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 25 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. We lambed for the first time in March 2019 and all the girls had very easy births. We only have three sheep, so a small but perfectly formed herd!
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 beef 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 in 2018 and Kenny, Kevin, Karma, Kingdom and Kilo (so big he arrived out of the side door, hence the name) proved to be joyful additions to the farm. Marsha, Mike and Meredith were safely born in Spring 2019. Neil and Nearly were born in November 2020. We currently have six head of cattle on site.
After breeding Hungarian 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 firstname.lastname@example.org We still have one Mangalitsa left though- our retired breeding sow Tilly- who is the Queen of Farrantshayes and quite simply one of my favourite animals ever.
Very firmly in Emma’s corner! Ernie is a grumpy 26 year old Arab ex racehorse who regards people as servants at best. Pash is a sweet nine year old Arab gelding who is distantly related to Ernie, but prefers not to admit to it. Emma and the boys can often be seen hacking out and dodging tractors in and around Clyst Hydon.
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