Friday 29 May 2015

Goodbye to the Goats

Like the English buses, there have been no posts for a while and up come two! Life has been rather crazy and Andy has only just started to be able to walk after rupturing his Achilles tendon.
The season of change is blowing through the farm, we are currently having the house renovated and it's been time we've reassessed how the farm is working and doing.

The poultry has been an amazing success this year - All traditional breeds of Chickens, Ducks and turkeys have laid and hatched babies. Some have been more successful than others at keeping their offspring alive but it has been a joy to see them grow. In the dodgy picture below, there are a couple of the 14 baby turkeys.

The problem has been the rabbits and the goats. Andy's increased working hours have put pressure on the number of animals that need direct feeding. The sheep and poultry, to a large extent,  look after themselves and only need the occasional bucket of grain. We've already purged the rabbits down to 4 bunnies and we've made the tough choice to butcher the goats. The goats have not been the healthiest animals, due to genetic problems, the off-spring haven't lived and they require feeding or being tethered in a safe place. The mounting vet's bill aren't off-set by the amount of milk produced. Also, the rabbits are more maintainable especially if we need some guest feeders. A rabbit is quite easy and quick to dispatch, process and eat .

We are currently trying to fatten the two non-milking goats and when the other dries up, we butcher her too.  It is a bit sad but this is farm life, you have to make hard but right choices.
It might not be the end of Goats on our farm, we know two other farms so we could repopulate but until our livestyles change, we will be a sheep and poultry farm.

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