Another successful trip to the poultry auction at Harrison and Hetherington in Carlisle. A pair of my beloved Bourbon Red turkeys sold for £100 and were rewarded with a 'quality breeder' card. Well chuffed :)
After what seemed like years of waiting, the piglets have finally arrived, all 9 of them! Considering we were only expecting between 3-4 as it was this gilt's first litter, 9 piglets was a huge but delightful surprise! Mum and babies all doing very well. Would never have guessed this was Highgate's first litter! Can't wait for more due in August.
Highgate's first ever auction saw us selling a trio of Ixworth's for £150, a pair for £75, and receiving a breeding quality card for our Vorwerks and a best of breed card for the Ixworth's! All in a day's work.
Well it's that time of year again. The Greyface Dartmoor lambs are due. After a devastating bout of twin lamb disease, this poor little guy was left without a mother. Two weeks later and he's going strong and is a new addition to the family. He'll make a good looking tup!
After what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, my first lambs have finally arrived. It's always disappointing to see imperfections on young livestock, as you know that they will never be fit for carrying on the rare breeds breeding programmes, as is the case with my new baby ram. However, as a souvenir of my first lambing experience, I've decided to keep him. After all, he'll make a nice lawn mower! So far I also have 2 other females, one coming very unexpectedly in the middle of the afternoon! Very lovely surprise though.
After scouring the web, I finally located a flock of Dartmoor sheep in Pembrokeshire, Wales! I didn't realise, however, that Wales has no, I repeat no, motorways! So what was a lovely scenic drive on the way down, turned out to be a 5 and a half hour trek all the way home with four sheep (and three chickens in a cat box) in the back of our pick-up! Understandably, the sheep were very grumpy when we got them home. We put them in a stable, gave them some sheep food and some of our best hay and left them to have a bit of beauty sleep. The next morning, we went to check on them, and apart from the grumpiest sheep still grinding her teeth at us, they were much much happier, with one of them even coming and feeding out of my hand! They are now out in the field and love to stare at their much less woolly neighbours! I now look forward to the arrival of some lambs in March!
To start my collection of rare breeds, I decided to purchase some British Lop pigs, listed on the RBST watch list as vulnerable. Having visited the British Lop Society's website, I located some weaners in Carlisle, from Jenny at Rockcliffe Rare Breeds. After having deciphered the confusing pig licences and movement documents, I settled them in to their new home. They were understandably shy to begin with, but by the end of the week they were scratching themselves on my wellies and just being general tinkers! Despite being new to all this, I love my pigs already. I cant wait for my next rare breed projects to arrive, hopefully in the form of Greyface Dartmoor Sheep!