Early last year our beloved cows retired from Farm life, they are sorely missed but are enjoying their new home.
This year we are hoping to bring cows back by rehoming two young Shetland Cows, half sisters, Brie and Meg.
Shetland cows are rare breeds and have been classified as a minority by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. This year there has been a 5% decrease in registered breeding females in the UK. In bringing these beautiful young ladies to the farm we hope to help the breed thrive!
As if the coming summer wasn’t busy enough, we’ve had a troop of new arrivals at the farm. If you’ve popped down in the past couple of weeks, you might have noticed a rather handsome looking group of goats has turned up! They are currently in isolation in one of our large pens on the farmyard, but hopefully it won’t be long before they can go out and join the other livestock grazing in the paddocks.
There’s more to these goats than meets the eye though! These are Cheviot Landrace Goats, a truly Old English breed. Without getting too complicated, if you were to go back in time these are the goats you would find roaming feral across the English countryside. They were deemed a pest, and bought very close to extinction. The 9 goats we’ve got at Deen City Farm have come from a Thorndon Country Park in Essex, and will form the start of our breeding group!
Even though these goats have been used to living without much human contact, it’s amazing how fast they can settle in! The kids are still a bit shy, but the adults are very happy to come over and check out any hands for tasty grass nuts. Did you know that goats are the second fastest animal to adjust to living feral? (Cats being the fastest!), it seems the opposite is true too, and they’re very quick to get used to people as well!
The goats that were chosen from the herd to come to Deen City Farm were picked out with the assistance of our colleague (and master of all things goat!) Ray Werner, an expert on all things Cheviot Goat. When it comes to picking the ideal goats, it’s not just about picking out the ones that you like the look of, you need to know what to look for (hence Ray’s expert input!). The one male and three females were picked out from the crowd based on their colour patterns, good conformation and movement as well as meeting the breed standards devised by the Cheviot Landrace Goat society.
After a nervous few days, it wasn’t long before the goats have settled well into city farm life, generally minding their own business unless there’s any tasty snacks on offer! The kids are a little bit nervous, but we’re getting there! Come down and say hello to them during the summer!
If you were watching TV this week, you might have spotted some familiar faces on BBC2’s Further Back In Time For Dinner. Aside from Adam Henson, our two lovely pedigree Oxford Sandy & Black girls, Amelia and Penelope, and their friend Maurice from Merrist Wood College had their moment in the limelight!
Our little group of pigs was helping to cover the topic of Pig Clubs during the World War, though it looks like they were largely happy to be fussed and have a chance to laze around in the last of the summer sun. You can watch the episode oniPlayer, we’re at around half an hour in.