We knew we wanted to keep our own livestock prior to moving to Farrantshayes in August 2016.
The big question was- what sort?! Having been warned not to try everything at once, we decided to do just that.
We are blessed with multiple outbuildings at the farm as well as 24 acres of lovely flat Devon pasture, so we set about finding the breeds that suited us best.
We first came across Welsh Badger Faced sheep up in Wales on a ‘Sheep for Beginners’ course at Kate Humble’s rural skills school. Their distinctive black’ eyebrows’ did it for me, along with the fact that they were relatively small and easy to handle. Oh- and they had a reputation for tasting amazing. That last fact proved to be very true- the lamb and hogget is like nothing we have ever tasted before and has utterly spoiled us. We lambed for the first time in March 2019 and all the girls had very easy births.
Keeping cattle was our most ambitious plan and by far our greatest financial investment. After much deliberation we settled on Devon Ruby Reds, primarily due to the amazing meat they produce, their docile temperaments and the fact that they’re native to this area. In fact we have found evidence that this breed have been kept on the farm previously; farm sales particulars from the early 1900s list them for sale. It’s rather a nice thing that we’ve brought them back here. We calved for the first time this year and Kenny, Kevin, Karma, Kingdom and Kilo (so big he arrived out of the side door, hence the name) have proved to be joyful additions to the farm. Marsha,Mike and Meredith were safely born in Spring 2019.
We have been truly won over by the wonderful Mangalitsa, a breed famous for their woolly coats and beautifully marbled meat. We now have five breeding sows- Molly, Kate, Megan and Bree- and our beloved Marmalade, who is the daftest pedigree registered boar you're ever likely to meet. Jamie is our junior red boar for 2020, bought in from Norfolk. We regularly have Mangalitsa piglets available; people buy them for to run on for charcuterie, distinctively tasty meat and often just as unusual pets. Contact us for more details on firstname.lastname@example.org
Very firmly in Emma’s corner! Ernie is a taciturn 24 year old arab ex racehorse who regards people as servants at best. Big Lad is a young Shire cross from Ireland who is being brought on for Jon to ride.
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