We have 4 breeding does, together with a Billy goat who we aim to put together this November to give us "kids" in Spring 2023.
We also have a Wether (a castrated Goat) who is his companion for now.
Watch this space for news in the Spring!
There is something special about having ducks on your smallholding. Not only are they beautiful and fun to watch, but they lay some very tasty eggs. However, moving them around your property can be challenging at best and virtually impossible at worst. Unless, of course, you had a trained assistant like a Border Collie to help you out. The good news is that Border Collies are natural herders and with a little bit of hard work and training can be taught to herd your ducks on your property.
Monty, my Collie is learning and is improving with time and helps herd the ducks, chickens and turkeys.
Dorking chickens are one of the oldest English breeds of chicken, named after the town of Dorking in England. It is distinctive having an extra hind toe. Birds with this extra / fifth toe were mentioned in many historical texts, even as far back as Roman times. A Roman writer mentioned birds with five toes in AD47 that were found in England by the Romans but it wasn’t until after the 1850’s in Surrey, Kent and Sussex that the plumage patterns began to stabilise, most probably thanks to farmers who wanted to deter chicken thieves, making their own colour of birds recognisable. They are a rare breed and we are raising our own flock to help keep the breed going.
These pigs are Saddleback crossed with a Berkshire.
They are friendly and inquisitive.
Pigs are highly intelligent and social creatures and should not be kept alone.
The pigs are kept in with electric tape and they respect the tape, we can then move the fence allowing them to move onto fresh ground which they then "root" over very quickly.
We have a mixture of turkeys in different colours from Bronzes, to blacks and whites.
Turkeys are plump and heavy-set ground-dwelling birds with thick and impressive plumage. Turkeys are consumed in their millions at Christmas, but we shouldn't take these intelligent and affectionate birds for granted.
Turkeys are also gregarious and sociable birds.
We have a large mixed flock of chickens with different breeds which lay different colour eggs, white, brown, chocolate brown, blue and green.
We raise our own chicks in early springs and encourage our hens to go broody to raise the chicks.
The breeds range from white rangers, brown rangers, bluebells, lavenders and araucanas.