing beer. Night Mission and Wellington Bomber Porter have been developed and brewed in Memory of Heroes.

Read more about our gluten free beers…

It started as a micro brewery on the farm, however the amount of beer sold was too much to cope with, so a contract brewer was asked to help out. Now the beer is sold nationwide in outlets such as Dobbies Garden Centres, Ocado and independents – see stockists for details

Marc, the Mayor and Beer!

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Harvest 2015 at Glebe Farm

combine unloading oats into trailerOur 30 year old combine has done us proud! She has had a new face lift and had a new drum this summer and some new electrics.

This year we bought a special rape knife – it is an extension to the combine head so that when the combine cuts the rape, the seeds go on to the table and through the combine rather than on to the field.

rebecca inspecting cropOilseed rape and spring oat yields have been pleasing but unfortunately the yield meter broke so we are only guessing!

Rather than delay harvest we bypassed the yield weigher and carried on combining. We can only judge by the frequency of trailers being emptied and by the number of lorry loads of rape being carted away.

david infront of combine
David Chambers is leading the team and is on the combine.

Ted and Mick are tractor driving. They are three ‘old timers’ but …with heaps of experience. David was at Glebe Farm when he was 15 year, then left, and returned to us when my father died in 1994.  He has now celebrated 20 years with us so I gave him a present. He has now done 48 harvests and certainly knows the combine inside and out!

mick on tractor smilingBen, our young recruit has started on cultivations with some pigtail tines, tickling the soil to encourage weeds to chit. Later, the weeds will be killed to ensure the seed bed is as clean as possible for the next year’s crop. On a secondary note this soil movement will loosen compaction and Marc will start metal detecting soon to see if there are any WW2 aeroplane pieces. Every year the moving of the soil will bring up more finds to the surface.  Sunday 16th August marks the Pathfinder Memorial Weekend which we will follow up with a blog next time.

filming combineWe are also having some filming done at Glebe Farm moment as we combining the gluten free oats to ultimately highlight Glebe’s story of ‘farm to fork’. The filming will show the harvesting, cleaning, oat flaking, gluten free quality testing and bagging. We will then go into the kitchen to make up some gluten free recipes.

So watch this space for our new video!

~ Rebecca Rayner