Another year on the farm and this year has seen some big changes on the animal front.
As I read last year’s animal inventory, it surprised me just how much our animal numbers have changed over the year. http://farmerswifeandmummy.com/our-animal-inventory-2016/
Rocher and the Ginger Tom still live in the little out house next to the house. They are both lovely cats-although the ginger doesn’t come near us at all. He is a beauty though and is a very good mouser so we keep a distance from each other with mutual respect.
The Suffolk rams from last year didn’t do too well in the lamb department. While the ewes were pregnant, many of the Suffolk lamb crosses didn’t make it or, if they did, they were much smaller than the Texel crosses we are used to.
This year we have bought some Charolais rams and Llen ewes to go with our mules. We are hoping they will prove to be a better success when lambing comes again.
We also bought a couple of Romney rams and ewes so I am looking forward to seeing them as lambs. They are so curly and have really pretty faces. As we won’t have a new baby this year, I am on the look out for a new pet sheep and I am hoping for a Romney one. http://farmerswifeandmummy.com/new-ewes-and-old-friends-at-the-farm/
Due to the baby, I didn’t hatch any chicks either and, after part-foiling a fox attack in March, we were down on hens (and cockerels). It was the Pekins who were eaten-even our favourite, Polyanna but the numbers are slowly creeping up and we have three cockerels, more Pekins- including the poor Hei Hei who is back in a flock of chickens but is still at the bottom of the pecking order so I am having to keep a close eye on her. http://farmerswifeandmummy.com/chickens-the-story-of-hei-hei/
I think on the last count we had 20 hens but they are so hard to count so that number may not be 100 per cent correct.
We had our goatversary this year-a whole year with Pygmy goats and I celebrated in the only way I know how-by getting more. http://farmerswifeandmummy.com/a-whole-year-with-pygmy-goats/
In September I hired a Billy goat called Ronnie the Rocket to mate with Chocolate and Chip the Pygmy goats. Regular readers of my blog will remember the shock when we discovered that Chocolate was a boy (whether) but Chip was mated and we are hoping for at least one baby goat this month.
I then saw a female and another whether advertised and somehow persuaded the farmer to come and collect them with me as well as get a baby Billy goat a few weeks later so we are up to five on the pygmy goat count which I think is good going in a year-especially with a goat baby, hopefully on the horizon.
Fred the New Zealand Huntaway is now called Max and was adopted by one of our horse livery ladies. I don’t think he was cut out for the farm and is now living the life of luxury in a house.
Dougie the Jack Russell is still here and Archie, Mabel and Tutsy the Norfolk Terriers. They have been joined by Molly and Todd, also Norfolks and two of Mabel and Archie’s puppies who we couldn’t bear to part with. We have a Norfolk Terrier problem.
House dog, Rosie is a little older but still hanging round under the kitchen table for highchair pickings.
We also acquired two geese who ended up being the most vicious creatures ever known to man (and woman) and you only have to look at them the wrong way to get run at-the farmer included-every cloud. They say that geese are the best guard dogs but not when they also attack family members.
We managed to re-home six Indian Runner ducks who have really settled into life with the chickens in the front field. There are two drakes and four females who lay an egg a day-much to the delight of the farmer who loves a duck egg.
I am a little disappointed that we have no new species of animal on the farm. I am grouping the geese and ducks in with poultry but you never know what a new year will bring.
Here’s to all the animals in 2018.