9 September 2013 13:13
Loved but Cheeky Pigmy Goats
Our goats are one of the farm favourites with all the children. They are pigmy so not too big or boisterous. They are in the main good natured but have a proper cheeky way about them. This can frighten some of our younger guests at first, but as the week goes on most become accustomed to their cheeky habits and know that if they hold food the goats will come running to eat it from their hands and are really friendly and harmless.
Our animals rotate around the fields on the farm but the field by the top lake is usually home to the goats. It has an interesting landscape for them to roam, natural water supply and easy for us to reach on the daily tractor run where all the children staying help us to feed the animals. Having successfully placed an old Wendy house in the chicken and duck enclosure what better than to offer some exciting new play equipment to the goats?
Our indoor play barn had a huge sturdy Little Tikes climbing piece which had developed a small crack right in the centre. Nick had tried using the boys surfboard repair resin to correct the fault, this was never going to look pretty but we thought would be strong enough to safely mend the break as the rest of the apparatus was still in perfect condition.
Sadly after 2 attempts the tear reappeared and so it was time for a rethink. Two mini trampolines were purchased for the play barn which are in daily use.
Now we had an almost perfect Little Tikes climbing piece in need of a new home. The goats was the obvious choice. With their agility and playful nature I just knew they were going to love it.
At first however they were a little unsure, but as soon as we began to feed them on the climbing frame they were up and down the slides and steps like true mountain goats.
The children found this hilarious and now join the goats for a turn themselves. Nothing like combining helping to feed the animals with a little play time! The tear is still there but with farm overalls and welly boots it doesn't seem to worry anyone, it has also helped the children beat any fear of the goats as they are distracted by competing for a go on the slide!
I have seen a very funny You Tube clip of goats on a trampoline, forwarded to me by , who is familiar with our playful team. I now know where our big trampoline will be headed when it is too worn out for the children's play area, though ours is a quality one from Big Game Hunters so it may be awhile yet, perhaps we should look on ebay for an old one in the meantime? We could turn into the Coombe Mill circus at this rate!
I am linking our Goat Antics up with these lovely linkys Click to see some more stories from other bloggers.
17 February 2013 00:00
Sshhh..... Sunday photo of the week
4 April 2012 00:13
When everything happens at once....
A kid goat is born
We have had an eventful couple of days on the farm to say the least. It started with a lovely kid goat being born on April the first. Mum and Kid are doing just fine together. They are now in the "Lamb Nursery" while the 3 orphan lambs have been moved to the old goat meadow.
Runner ducklings Hatch
All this has coincided with the hatching of our lovely apricot runner ducks. They have progressed over the past 2 days from incubator in my laundry room to their own special house where they are now under a heat lamp. At a few days old they are beginning much enjoyed by the guests as they come out to say Hello each morning.
A disaster for our Guy
We are strong believers in the children helping out on the farm and earning pocket money. Making kindling bundles for the guests is one of their tasks. They are only allowed the small axe and have been shown repeatedly how to use it safely, but as soon as Farmer Nick turned his back yesterday Guy managed to chop his hand! It was nothing too dramatic but a nasty gash that meant he had to go straight to casualty. Kids timing is always spot on; I was just finishing off the BBQ for dinner!
Another baby Lamb
With Guy on his way to hospital with Nick, the remaining children and I continued to have our supper when the guests came round to say they were worried about a newly born lamb in the field who had no mother nearby. Abandoning our fated supper the kids came with me to the field. Sure enough I could see who mother was, her bottom gave the game away, but she could not be persuaded to go and attend to her bleating new born lamb. On feeling the lamb he was cold and clammy where Mum hadn't cleaned him up at all. I scooped him up and warned the guests that the mothers usually abandon them for a good reason, but that we would let them know the news in the morning. The kids then rallied round opening up Farmer Nick's shed and bringing our make shift lamb house and bedding into the kitchen.
Felix sat warming up the lamb as Nick came home. We then caught mother and milked her to give the lamb his (I had time now to check the basics) first all important colostrum 50ml which he guzzled. I now had two poorly soldiers in my kitchen! To be fair, Guy got away with glue and a bandage, but as he didn't feel that was impressive enough they gave him a sling too. Now he feels much better!
A new day dawns
I am pleased to report that the lamb is thriving today. I am feeling rather the worse for wear after the night feeds, but it was all worth it to see his perky face in the morning. We decided to give him another go with Mum and put them together in their own quarters. The little lamb was shown the basics of feeding and happy to go to Mum.
Sadly after an hour of trying we had to rescue little lamb back out as Mum was not having any of it and began head butting her own lamb with her horns and the poor little chap was desperate to escape.
Jed was only too pleased to have him back in the garden with us! Now we have 4 orpan lambs to the delight of all our guests!
It is certainly proving an eventful Easter holidays and it is only Tuesday!
26 September 2011 10:59
A windy day last week saw the Deer’s favourite tree come crashing down through the fence, lopping off some Oak branches before coming to rest in the pony field. It was a quick patch up job to bodge the fencing, before really getting to grips with repairing the damage.
Rotten yet beautiful
The old beech tree turned out to be rotten right through with only around 6 inches of strong trunk holding it up all round the edge. The structure itself is full of interest, call me a nerd, but 30 plus centimetre fungus in layers hanging off the sides is really quite fascinating along with the soft light interior. I wish I had a more elaborate camera to demonstrate!
What about the Deer?
Funnily enough the Deer must be creatures of habit, they still gather in the same far corner of their field during the feed run, even though their best camouflage tree is lying on the ground! As we creep up on them in the mornings they still make a dash down to the bottom of the field.
Turns out the goats are now in heaven. They currently share the deer field and oak leaves to them are like cake to you and me, the beech a close 2nd place! Just as well goats are deft climbers as the tree is so large and precariously fallen only they can wind their way in amongst the spindly branches for the tastiest leaves. Farmer Nick thinks the tree will keep them going all year, if they can ration themselves, I fear they will gobble up all the best bits and go pop beforehand!
The children have all been quick to see the attraction of the fallen Beech too. The potential for a natural climbing frame always so much more fun than one purpose built! My children are also planning den building and camps with great enthusiasm!
Farmer Nick, Always the Opportunist
Farmer Nick and a chainsaw are never far behind a fallen tree! The branches crashing though the fencing are already being collected for next year’s firewood to fuel our cottage and lodge wood burners.
3 Cheers to the British Beech
The old beech tree really was a beauty in all its years standing, yet is now still proving it still has much to offer for us at Coombe Mill!