Our Pets

Inspired by this post over on Life, Love, Laura, I thought I'd write about our pets - we have a lot of them! 

When I moved in with D, he had cats. After a couple of years of living here, we put up a polytunnel (with the in-laws) and started growing fruit and vegetables. Around the same time I began reading about smallholdings and similar topics and kept stumbling upon people referring to their chickens.  We kept umm-ing and ahh-ing over getting some but never took it any further. Then one Christmas my brother-in-law brought our Christmas present over - we each had a box to open and inside were eggs from our chickens that he had brought us.  And that, as they say, was the start of it!

So, we started off with 8 chickens. Over the years we've lost a few and gained some. We have a couple of our original girls left but they're getting on a bit and we no longer get eggs from them. I love chickens, they are so comical to watch and I find it quite calming watching them scratch around in the field.

Next came the geese. We started off with 6, 2 males and 4 females. D saw an advert placed by a local farm who were looking to re-home 5,000 geese. They kept them for the eggs and as they were past their 'best before' (i.e. they weren't laying regularly) if they weren't re-homed they were being sent for slaughter. 

We currently have 5 after one of the males died. We found out after we re-homed them that it is advised not to have more than 1 in such a small group. Our 2 males fought a lot and I think it was one fight too may that got the male.

Guinea fowl
These were given to me by a client at the office I used to work in. I was given 7 when they were only a few weeks old and they were rather sweet - this changed as they grew! We've had to keep them separated from the chickens as they kept attacking them and if the time came again, I wouldn't have accepted them. 

Pygmy Goats
Ah! The goats! We got our two boys (brothers) from a local rare breeds farm when they were a few months old and they are so much fun, but very mischievous. Sadly one of them (Blackjack) became very poorly with a ruptured bladder and had to be put down. His brother, Chip, became very depressed on his own and so we got another boy from the same farm, George, to keep him company. George is like a little whirlwind, he chases the chickens and pushes his luck teasing Chip and the sheep to make them chase him.

When we got George, D started chatting with the shepherd at the farm about sheep and somehow(!) we ended up with 3. I would never have put myself as having sheep but like the goats they are great fun and very mischievous!

E loves watching the animals in the garden, especially if we're feeding them! I think its good for children to grow up with animals around them - it removes any fears they might have if they aren't ordinarily around them and it teaches them to care and have responsibility for something. I'm really looking forward to seeing E and T interacting and playing with them as they both grow up. 

Do you have pets? Have you blogged about them? Share the link in the comments below, I'd love to see them.

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