Sunday, 31 May 2009

Fast forward to today... roll call!

... we have been here for over six years now, and when we first moved here we had 3 dogs already, two Samoyeds (Tasha & Cookie) and a lovely black rescue collie-cross (Polly) - town dogs, used to being walked on leads and taken for rides in the car to get to a field where they could stretch their legs, imagine the joy of just being let out the door and to have a field within 50 yards and you didn't need a lead to get there.

Sadly Polly & Tasha are no longer with us, the years catching up with them, but Cookie still loves digging down where the molehills are in the hope that she'll catch something, never has done. Pepper has joined us, a cross between a Springer and a Jack Russell - adorable but mad as hell!

So, our first foray into the "farm" animal world was the pigs, but they have been and gone, and so our first llamas were Inca & Lima, two big "Roseland" llamas - we didn't realise how big, until we got Clara, who joined us with Wilbur, a young gelded male who will be our "trekker". We also had George, a stud male, who having covered Lima, we had our first cria (Cusco). So, 6 llamas, but sadly both Inca and George have left us (a blog of its own), so we are back to four.

Chickens were a must on a smallholding, and I can honestly say that we have not bought an egg for over 6 years since the laying of the first egg. They are fed layers pellets, and get a handful of mixed corn to peck at in the late afternoon. The maize in the corn adds a wonderful golden yellow colour to the yolks and they taste just great. We now have 20+ chickens including 3 cockerels. We had 5 new chicks hatch out, and we have a broody sitting on another 5 eggs at the moment.

Pygmy goats came next, having decided we didn't want to get in to the DEFRA form filling, we just couldn't resist. We have 4 females, and this autumn we hope to breed with them (need to find a good looking billy for them) - we have 2 pedigrees (Frostie & Fudge) where the horns have been left on, and we have 2 "pets" (Flo & Fuzz) that have been de-horned, but they all get on well.

Next on the roll call is Howard & Hilda, our two rescued farm cats, brother & sister. Still kittens really, but they are our "organic rodent control" system. Unfortunately, they also have a habit of catching the odd bird!

Finally, we have just acquired 3 ducks, Khaki Campbells drakes - that'll be Charlie (Drake), Francise (Drake), and Quackers!

Notice that the only ones not to have names are the chickens - just too many of them!

That's where we are today!