If you read the title (which I presume you have!) you might be a bit confused! The farm? What’s that? Well, let me tell you a little-known fact about me (which you will already know if you read THIS post). I live on a farm-y place. I wouldn’t quite describe it as a farm, it’s a bit too small for that, it’s more of a smallholding. (But for this post, I’m using exaggerating it!) But anyway, we have a few animals and today signifies the start of (hopefully) a new series on my blog. This series will be called ‘The farm’ (not very catchy, I know!!) and will be posts telling you about what’s going on here at the moment. The posts will probably have more ‘action’ photos than staged photos. But today, I thought I’d start it off by introducing the animals and telling you a bit about them.
Let’s start off with the first animals we got when we moved here. They actually came with the house and if they hadn’t, we wouldn’t even have considered getting them. These animals are our alpacas. We currently have 9. We started with 6, got to 12 and then sold 3 to take us back down to 9. They’re a mixture of genders colours, ages and temperaments but I’ll start with their names. We have: Micah, Cappuccino, Minerva, Vanilla Ice, May, Jubilee, Coconut, Juno and Salcombe. (We didn’t name the majority of these, only the one’s that were born while we’ve lived here (3)!) Micah is our oldest alpaca who we bought as a father’s day gift a few years ago. Cappuccino and Minerva are her offspring. Juno and Salcombe are a fawn coloured brother and sister and definitely our ‘best quality’ alpacas whilst the other 4 are white and all related. Vanilla Ice has 2 daughters, May and Jubilee and then May had Coconut. May is our grumpiest alpaca and very protective of her son. Coconut is ‘polydactyl’ which means he has extra toes which in Peru (where they originally come from) is very lucky and he would have days of worship named after him but here it is considered unlucky as you can’t get any money from him if we ever chose to sell him. I’m particularly close to Minerva, Juno and Jubilee as I taught them to walk on a lead rope in 4 weeks and took them to a competition and so I’ve had the most contact with them!
We also have 2 pigs called Sam and Stephanie. Normally when we have pigs they are bought and raised purely for the intention for getting meat from them. I often get asked what my opinion on eating meat, especially hand-raised meat, is and to be truthful, I only am happy eating meat if I know where it came from (especially for pork, lamb and beef) because then I know what sort of life it led and particularly with animals we’ve raised ourselves, I know they’ve been given the best life we could’ve given them. I hope that makes sense but do me any questions you might have! We’ve had Pigs pretty much constantly since we moved here. We arrived at this house at the very end of July 2010 and had pigs by 5th September! We’ve had a mixture of all breeds, numbers, sexes and uses. We had piglets with 2 sows 3 years ago and I loved having them around! Stephanie should be giving birth to quite a big litter at the start of March and I can’t wait!!! Steph is a black and white spotty crossbred pig that we only bought a few months ago and she’s so friendly!! Sam is our ginger boy who spends his days frolicking with the ladies! At the moment he is visiting April, Red and Pip. He’s enjoying it a lot!! I can’t wait to update you as soon as the piglets are born!
We have 2 goats, Fig and Faye, who are half-brother and sister and also long standing inhabitants of our patches of grass! They were a Christmas present for my mum in 2010 but as they were only young then we got them in February 2011. I can’t believe they’re already 6! Technically, they’re pygmy goats although Fig doesn’t seem to have got the message!! He’s about the size of a normal goat. Both of them are very fat, no matter what diet they go on, they just can’t seem to shed the pounds. They find food EVERYWHERE! Faye is particularly smitten with our ram which takes us on to the next animal on my list, the sheep. As they’re Hebridean sheep from an island in Scotland, they aren’t woolly, only hairy. They look like goats, behave like deer (you know the prancing about deer do? they do it too!) and are actually sheep. How cool is that!? We have Norse the ram, 4 ewes and 4 ‘lambs’. We should have some more lambs arriving in April. I do love spring!!
Finally, bird wise, we have geese, ducks and chickens. The geese are at least 10 which we think must be a record for oldest geese ever! (actually, I’ve just googled it and the oldest goose ever was 49, still a while to go then!!) They’re very friendly even if it’s only because they dislike humans and have taught some of my friends who hate geese ot love them again. They really are such scaredy cats!! The ducks are a mis-match of all sorts of breeds. Most of the ducks we’ve reared from ducklings so they’re tame but some of them honestly have the ugliest feathers I’ve ever seen! I do love them a lot especially as they seem to lead such simple lives. They’re not clever but they don’t try to be! They spend each day pottering around and food is always their number 1 thought (animals after my own heart!). Chicken wise, our numbers have varied so much over the years. I think at one point we had 24 or so but now we only have 7. They’re very shy and so we don’t have a particular relationship with them!
Other than ‘farm animals’, we also have a rabbit called Chubby, 2 dogs called Ferdi and Inca, 6 budgies, 2 Java Sparrows, gold fish and tropical fish! I might talk about them as well later in the series!
What animals/pets do you have? Are you looking forward to this series??