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 and our next calf is due October 2020.
After breeding Mangalitsa for several years we have now moved over to the British Lop, another rare breed but more native to this part of the world. We have two breeding sows and a boar; our first litter was born in Summer 2020. Contact us for more details on email@example.com
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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