Smallholding

Our Dorset smallholding holds a tame and healthy livestock. We also produced quite an impressive display of pumpkins, courgettes and gourds (decorative pumpkins) in autumn last year. Gaby and Christoph’s children prepared this beautiful arrangement. 

Our livestock

Hens & Anton

I am a hen, part of Rails Farm livestock, but really a descendant of the dinosaurs, just look at me. I roam on the Dorset smallholding and eat anything that moves and is smaller than me. I also like bread crumbs and apples. However, my main job is to lay eggs wherever my bosses can’t find them. Maybe in the hay barn or in the yard within a small iron bunker or in a little den built by the children. What I should do is lay my eggs in the hen house but every ordinary hen can do this. So of course I am not doing it because I am special..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am one of the livestock’s bosses on the smallholding. I look after the hens and ensure that they are happy, not always easy you know. I am constantly running around to see where they are and try to remind them where they should lay the eggs. Unfortunately far too often they change their place of laying and the two small scale farmers (see photo) have to search for them. Hey that’s life. Don’t you think I am handsome? I am actually really nice to everyone, not like my predecessor who was a nightmare, the girls told me.

Ducks

We are the Dorset smallholding’s slug control thus a very important member of Rails Farm’s livestock. We spent most of the day digging our bills into the grass and vegetable plots eating lovely living things which are not sprayed and are really yummy. The one with the dark head that’s me, I mean my name is Mo, another boss on the smallholding, the drake. I keep an eye or rather both on my two gorgeous girls Michelle and Millie. They are laying an egg almost every day. However, they don’t really notice it, rather loose those and many of those are eaten by the crows. Not good, not at all. I suppose the two guys in the photos should think about a solution.

 

Shetland sheep and Yoda

At the moment we are 19 sheep on the Dorset smallholding, clearly outnumbering any of the other livestock. Seven of us are currently pregnant and are struggling to move with all this extra ballast. We are always very much spread across the field. A few of us ladies are to be seen here with our fluffy fleece. Gaby is really keen to make all sorts of clothing from our wool and is planning to dye it and sell it in future. Maybe mixed with our alpaca friends’ fleeces to make it even more soft and lovely. Our farmer was mowing the field thus we had to run away all the time from this extremely noisy tractor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the young boys munching the meadow hay when the snow started covering the grass in March. Yoda, the black one on the right checks that the youngster are eating properly. Depending on the boys’ fleece quality some of those will be on offer as sustainably reared meat in the near future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoda was the first born ram lamb at Rails Farm three years ago, thus one of the founders of the current livestock. When he was born he had funny sticky up ears similar to Yoda from Star Wars. Hence his name. He is a really good boy, well he is so friendly because he is not a ram anymore. Don’t I look good? I am definitely as wise as the one from Star Wars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Frida was born in spring 2017, the first of eight lambs that year. Four girls and four boys. All of them are healthy and happy. The girls will become mums next year to have their own little sweet ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year’s dad – Stalbridge

 

Doesn’t he look cute, our current ram. Next week we expect the result of Stalbridge’s job last November. He is a really good boy and was really gentle and nice to our ladies.

 

 

 

Alpacas

We are the guards for the sheep and whenever there is a danger we whistle and all sheep come to us so that we can protect them. Hence, I am sure that we are two very important member of the livestock. We look a bit silly on this picture because the shearer came along and sheared off our fleece. I  (Mabel) am standing in front of my mum, Anita. She is a good mum, getting a bit old so we thought it might be a good idea to start working on the next generation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our three geese and the visitor, Alexei. He hopefully will be the dad of our first born alpaca next year. Isn’t he a picture of a man?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is the lovely pregnant alpaca girl, Mabel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bees & Gaby

 

This is not on another planet, no it is also on Rails Farm, Gaby talking to the bees. We harvested honey twice last year. Boy this is delicious. Not enough to sell yet. However, this year maybe.