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Author Topic: New family members  (Read 4835 times)

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tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2015, 14:57 »
Once you have a bond with your goats, they know their walks and a few bits of bread in your pocket, you just let them do as they want, they will come back to you or go home if they get a fright. Dave is letting Mum off now (Kid Tilly is free) once he gets past the houses. The only hiccup has been when a stray dog suddenly appeared and they made towards home, but stopped when they saw people. The goat man takes about a hundred at a time, they know where they're going and show the new ones the ropes. When they come home he shouts for the owner and the goat/s peel off and waits for the gate to be opened. He doesn't wait so if the owner goes out the goat settles down to chew the cud. Unfortunately at our end of the village we have a shepherd who doesn't take goats.

Tethering is an option but we personally aren't keen. There are jackals around here and a tethered animal is a sitting target. They are in the poultry paddock which has no grass, plenty of weeds, and there was a stand of self sown sunflowers which kept them happy for weeks. The last one was finally pushed down yesterday. We will fence off a patch to sow next year. They don't need a lot of space, if you walk them and provide browse and hay, plus any old veg, they spend a lot of time chewing the cud. They need shelter from rain and sun but are really easy to keep and take up little time. Milking is literally less than five minutes once you get going. The occasional brush and hoof trim, parasite control. Bingo. Oh and picking up poo a couple of times a week if you have a tiny paddock.

Tell Mr Snoop he'll love 'em. Two goats, one to kid on alternate years, boys for curry (but not our's!) or sell, always a market. The only down side. Kids are soooo cute :D


oakridge

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Re: New family members
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2015, 16:23 »
We built up to 7 dairy goats producing about 60 pints a day in peak season - so we had to do something with the excess milk - so we bought 60 weaners from Rother Valley College where I was doing various agri courses.  The goats eventually led to about 60 Angora Goats and the weaners led to 13 outdoor sows and a boar.  It also seemed like a good idea to buy a couple of three week calves.  One, an Angus, was a late developer and was an interesting character as an 18 month old bull.  The last two we had were Limousins which could jump a stock fence, such fun.

It is said, with some justification, that when two dairy goats get together that the first thing they do is establish an escape committee.

Now, in my dotage I have reverted to fruit and veg, but I do miss the pigs, they were characters.

Christine is still a national judge of Angora Goats.  She didn't have a show this year, but we have been all over in the past; Great Yorkshire,  Three Counties, Royal Welsh and Devon County to name but a few.

Malcolm

Snoop

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Re: New family members
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2015, 16:48 »
Right, that's it. You've convinced me, Tosca. Not next year but definitely the year after. (Next year's ventures are beekeeping, pressure canning, water-bath bottling and getting my previous vegetable patch back up and running).

All told, we have about 12 acres, but by far the majority of it is forest. A friend of ours has bought some land up the valley from us and I know he'd be keen to have goats browse the forest areas to to keep them tidy. So browsing won't be a problem at all. In fact, if they browse the brambles round our well down to the ground, they'll be doing me a big favour. And as for walks, the cats already come with us and the dogs (occasionally for a couple of miles or so), which the locals find astounding. So if the goats follow (or lead) the troupe, that'll raise even more eyebrows! Always good to keep the locals guessing what the mad English folk are up to now.  :D

tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2015, 18:07 »
Sounds ideal Snoop. We only have half an acre but are almost self sufficient in food. We still have to buy flour, coffee, meat (for Dave) and oil. But we won't be going any further, We had 12 kilos of honey from the hie which I am using instead of sugar where I can, canning etc well under way. Full larder and freezers. :D

Malcolm....I daren't tell the OH what you write, but though pigs are generally kept in pens here and we have the space, we have decided that is a step too far and we would want them to roam more. Of course we would have to have two and with only one meat eater..... also, December is bad enough with the neighbours all slaughtering, not sure if I could cope with Gerald and Herbert being next. No abbatoirs around here! :ohmy:

oakridge

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Re: New family members
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2015, 19:32 »
Tosca, outdoor pigs do have advantages and disadvantages, but it was great to see them foraging outdoors.  They do show there personality.  Once weaned the piglets were brought into a 30' by 43' stock tunnel (free to good home, buyer dismantles and collects) and then taken to market or the abattoir.  We have never had any trouble eating our own stock, in fact I followed in my Dad's footsteps and kept rabbits for meat which I killed myself.  Hard-hearted devil me.

Malcolm

Snoop

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Re: New family members
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2015, 05:38 »
We've decided against pigs because Mr Snoop wouldn't be able to send them off to slaughter. We once spent a week in Cornwall next door to a field with half a dozen pigs in it. He spent most of the time going to the fence to watch what they were up to and scratching their backs. Almost the only time he could drag himself away was when we went up to the farmhouse for afternoon tea and their homemade clotted cream!

Plus, we can't run a freezer so a whole pig would be more than we could store.

tosca100

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Re: New family members
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2015, 10:48 »
Tosca, outdoor pigs do have advantages and disadvantages, but it was great to see them foraging outdoors.  They do show there personality.  Once weaned the piglets were brought into a 30' by 43' stock tunnel (free to good home, buyer dismantles and collects) and then taken to market or the abattoir.  We have never had any trouble eating our own stock, in fact I followed in my Dad's footsteps and kept rabbits for meat which I killed myself.  Hard-hearted devil me.

Malcolm
I admire those who believe if you eat meat you should be prepared to raise your own given the opportunity, and I have told OH he can have pigs if he wants to, just don't involve me! But having gone next door on slaughter day to help them out he has decided he might go veggie! :lol: The steer was worse. And to have that much meat for one would be daft. You can't sell home reared and slaughtered meat as there are no standards enforced, it has to be for you own consumption.

Interestingly, although welfare standards are woeful generally, (more through ignorance than cruelty) the owners of the beasts who have tended them all year are not present when the deed is done, they emerge to do the dressing later.

oakridge

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Re: New family members
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2015, 11:38 »
The abattoir where we used to take pigs and cattle had to reserved part of the layerage for 'injured' animals and also had to have a vet on hand when he was slaughtering.  The vet he had was Spanish so, out of interest, he asked what the rules were in Spain and she said 'oh, we don't do anything like this'.

We had no trouble selling meat.  They did eventually bring in a rule that meat had to be transported in a refrigerated van, even the 5 miles to our house and that clobbered us. Because we only had a small herd the pork was very high quality.  In fact whenever we took pork pigs to Selby market we always got top price.  We sold half pigs, old goats to the West Indian community and young goats to the Muslim community.  The Muslims used Halal methods to kill the animals but I insisted that they did at my premises so that I new that the job was done properly.  I was very impressed with the care the Muslims took, causing no stress to the animals.

When I started Phase I City and Guilds Agriculture almost the first week we were given a chicken and told to kill it.  That tested the resolve of a few.  I strongly believe that if you keep animals of any sort you must be prepared to do the unpleasant jobs. 

Malcolm



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