Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Salmon and Delilah....



As of Saturday the 9yo will need to be called the 10yo..... Double digits; I must be old. Twelve days later and the 7yo will be renamed the 8yo. Good Lord!

We wracked our brains for a suitable pressie for the 9/10yo. New clothes? Bigger bike? Music player?

'May I have a goat?' she asked.

It seemed like a good idea so I did some research. Surely a goat could join the three cade lambs in the field? Actually the lambs need to be renamed too,.... they don't look anything like lambs now, they are rotund and enjoying the experience of grazing with our neighbour's stock of huge texel and beltex ewes, experienced animals with two seasons' lambing behind them. 

My research made me nervous. Apparently goats do not graze the land like sheep, they prefer to eat your hedges, trees, flowers, vegetables and knickers off the line! While sheep are considered escapees, goats are houdinis, experts in their field. Te he!

Our sheep are well cared for; their water fresh, their grass fresher, mineral licks on tap, their feet checked and worms kept at bay, snuggles a-plenty but we only occasionally offer them a multi-stock feed. Allegedly goats are more demanding, requiring hay and goat feed constantly and a cosy indoor residence in case of the merest hint of rain. They also need entertainment..... I pictured we Archers putting on Shakespearean shows, but I'm thinking that they'd probably prefer a musical but not 'Singing in the Rain.'

Then there's the price. A decent Pygmy goat is upwards of £150, a meat or milking goat is north of £250. [Lamaze breathing.]


On Sunday daughter and I visited The Gobbetts, a rare breed farm in a tiny village in Shropshire. We were there to see the Pygmy goats and I was rather hoping to persuade the girl to purchase some smaller livestock.

Several of the goats came to greet us as we ambled along the grass paths between the chicken runs. As daughter and I continued towards them they pretended we were chasing them, about-turned and, nimble footed, mounted the [high] rail to their enclosure. It was immediately clear that they would easily escape any of the fences at The Larches!

The 9yo went to pet them and two of the younger goats immediately set about eating her favourite jacket. So naughty. She giggled and fortunately agreed that we really weren't up to keeping goats. Phew!

She settled on a pair of gorgeous rare breed chickens; Salmon Faverolles. They are most unusual looking. The rooster, though just 10 weeks old, looks like a mini bird of prey with a ruff head dress like a bald eagle. His mate, also 10 weeks old, looks like a soft tawny owl.

According to the sproglet, she will breed this pair and sell the chicks, she already has plans to make Moo business cards to promote her shop..... just shows the power of advertising!

I tried to get her to call the pair Salmon and Delilah but she wasn't having any of it. Lucky and Lipstick have joined The Archers at The Larches.


Picture courtesy of Stephen Jones and Wikipedia.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon