Suppliers of Boer goat meat, pork, gluten free sausages, burgers and meatballs and breeders of free range boer goats, boer crosses, and rare breed pigs
                                                            SCRAPIE MONITORED, CAE ACCREDITED, JOHNES MONITORED WITH SAC
                                              THE DEVESE NEWS

April 2013
We continued with the kidding although we could see the end in sight
Damson had twin males on 02/04/13
Sage had twins on 03/04/13- male and a female
Bhindi [first timer] had triplets on 03/04/13 with 2 females and a male
Pommergranite had twins on 04/04/13 - male and a female
Betsy had twins on 06/04/13 - male and a female
Pistachio had triplets on 06/04/13 - 2 females and a male
Foyle [first timer] due to kid 11/04/13
Cilantro [first timer] due to kid 12/04/13
Danube [first timer] due to kid 17/04/13

So our numbers so far are 34 surviving females and 29 surviving males with 4 females and 3 males lost 

March 2013 
Was a very busy time for us.  Firstly Flopsie our Middle White rare breed pig had her litter on 12th March but sadly she prolapsed after having the last piglet [number 14] and she died of shock 5 minutes before the vet arrived.  Unfortunately pigs do not deal well with shock.One of the piglets was still born, a very tiny runt had been hurt when Flopsie went into shock and fell on her, so we asked the vet to put her down, piglets 3 and 4 survived 4 days and now we have 10.  They have thrived on being bottle fed 8 times a day with 20mls to start with and by the end of March they were on 4 feeds of 100mls and having pellets introduced.

Our next batch of goats started kidding on 18th March.  There were 15 first timers so it meant doing 24 hour duties to make sure that we were there as much as possible in case any needed help.  Some did it all on their own but some needed help

Lena [first timer] sadly lost her twin females by kidding 2 weeks early
Ash [first timer] had twin females on 18/03/13
Poppy had twins on 18/03/13 - a male and a female but sadly we had to have the female put down after a week
Vispa [first timer had a single male 19/03/13
Cherry [first timer] had twins on 19/03/13 - female and a male who only survived 24 hours
Lundi [first timer] had twins  22/03/13 - female and a male who sadly only survived 2 hours
Bellamy [first timer] had twin females on 22/03/13
Fire [first timer] had twins on 23/03/13 - a male but sadly we had to have the female put down after a week as she was trodden on by a mum
Snowdrop [first timer] had twin females on 24/03/13
Cleo [pure bred boer] had twins on 25/03/13 - male and a female
Pansy had twins on 25/03/13 - male and a female
Hanalei [first timer] had twin boys on 25/03/13
Bailey [first timer] had twins 26/03/13 - male and a female
Anneto [pure bred boer] had twins on 27/03/13 - male and a female
Peony had twins on 27/03/13 - male and a female
Ivy had a single female 28/03/13
Lottie [pure bred boer] had twin females 28/03/13
Saffron had twin females on 28/03/13
Fox [first timer] had twin males on 28/03/13 but sadly one died after a week
Aronia had twin females on 29/03/13
Holly had twin females on 30/03/13
Aster had a single female on 30/03/13
Lilac had a single female on 31/03/13

February 2013 
Was a relativerly quiet month although still very wet.

Everyone at Devese Farm Animals would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year and may 2013 be a good year for everybody

We started our kidding in January with 6 Mum's kidding 13 kids.
Lady had twin males on 04/01/13
Sorrell had twins on  07/01/13 with one of each
Lyn had twin females on 09/01/13
Fennel had triplet males on 09/01/13
Farthing had twin males on 10/01/13
Violet had twins on 10/018/13 with a male and a female

Sadly we had to have Lady put to sleep when her twins were 3 weeks old because she had a trapped nerve that was not improving despite our best efforts aswell as having severe mastitus which meant the boys were fighting to get milk and they were making her udder worse and a lot more painful.  So rather than let her suffer we made the hard decision and said goodbye. Her twins and one of Fennel's triplets were put on a shephardess to bring on away from Mum

JULY 2012
Poor Cilantro has done herself a mischief. She caught her front foot in the pen near the hay rack. Called the vet out and thankfully it is not broken and is just bruised. We had to put her behind hurdles as she was running round - three legged- having a go at some of the others. At least if she is in a confined area it will heal quicker.
Iolite (new name will be Honeysuckle), our pure bred female boer goat kid, with Apollo 1 of our 4 pure bred male boer goat kids, and Jacinth (new name will be Willow),  1 of 11 graded boer goat female kids, are all off to their new home in Corfe Mullen
We had another lot of blood tests done on 49 females over 12 months and Hercules for CAE and Johnes.. Cilantro was naughty- decided she thought it was good idea to nibble the vets ears - she definitely favours men's attention. The results came back a few days later for the Johnes and they were all negative - so we have a year until the next Johnes test

JUNE 2012
We went off to Swindon to collect 24 goat kids to bring up with the other Brought In Kids, otherwise known as our BIK boys
The new 24 BIK babies (Brought In Kids) settled in well for their first night in their new home but it didn’t take long for one of  the new BIK to get his head stuck in the bars of the hurdle
Flopsies very dirty little middle white piglets have learnt how to go under the fencing and share the food of the weaners and May - and also the arc for the weaners. The more the merrier in one arc in this weather and makes it more cozy when it's wet or cold
Iris  kept us on tenterhooks as to whether she was pregnant or not. Was she going into labour to kid multiples? Or was she going to cloudburst? She was due on Monday 11th but sadly on 15th we had the vet out to Iris as she couldn't get the kid out. It was a very big kid and she hadn't full dilated. But unfortunately it was dead. Huge male and bigger than anything we have had before. Iris was very distressed so she has been given
rescue remedy and arnica and is now giving us litres and litres of milk which the piglets are all enjoying
Temper was the last to kid on 10/06/12 with a beautiful male kid – sadly this will be her last kidding and unfortunately we never had a female kid from her

MAY 2012
Sadly we had to say goodbye to one of our old ladies - Francs. A goat with a very big character who was struggling with the heat [the one week of summer that we had] and vet agreed that her organs were giving up so she was peacefully put to sleep.
We started weaning the first group of kids on 25/05/12 and separated about 40 kids from their mums so needless to say we were being deafened by mums and babes alike

The last of our pure bred boer goats, Cleo, gave birth to twins but sadly the female did not survive but she has a lovely male Poseidon
Flopsie, our rare breed middle white pig had her piglets last night. She had 10, 1 died and we have 9 live ones for 3 days but then sadly the smallest runt died – we think he did not get out of the way quick enough and mum accidently laid on him
Our sheep were brought back in April but are being kept on some rented land nearby [due to our health status with CAE, Scarpie and Johnes, we could not bring them back to our land].  They started lambing at the end of April and Forsythia had twin [male and female], Kestrel followed with a male, Filly had a male, Maple a female and Kerria was the last with a single jet black female.  But Kerria had problems and had a prolapsed so was taken off to the vet who cleaned and sterilised it all and out in back with a couple of stitches to hold it in place.  Due to her not being well, we kept her separate from the others with her lamb.  But because the lamb was being topped up with a bottle she became very friendly and this then caused a problem when she and mum were lket back out into the field with the rest of the group. So we ended up bringing her and Forsythia’s female lamb back to the barn with the BIK babies and bottle feeding them.  They were returned to the group when they were weaned and are full of mischief and bounce when they are in the field

APRIL 2012
April weather was awful - we had a really wet April - seems to do nothing but rain. Poor animals were wadding around in mud or puddles and even a mini lake or two. Poor piglets were really having mud baths in their fields -even when they didn't want a mud bath.
In April we started a new weekend of Farmers markets in Elveltham Heath, Fleet on the last Saturday of the month and on the last Sunday of the month we do another Winchester Farmers Market
Two of our pure bred boer goats gave birth to a set of twins each.  Lottie has two pure bred male boer kids [Zeus and Apollo] and Anetto gave birth to a pure bred boer female kid [Iolite] and pure bred boer male kid [Ares] who is the tiniest of the 4.

MARCH 2012
May our rare breed large black pig gave birth 2 days ahead of schedule and became the proud mother of another lot of 11 piglets. All good so far with Mum and all 11 doing well.
Cilantro was moved in with the Flower girls and settled in well and seemed to have bonded with Snowdrop and Cherry. Although the Flower girls are a year older than Cilantro, Cilantro is bigger than some of them due to her type of breed, she is an Anglo Nubian. She still, however, thinks she is still a young kid bouncing around like the kids that have been born this year. We have to remind her that she is not a small baby bouncing around and that she has to be careful where she lands when she is excited. She is such an inquisitive goat and has to be in on the action no matter what is going on. She decided that the vets nose would be something good to nibble on while he was trying to take blood from some of the girls. The kids love her teddy and use it to bounce on and off - poor thing [the teddy that is] needs a bath and some mending

29th February was a very sad day for us. Due to a tragic accident Samuel's collar caught on a branch spur and in the struggle to get away it looks like he strangled himself Very sad to lose our number 2 breeding male who was developing a lovely gentle character like Hercules. They had been put into the same field together a few weeks previous and were enjoying each others company once they sorted out that Hercules was the boss. Poor Herc was looking a little subdued as if he knew that he had lost his friend and field companion
We went off to Somerset on 20/02/12 to collect some more male dairy goat kids to bring on for meat for our farmers markets and our regular customers The 40 new additions settled in and were even better once we moved them into their new accommodation. Two new sheds on skids went up to house the brought in kids {BIK kids] so that they are kept away from our own herd. We have to keep a minimum of 3m distance so that our good health status is not affected where we are being tested, monitored and certified for negative tests for CAE, Scrapie and Johnes. The new sheds are more than the minimum 3m away in a separate field
From 06/02/12 to 08/02/12 we had 15 born kids – so we were very very busy and on top of that we had to call the vet out to Honey at 5am as she was in trouble in labour delivering her triplets. The triplets had tangled themselves up and would not have come out on their own without the vet’s intervention. Honey was quite poorly afterwards –not surprising! And got lots of special treats during the day to give her a boost and get her back into full health - with spinach leaves, broccoli, purple sprouting, carrots, apples and a mix of oatbran mixed with warm water, apple cider vinegar and molasses aswell as digestive biscuits. Needless to say as soon as the others hear the rustle of a bag or biscuit packet they are trying to mob us to get to the treats – and yes they also get some.

And sadly, one of our old girls with a lot of character, Beka, died. We did not want her in kid again but she decided otherwise and got in with Hercules last Autumn. We think that the pregnancy and the freezing cold weather took their toll on her. We had an autopsy and were told that although she was still 3 weeks away from kidding she had 4 large kids [2 males and 2 females] and they had taken up all the space in her abdomen and left no room for food so she was feeding the babies and getting nothing for herself.

Our February births went as follows
LADY gave birth on 02/02/12 to twin males – Larry 4kg and Lazy 4kg
SORRELE gave birth on 03/02/12 to triplets – Sam 3.75kg, Sid 4.25kg and Emerald 3.5kg
ANGELICA gave birth on 06/02/12 to triplets – Angus 3.55kg and Allie 3kg and sadly the second male was still born
HEBE gave birth on 06/02/12 to twins -a male –Harry 3.25kg and female Firestone 3kg
VALERIAN gave birth on 07/02/12 to twin males – Vic 4kg and Vince 3.5kg
SOVEREIGN gave birth on 08/02/12 to twins -a male –Steve 3.5kg and female Sally 3.2kg
FARTHING gave birth on 08/02/12 to twin females – Malachite 4kg and Moonstone 3.5kg.
VIOLET gave birth on 08/02/12 to twins - a male Vernon 4.5kg and female Fluorite 4kg
HONEY gave birth on 08/02/12 to triplets – Henry 3.4kg, Hugh 3.8kg and Heath 4kg
BEAUTY gave birth on 11/02/12 to triplets – Brian 3.5kg, Peridot 3.2kg and Pearl 3kg
FRANCS gave birth on 15/02/2 to a single male – Fred 4.5kg
FENNEL gave birth on 19/02/12 to triplets – Felix 4kg, Fergus 4.5kg and Topaz 2kg

So that gave us a total of 47 kids born with 21 surviving females and 23 surviving males and sadly the 3 males that died.

A special thank you to Rita, Julie and Jan for their Reiki help on little Coral from 21/01/12. It helped her tremendously and she has improved beautifully

Our January births went as follows
LILAC gave birth on 18/12/2011 to set twin girls - Amethyst 3kg and amber 2.75kg
SAFFRON gave birth on 06/01/12 to twin girls - Alexandrite [Alex] 2.5kg and Aquamarine [Aqua] 2.3kg
ASTER gave birth on 08/01/12 to twin -a male -Basil 3.2kg and female Beryl 2.2kg
POPPY gave birth on 11/01/12 to triplets - a female Coral 2.2kg and two males Tiny 1.8kg and Charlie 2.5kg. Tiny survived 1.5 hours and Charlie surviced 2 days :-(
PEONY gave birth on 11/01/12 to a single female - Diamond 3.2kg
IVY gave birth on 12/01/11 to a single male - Ivan 3.75kg
PANSY gave birth on 13/01/11 to twin males – Paul 3kg and Percy 2.8kg
ARONIA gave birth on 14/01/12 to a single male - Alan 4kg
GOLDIE gave birth on 21/01/12 to a single male - Gary 5kg
HOLLY gave birth on 23/01/12 to twin girls - Citrine 3.2kg and Copper 3kg
LYN gave birth on 30/01/12 to set twin girls - Jade 3kg and Jacinth 3.2kg
So that gives us a total of 17 kids.

31st December 2011 to 6th January 2012

Wishing everyone all the best for a healthy and happy 2012.
The new year started off very wet and windy which did not go down well, especially on Tuesday 3rd January when we had the torrential rain coupled with gale force winds. Some of the goats in the outside arcs came out showed their faces but then went straight back into their arcs totally unimpressed. Some of the others did not seem at all bothered and were happily running round and eating the leaves off the falling branches.

December 2010 to December 2011

24th December 2011 to 30th December 2011

All the animals at Devese Farm Animals wish everyone a wonderful Christmas 2011


One male middle white and 1 female large black went to their new home on Wednesday. This leaves us with 3 middle white males who will be going for pork, bacon and sausages for February and then we have 4 registered large black gilts, who will be going for pork, bacon, etc a couple months later if they have not gone to new homes for breeding.

Three male kids have gone to the abbatoir in preparation for the first of the 2012 Farmers Markets starting in Alton on Saturday 7th January and Winchester on Sunday 8th January 2012

 17th December 2011 to 23rd December 2011

                                                                           Amber and Amethyst born 18th December 2011

Had our last Farmers Market for 2011 in Fareham on Saturday 17th December. The market was a lot quieter than the previous Fareham Farmers Market two weeks ago - apparently everyone was in the precinct keeping warm and doing their Christmas Shopping. Although it was cold, we still had a lot of our regulars and some new comers. Always nice to see the children trying out the tasters which were Roasted goat meat chops, cumberland goat meat sausages, sea salt and cracked black pepper goat meat burgers and goat meatloaf

On Sunday 18th December at about 6pm the first of our 2010 handreared girls had twins. Lilac had twin girls. One has a black markings on her head and weighed 3kg and the other has brown markings on her head and was 2.75kg. Mum had cleaned them up beautifully and both had warm mouths and rounded tums. Not bad for a first time mum. We have told the other 11 first timers that they are to copy Lilac's example.  This also means that Samuel has proved himself as it is the first year that he is being used as the sire.

Our theme this year for the female kids is precious stones, semi precious stones and metals, and  so with that, the brown head kid is called Amber and the black head kid is called Amethyst.  Instead of using the mothers initial we are going to start with A and go alphabetical.  By using the mothers initial we will always have the same letters and will run out of names for those letters – we already have lots of P’s, L’s, H’s, S’s, F’s

 10th December 2011 to 16th December 2011

Two good markets this weekend. We had Alton Farmers Market on Saturday and although it was bitterly cold it was a very busy market. On Sunday we had Winchester Farmers Market which was not as cold but we did have rain on and off through the day and then about half past one the rain really started to come down. But a good market all the same with lots of people in the Christmas spirit

What awful weather we have been having and here is hoping that the weather forecasters have got it wrong and that we will not get another dose of the 80mph gale force winds. Had enough of that earlier in the week with the lashings of rain. All the girls in the outside shelters were not impressed and refused to come ouf of their arcs - well who can blame them. Poor piglets are in a quagmire of mud, but at least they have lots of dry straw in their arc

3rd December 2011 to 9th December 2011

 Another busy week and with some awful weather - a wet week and some really horrid winds on Thursday but at least all the animals can get into the warm and dry on days like that.

Saturday and Sunday saw us at Fareham Farmers market and then Romsey Farmers market.  Both were good markets although Fareham did start off very wet but the rain soon disappeared and allowed everyone to shop without getting wet.  Romsey was drier and more festive as the school children sang Christmas carols and a band played festive tunes to get everyone in the Christmas mood - oh and the mulled wine helped aswell!

The 30 new kids have settled in well although we had a few upset tums this week which could be due to the changes and stress of the move - but all doing well now.

And the lambivac vaccination program has started again as the girls get near to their kidding dates so that they are all innoculated before giving birth to protect mum and babies.

26th November 2011 to 2nd December 2011

We were very busy yesterday as the 30 new additions to the herd were collected. They range from 3 days old and 3kg to 3 weeks old and 10 kgs and are varying shades of white, beige, brown, black with stripes and spots and even a dalmation patterned one. Thanks to Carol for helping us with the unloading and weighing records on their arrival.  Fortunately they have already been used to the shephardess [milk feeder] and all have settled in really well.  This will keep us out of mischief.  

Another trip to the abbatoir with 6 goat kids for the Alton and Winchester Farmers Markets next weekend 10th and 11th December and the last fareham Farmers market for 2011 on 17th December.

19th November 2011 to 25th November 2011

Cilantro had an outing on Saturday into the field with all the female kids born this year. Where she is a pure Anglo Nubian and already tall, she made some of the other goat kids seem like dwarfs when they were next to her.

Thanks to Shane, Terry, Mick and Ade for the help today in moving the straw from one barn to another to make room for the new goat kids arriving. Where we are a closed herd, it means that the new kids arriving from a "non closed herd" cannot come into contact with our herd at all and they have to have a minimum of 3 meters separating them - very technical!

The lambs are being very naughty - they have decided that the haylage bales make an excellent look out post aswell as a playground. Fortunately they are not making holes in the haylage wrap with their hooves or there would be trouble. When they hear the gate open and close they jump on the haylage bale and look down the track. Alerting all the others that there is a human around and food may be available - even if it is not food time - can cause mayhem when everyone thinks they are getting fed again

We had another trip to the abbatoir with 3 goat kids for the fareham and Romsey Farmers Markets next week - 3rd and 4th December

12th November 2011 to 18th November 2011

A very busy weekend with the Alton [Saturday] and Winchester [Sunday] Farmers Markets. Thankfully, although it was a bit cold it was dry. Both days were very busy and apologies to anyone who came towards the end of the market time and was unable to buy any cuts of fresh meat that they wanted because we had sold out. We will be working on the amount we bring to these two markets which are proving to be very popular. Thank you to the people who bought that goat skins - we hope you will be happy and cosy with your new purchases.

Been a busy week and busy start to the weekend. We have decided to take on 30 dairy goat kids who will be about 3 days old. We need more goat meat for the markets and have had to source some kids so we can keep up with all the demand at our farmers markets.

5th November 2011 to 11th November 2011

May [our large black sow] went off to Chittern to her "boyfirend" and we will hopefully have her back in about 6 weeks at which time Flopsie [our middle white sow] will go up to her boyfirend who they call "David Beckham.

We had a dry but cold Saturday at Fareham Farmers Market, good market as we practically sold out of all our fresh meat - which is what we want. But decisions now is whether we up the supply that we take to the markets -mmmm need the girls to have triplets so we can meet the demand.  Sunday was very cold and windy at Romsey Farmers Market, and like Fareham we sold out of all but a few burgers. Lots of interest in the goat skins though- especially the ones that have some angora in their background as they are so soft and fluffy.

We had a new arrival in the form of 6 month old Anglo Nubian doe, who is beautiful and loves being handled.  She arrived with her very own companion - a big white teddy bear.  Samuel has had the crayon changed in his raddle from black to green. Hopefully we will have no green bums meaning that the 11 girls are all pregnant first time round. It is just over 5 weeks to go until Lilac is due to kid. The first of our 2010 handreared girls will become a Mum for the first time- altogether - aaahhh :-)

29th October 2011 to 4th November 2011

Despite the human workers on the farm not being very well, work still continued and we welcomed some fellow breeders from Norfolk for an overnight visit.  They were also able to see how some of the goats had grown on after leaving their farm - namely Cleo, Anneto, Lottie, Hercules, Sorrel and Samuel.  They were also able to offer some advice on our ideas to sell three of our pure bred female kids of this year - namely Cho, Anne and Aida.  Livestock for Sale page to be added soon to the site.

Preparations were made for the forthcoming markets in Fareham and Romsey and then for Alton and Winchester with trips to the abbatoir and butcher.

Iris was also artificially Inseminated - so fingers crossed that she takes and is pregnant first time.

22nd  October 2011 to 28th Ocotber 2011

We started off the week with preparations for our last Bishops Waltham Farmers Market on 23rd October 2011, until further notice they will no longer be held in Bishops Waltham which a lot of people are unhappy about, but watch this space and hopefully they will come back to Bishops Waltham.  We had a successful day and although very cold and windy, a good day was had by all.

All the adult females and Samuel were moved into the field but then disaster struck as Hercules managed to get over the fence and the boys were having disagreements as to "whom" the girls belonged to.  Hercules was removed from the field and put back in the old barn with his girls, but fortunately there was no serious damage to either Hercules or Samuel.

All the kids were moved from the new barn and into the field for a few days so that a major mucking out could take place.  Once this was done all the kids were taken back into the barn to be weighed, wormed and ear tagged and then the females were put back in the field and the males left in the barn so that they can be fattened up ready for the Farmers Markets.

15th October 2011 to 21st Ocotber 2011

We travelled up to Cheshire [without any of our animals] for the AGM of the British Boer Goat Society over the weekend.  Thank you to Tim and Marnie for hosting this years get together and providing a lovley goat on a spit for lunch - very tasty.  It was good to meet some of the other goat breeders from all over the country and get tips and ideas from each other.

Hercules had a red crayon put on his raddle but we are hoping that there will be no red bums which will mean that they have all taken and are hopefully  pregnant.

The 11 girls in the new barn were weighed and wormed in readiness to going out into the field with Samuel.  He was also weighed, wormed, and had the crayon changed in his raddle to black and was then and put in with the 11 girls.  He has already given Sage, Pommergranite and Tarragon black bums.  So we will see in 3 weeks if they have taken - fingers crossed.

8th October 2011 to 14th Ocotber 2011

We had a very busy Alton Farmers Market on Saturday and Winchester on Sunday.  It was lovely to meet lots of new customers and introduce them to goat meat.  People were amazed and sometimes surprised when they tried the tasters that we had and found it to be a really tasty meat with a delicate flavour.  Glad that we were able to prove to them that goat meat is not a tough, strong tasting meat.  Hopefully they will all be back for more in November.  

Two of the 2011 kids were the first to go off to the abbatoir on Tuesday in preparation for Bishops Waltham Farmers Market on Sunday 23rd October.

Well the piglets have done it again - they have broken the electric fencing so they can get into the other three fields and help the Mums eat their food before going back to their own field [under the non working electric fencing] and eat their food. This is mainly the 4 middle whites - more so than the 5 large blacks.

On Wednesday afternoon we met other producers and buyers at "Sowing the Seed" at the Winchester Guidlhall, and hopefully we have made some useful connections.

We said goodbye to Red and Sandy, our two Oxford and Sandy Black weaners, on Friday as they went off to the abbatoir after a good life with us living outdoors. I am sure it was them that showed the current piglets on the art of escaping from fields.  We will have the fresh pork for sale from next Friday.  They may weigh out at about 50 kg for a carcass prebutchering.  So half or quarter carcass will be based on prebutchery weight of approximately 25kg and 10 to 12kg.  Weights will be confirmed when we collect the carcasses from the abbatoir next week.

Snowdrop has returned again, so she has more colour on her rear than the other 10 in her field.  We may now leave her until next year, but this hopefully means that all the other 2010 girls are now pregnant.  Hercules has had his coloured crayon on his raddle changed again.  So here is hoping that none of the girls will get a third colour on their rears as we want them all to be in a group kidding within a few weeks from start to finish.

1st October 2011 to 7th Ocotber 2011

We had our first Farmers Markets after the summer break.  Fareham Farmers Market  was on 1st October and was another good market and so too was Romsey on Sunday 2nd October although with the "October heatwave" it made it very hard work trying to keep everything on ice and cold.  The sheep and goat skins were very popular at both markets.

We have managed to finally rectify the electric fencing and the piglets are now back in their field only!  We have also sold 2 more of the Middle White piglets [the gilt and one of the boars].  So there are now 3 large black gilts left to sell and 2 middle white boars to go to new homes.  We are planning on keeping one of each to bring on for our pork sales.

24th September 2011 to 30th September 2011

Hercules had his raddle changed to a yellow crayon so we can see if any have returned and are not pregnant.

Not been a very good week as we have had a few "disaters".  We had three of the goats [Temper, Iris and Becca] separated from the rest of the girls who are with Hercules as we want to AI Temper and Iris with pure dairy and Becca we did not want to go into kid again as she is getting old and as she has had quads and triplets every time we decided she needed a break.  But Becca decided otherwise and we are still trying to work out how she ended up in the pen with Hercules and the other girls but she is now proudly sporting a yellow bum and it is unlikely that she will return -if her past history is to be used as a guide.

Then the piglets some how managed to break the electric fencing and were then into all the pig fields but fortunately Flopsie and May were not intereseted in having them back on them feeding and in fact Flopsie was quite possessive of her food.

17th September 2011 to 23rd September 2011

A wet couple of days and now we need some sunshine back - please.

The newly separated kids NOW seem to have settled down although we had some escapees the first couple of days who magically appeared in the mum's pen - but once we saw the escape route, it was then blocked and they now stay put in their own pen. Still very deafening when we go in as they holler for their food and Mums.

We managed to separate all 15 piglets from their mums and have moved them into the electric fence field so they will stay put and we have put the 2 Oxford and Sandy Black gilts into another field.  The piglets soon learnt to stay away from the electric fencing.

Another large Black gilt and a Middle White Boar have been sold and will go to their new home shortly.

10th September 2011 to 16th September 2011

Four [2 boars and 2 gilts] of the Large Black piglets have gone to their new home on Hayling Island. So that is 4 down and 4 to go as we would like to keep one of the Large Black weaners and then we have 5 of the 6 Middle White Piglets to find homes for. So if you know anyone looking for rare breed piglets that have been raised on goats milk, apples and fruit from our small holding then please ask them to contact us

On Saturday 10th September we went off to Romsey Show with 2 of our pure bred boer goats [Cleo and Anneto] and their 4 kids - Cho and Chan [from Cleo] and Ann and Aida [from Anneto]. We were able to show the public what beautiful goats they are and what lovely inquisitive creatures they are with gentle natures. Although it was a really long day it was worth the effort. The Girls and their kids were all very well behaved considering all the new sounds, sights and smells - especially the steam engine and chain saw mill right behind our tent. Little Cho was a very big attraction as she voiced her opinion loudly and often!!! - particularly if we went out of sight

Another productive day in the week. We cleaned corridors in and around the barns aswell as in the barns and got the pens ready to do some "goat moving"  In the evening we brought in 5 of the larger male kids from the field ready to fatten up and we moved the last batch of 18 kids from their mums in the new barn. Needless to say we need ear defenders in the new barn - hope the neighbours don't complain.

3rd September 2011 to 9th September 2011

Think some fence mending is in order. Have been chasing the piglets back into their fields as they have now been investigating the vegetable patch. Fortunately there is not a lot of damage that they can do at the momentWe now have some blue bums with Herc having had some fun with "his girls". Angelica, Sovereign, Val, Lady, Farthing and now Sorrell. Hopefully the others will follow quickly and none of them will return after 3 weeks - fingers crossed. And still only 2 orange bums for Samuel on his second colour for his raddle

Animals not at all happy this week with the awful weather which we are told is the tail end of what was originally Hurricane Irene from the States. No more wind and rain please, the animals are not happy being blasted about by the wet gale force winds

Hebe and Herc have been having fun and she is now sporting a blue bum aswell, not many to go until hopefully all his girls are pregnant. But will be changing his raddle crayon to the next colour and hopefully we will not have many returning.

27th August 2011 to 2nd September 2011

Unfortunately, Lyn managed to find a way into Hercules' field before we intended having them together, so she has a definite blue bum and in 3 weeks we will see if she returns.

The piglets are all doing well and can now regularly be seen in each others fields and a few times I have seen the middle white drinking off May as they pass under her - our sows are proving to be very tolerant mothers.

20th August 2011 to 26th August 2011

Sadly we lost one of May's piglets today. She was fine last night and this morning she was dead in Flopsie's field but unmarked. Maybe Flopsie scared her to death- mind you I think if I was a little piglet and had a 380lb sow charge at me I too would go into shock. Hopefully the other 9 large black piglets stay in their own field and all survive until they go to their new homes and the same with the 6 middle white piglets!

Hercules now has a raddle on with a blue crayon - so shortly we will be looking for lots of blue bums. And hopefully they will all take on the first attempt and will not show a second colour when the raddle crayon is changed in 3 weeks time.

Piglets are still being counted a few times a day and we have still only lost the one and praying it stays that way.

We now have two orange bums from Samuel - both Cherry and Snowdrop returned so hopefully they have taken this time. Hercules has also been busy and Lyn now has a blue bum.

13th August 2011 to 19th August 2011

Samuel has now done his job. All twelve girls that are with him have now been covered in black crayon [sometimes looking like they have been through a coal pit] and now that Holly has been done he will have his black crayon changed to an orange and hopefully we will have NO orange bums which will mean that they have all taken on the first attempt.

6th August 2011 to 12th August 2011

Another busy day with the goats, as thery all had their lambivac vaccinations. They were given a few days and then seven of the young ones were turned out into the field with the other 24 kids.

A busy and back breaking day with lots of hoof trimming for the girls who are about to go with Hercules - that will make his day to have lots of company all the time.

The Middle White piglets at just over a week old have found their way into the field with the 3 week old Large Black piglets. But it does not seem to bother any of them and the mothers do not seem too bothered to have strangers in their field or have their piglets going into the other field

We have now had our blood tests back and we can now state that we are CAE Accredited for our sheep and goats - all were negative and clear for CAE [Caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus] with the SAC [Scottish Agricultural College ]. Also under the SAC we are now a Johnes monitored herd. Our next Scrapies test with the SAC will be carried out in 2012.

30th July 2011 to 5th August 2011

We still have 6 pink piglets which is very surprising considering Flopsie has removed them from the arc and the poor little things have had a grand tour of their field. There are 5 males and 1 female. This evening I had to round them up as they were trying to make their way into May's field with the 10 Large Black piglets while Mum, Flopsie, was having her dinner

Flopsie has taken the poor little things all around the field through the day and at 19:30 after she had eaten and she settled down in a nest that was made in a thistle patch the day before to feed the piglets, poor things with delicate new skin and having to lie in the thistles and nettles.

The middle white piglets are being made to do "Piglet marathons" daily around Flopsie's pig field as she goes from one nest to the other. Must say the Middle White piglets [Flopsie's] are a lot more adventurous and active than the Large Black piglets [May's] were at the same age. Will be interesting to do a size comparison when these are two weeks old

All is well - Flopsie's 6 pink piglets survived the awful weather on Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Mum was in the arc calling them but the step up was too big, even for the biggest of them, and they couldn't get in but we think that they must have taken refuge under the arc in between Mum coming out to feed them. But we made a "piggy" staircase for them to get into the arc so they can all get into the warm and dry with Mum

24th July 2011 to 29th July 2011

The Bishops Waltham Farmers Market was good and it was a lovely warm sunny day so lots of people were out and about and our special offer on our goat meat sausages went down well for all those people wishing to have BBQ's

Flopsie is back and has settled in well and enjoying helping herself to the apples in her little field. She and May have been having words over the fence - hopefully May has been giving her good tips on how to be a good Mum

Tuesday was a very busy day at least it practically went according to plan. Our vet and his helper came to do the blood tests on the sheep and goats over 12months old that are staying on the property - all in all it was 49 being tested with 2 blood vials each. One for CAE [Caprine arthritis-encephalitis] and the other for Johnes

We had to redo some lost or broken eartags and after only a day Ivy has already lost her new one. How can they come out so easily without tearing the ear and are no where to be found?

Finally the wait is over - Flopsie has had her babies. She had 9 piglets but sadly she lay on two and one was born dead [not sure why]. The little runt is a real determined noisy little character and we hope he makes it through the night

16th July 2011 to 23rd July 2011

Well another day that did not go according to plan. We had intended moving May into her farrowing arc as it has bars to protect the babies from being rolled on by mum and we were told that she would be due to pig on 26th July. Well that was the date we were aiming for - get her settled for a week and then the babies would arrive - Umm - no - Wrong. She had her piglets on the 18th!!

And yet another day that did not go according to plan. We intended weaning the 24 kids in the old barn from their mums. Had everything ready in the field [feeding area, hay trolleys, arcs with clean straw] and then the heavens opened and that was it for the rest of the day and no way were they going to leave their mum's and go out in the rain by themselves-so a dry day or two please as they need to come off their mums asap.

We still had 10 piglets after 2 days- so well done May for looking after your babies. They already look like they have grown and are now going out the arc to use the toilet.Despite popular belief-pigs are very clean animals. They have a feeding area, a sleeping area and a toilet area that will be away from the other two. Yes they do like mudbaths - but this is like us using suncream - it stops them getting sunburnt

24 of the kids from 2011 have been taken from their mothers and being weaned. Some of them can be really noisy with their bellowing calling for their mums. Mind you some of the mums can be deafening with their bellowing - so ear defenders do come in handy for a few days

 9th July 2011 to 15th July 2011

A quiet start to the week but preparations are being made to wean the first group of goat kids which will be a very noisy few days for us as they all bellow for their mothers. Well the drenching rain has stopped the animals being able to go out as much as they would like- but they are all comfy indoors with nice fresh clean straw - so all quiet and content for now

Samuel has a new raddle on in preparation of putting him with the 2010 girls in a about a week's time. We weighed, lettered and gave veccoxan to the last 18 kids who are now over a month old.

2nd July 2011 to 8th July 2011

Started the week off with Fareham Farmers Market on Saturday 3rd July, a good day with lots of customers making the time go quickly and no rain was an added bonus.  Sunday  saw us at Romsey for the Hampshire Farmers Market, and like Fareham it was a good day - so thank youy to all who bought goat meat, burgers and sausages from us again.

The last of the bluetongue vaccinations were started at the beginning of the week.  Unfortunately we had already ordered and paid for the live vaccine before we got the news that it is no longer necessary to vaccinate against Blue Tongue in the UK.  This is good news for everyone but meant that we could not return the vaccine, so had to use it before the deadline date of 6th July 2011.

25th June to 1st July 2011

Anneto and her twins and Betsy and her triplets were let out of their maternity pens to join the rest of the their groups in the larger pens on Saturday.  It is lovely to watch the young ones as they realise they have a lot more room to stretch their legs and then proceed to bounce and charge around much to the distress of their mothers who are trying to keep them near to them to protect them - but the babies are having fun.

The sheep lost their wooly coats as we had them sheared on Tuesday.  They must have been feeling much cooler once they were relieved of their heavy fleeces, although as usual it causes confusion with the lambs who are standing next to the mums and calling for them because they don't recognise their own mothers.  It doesn't take long before they realise that although they do look different they can still get milk from them.

Friday was a busy day with the weighing, measuring and pricing of the meat, sausages and burgers for the markets on 2nd and 3rd July 2011

18th June to 24th June 2011

What a wet week, so much rain,  and luckily the girls are in the warm and dry in the barn as more new arrivals appeared on Sunday 19th June.  Anneto had twin females in the morning - Ann weighed 3.25kg and Aida weighed 4kg.  Betsy followed with triplets in the afternoon - 2 females and 1 male. First born was Bailey a female of 4kg, the second born was Bhiri, another female of 3.25kg and last born was Bob, a male [Bob] of 4kg. The Bhiri was a little weak and wobbly but made it through the night and was soon bouncing around in her maternity pen

We said goodbye to "Less White" and "More White" [Sorrel's boys from last year] as they went to the abbatoir on Wednesday ready for the Fareham Farmers Market on 2nd July and Romsey Farmers Market on 3rd July.

Thankfully we were able to get a load of straw as everyone was in need of a top up of dry bedding. With this wet weather they were not going out so the bedding was getting very wet. But clean straw all the way round on Thursday and we have lots of happy contented animals.

On Friday I thought we had lost one of Anneto's twins [Ann] as she was no longer in the maternity pen with her mother and sibling. Finally found her in the pen with the year old meat goats who are larger, more boisterous and have horns and were pushing her around. Fortunately she was not hurt and was soon returned to her mother.

11th June to 17th June 2011

A fairly quiet week although some time was taken to see to the young ones and make sure they were all wormed and had vecoxan and next will be the lambivac vaccinations.

On Thursday we had 5 escapologists who decided that the grass is greener on the other side - or rather I should say the hedge with hazel, brambles and holly. Took a while to get the escapees returned to their field back through the broken fence and then we had to mend the fence before they could repeat the trick.  It was then a case of watching Lilac, Pansy, Peony, Ivy and Holly to make sure that they did not get any upset tums, but thankfully they did not.

On Friday the piglets decided that it was their turn to escape again and were in a different field when we came down to do the feeding in the morning. Have put a stop to that by barricading the escape area until we get the electric fencing sorted.

4th June to 10th June 2011

We started off this week with Fareham Farmers Market and thankfully the weather was just perfect - dry and not too warm. We had plenty of people returning to buy goat meat and lots of newcomers willing to try our taster samples of cooked roasted goat meat, burgers and sausages and then buying some to cook for themselves. We practically sold out of our fresh meat and sold a lot of the frozen that we had has a back up. Thank you to the lady who again sung the praises of goat meat to all who were passing our stall.  She told us that she had a heart problem and her doctor had told her that the healthiest meat for people with heart and cholesterol problems is goat meat, so she was singing its praises loud and clear - thank you for helping to advertise the benefits of goat meat.

Sadly Romsey Farmers Market on Sunday was not as good but then the weather could have had a large part to play in that - anyone would have thought that we were going into winter - cold, very wet and ugh! But thank you to all the people who did venture out and bought goat meat, sausages and burgers from us and we look forward to seeing you in July.

On Friday 10th Pommergranite had a little girl weighing 4kg although she certainly looked like she had more than one kid in there. We are going to call her Pat

28th May to 3rd June 2011

On Saturday we collected 2 British Toggenberg male goat kids from Oxfordshire. They are 6 week old [Dash] and 9 week old [Diesel] and they will be brought up with our meat kids and will keep Bertie company.

Tarragon gave birth to twin boys on Wednesday 1st June at about 8pm. Terry weighed 3kg and Tim weighed 2.8kg and was slightly weaker and struggling to get up on his back legs.  He was checked on a ferw times until 1am to make sure that he was drinking and keeping warm near Mum but sadly when we went back down at 7am he had been taken by the fox who we think pulled him under the gate partition and dragged him through the barn.  Interestingly enough the fox has now been keeping a low profile - does he know that he is not wanted and is being evicted?

We are waiting now for Pommergranite to kid in our 2nd to last batch as her due date is 6th June.  We were also waiting for Lottie but having said that we are not too sure that Lottie is still pregnant and we are beginning to think that she is just in very good condition and pretending to be pregnant so she can have extra food or that she could be having a cloud burst [false pregnancy].  She will shortly be put on a very strict diet if she does not produce any kids- like Sorrell, so that she is not overweight when we want them to get back in kid again later in the year.

Once Pommergranite has kidded we only have Anneto and Betsy to kid before 22nd June and then we are all done for this year - well as far as kidding goes!  We are going to try and have them kid earlier next year with the first batch in January and the 2nd batch before the end of March.

We collected the meat from our local butcher where it hads been cut and packaged to our requirements.  So Friday was spent weighing and labelling everything ready for the two markets

21st May to 27th May 2011

Finn was back to the vet on Monday 23rd as she was still not using the leg.  It is now thought that she could have a green stick fracture and needs strapping up with the foam pipe insulation and being kept tight but then being taken off and put back on every 3 to 4 days because as she grows it will become too tight. She was already showing signs of improvement by the weekend and is now putting it down and using it, so hopefully there will not be any long lasting damage.

Tugela, Sabi and Shire also went to the vet to be disbudded and Cho went along to be checked as she had needed an antibiotic injection earlier in the week as she was still sounding very chesty and snuffly from her birth, but she is now sounding much better and cheekier than ever.

We also had to give Pesetas an antibiotic injection earlier in the week as it looked like she had a cold and a cough, but she is now on the mend.

Only one set of twins born this week and that was from Pistachio on Wednesday 25th. A female, Paloma, weighed 4kg and the male, Pete, weighed 4.5kg.  But poor Paloma at just 24hours old was taken to the vet with a damaged tail. No wonder she sounded like she was loosing her voice as she must have been squealing when it happened. We think that she must have been sleeping in the corner of the junction of hurdles when an adult stood on the hurdle somehow trapping her tail.

The vet had to be called out on Friday 27th for Lizzie.  Her stomache was rock hard and "blown" up, but as they had not been out the day before due to the bad weather, it could only mean that she had been greedy with the haylage and the new straw that had been put down for her bedding.  She had an antibiotic and anti inflammatory and put on restricted foods until she is better.  She best becareful as she is using up her lives with this over eating - she did the same thing last year but on oak leaves and acorns.

14th May to 20th May 2011

Cleo delivered on the morning of Saturday 14th with what we thought was a set of twins, a female, Cho, weighed 2.8kg and a male, Chan, weighed 3kg. Cleo looked liked she had finished kidding but later in the early hours of Sunday morning she gave birth to a stillborn. Cho needed some special attention after her birth as she was quite weak and seemed to have breathed in some liquid and was struggling to drink.  She was taken up to the house and put in a box under the heat lamp.  After a few hours she was full of beans and put back with mum.  Although a slow drinker, she is a real little fighter and is so full of herself, she now demands a fuss from us humans when she hears our voices.

Sunday 15th May was a really busy day. Tumeric started the proceedings with a set of twins with the female, Tugela, weighing 3kg and the male, Thomas, weighing 3.8kg.  This was followed a short while later by Sage delivering a large male of 5kg, to be called Stan. That evening Kestrel, our second ewe who is also a first timer gave birth to a single black female lamb and we are going to call her K2 and she will also be going for meat within the year.

On Tuesday 17th Parsley finally gave birth, and I say finally because she went over the "normal" expected delivery date and also went past the last possible delivery date. She had a lovely set of twin girls. Shire weighed 3.5kg and Sabi weighed 4 kg.

A visit to the vet with Danube to be disbudded and to have Finn's leg looked at.  The vet thinks that she may have badly strained the leg and put a splint on using foam pipe insulation and sticky bandage with instructions of keeping it on for  4 to 5 days which will allow it to heal with out any pressure on it.  Has not stopped her running around.  

7th May to 13th May 2011

Saturday was busy on the meat side as we also had the Fareham Farmers Market. Our young helper, Alice, was on hand at the market to help with the sales as we needed one of us to stay on the farm for any potential new life appearing on the farm. Although there was a carnival in Fareham on the Farmers Market day it was not as busy as we would have expected but we still did well with lots of new people buying goat meat for the first time.

The start of this next busy phase for new life on the farm started on Saturday 7th May, Forsythia, one of our rare breed ewes, gave birth for the first time to a female lamb who is to be called F1. Although she is really cute, she will not be kept and will be used for meat within the year.  On Thursday 12th, Damson gave birth to twins, the female, Danube, weighed 3kg and the male, Dunc, weighed 4.75kg.  

Young Finn has injured herself on Friday 13th, and no we are not superstitious.  In her eagerness for her bottle she tried to jump through the half mesh gate and although the front half went through , one of her back legs caught in the mesh and she is now favouring that leg and not using it.  We have given her some homeopathic medication and are hoping that it is a pulled muscle but if she is no better in a few days we will take her with the next batch of girls to be disbudded and have the vet to check her over.

Blackie and Boerhead were the next to go to the abbatoir in preparation for the Bishops Waltham Farmers Market on 22nd May. The meat was collected from the abbatoir and taken to our butcher.

30th April to 6th May 2011

Another quiet week with no births but still being kept busy with the milk shephardess feeding of the 4 hand reared girls namely Lundi, Hanalei, Bindi and Ash aswell as the bottle feeding of Finn.  Peace and Popeye are drinking beautifully on their own with no help from ourselves although it does not look like Pesetas has enough milk [probably because she too is drinking the milk]. So we are topping them up with a little milk from the bottle.  Collected the meat from the butcher on Friday morning so we spent the afternoon weighing and labelling the meat ready for the market on Saturday

23rd April to 29th April 2011

On Sunday the 24th Francs gave birth to a single female weighing in at 4kg.  She is to be called Finn. Unfortunately although Francs had a beautiful full udder, young Finn cannot get any milk from her as both the teats are blocked due a case of mastitus a few years ago.  We decided to leave Finn with Francs but we are bottle feeding Finn 6 bottles a day to start off with and will gradually increase the quantity of milk per bottle while decreasing the amount of feeds she has a day.

Iris gave birth to a male after having been artificially inseminated with a BT - he will be called Bertie

Pesetas [sister to Francs] gave birth to twins. A female [to be called Peace] weighed 4kg and a male [to be called Popeye] weighed in at 4.75 kg. Both kids are doing well but we are having to help get them on the teat. Pesetas is "naughty" and drinks from her right side which means that there is not a lot of milk in their for the kids but the other side is so full of milk that they cannot latch on.  So we have to put Pesetas on the milking stand a few times a day and milk a little off the left side and then get the kid under her to have a good drink.  The more they drink from this side and as they grow bigger and stronger will mean that they can make it easier for them to latch on by themselves without any help from us

So from 15 Mums we now have had have 3 singles, 12 sets twins, 1 set triplets, of which 14 are females and 16 are males and all doing well but we have 28 kids instead of the 30 as we lost Fawn and Verde a couple of weeks ago.

Sadly we also had to say goodbye to the oldest dog on the farm, Scamp who was not that old as she was not quite 9 years of age.  Sadly she had a very aggressive form of lymphoma and went very quickly.

Dark Ears and Pants were the next to go to the abbatoir in preparation for the Fareham Farmers Market on 7th May. The meat was collected from the abbatoir and taken to our butcher.

16th April to 22nd April 2011

This was a quieter week in terms of births but that did not mean it was a quiet week for us.  Having to make sure that the ones that have kidded are recovering well and feeding their new borns well.  All the new Mums are wormed a few days after kidding and their hooves are checked and trimmed if they have grown in the last few months of pregnancy - usually the case after carrying that extra weight.  Babies are checked regularly to make sure that they are growing and developing well.  The female kids are taken to the vet in the first week to be disbudded so that they will grow up without horns and the males are ringed [castrated using a rubber ring] in the first few days so that the meat kids will develop without being tainted with the testosterone influence.

9th April to 15th April 2011

This has not been a very good week for us as we have lost two of our kids and had the vet out to Beanie on Saturday as she was looking quite poorly.  We struggled with Fawn, the triplet that came up to the house, all weekend to get her to drink enough and when we took her to the vet with the 6 female kids that were being disbudded, she was diagnosed as having been oxygen starved at birth and she sadly died on the way home from the vet.  Our second fatality was also one of the handreared kids, Verde,  and we think it was due to an accident. On Tuesday we found her in the next door pen with 2 goatlings and we are not sure if she was trodden on or if she had been butted but another trip to the vet and we were told that she had injured her back but should recover as she was able to move although she was obviously in a lot of pain.  But sadly despite an injection from the vet, the pain was too much for her and she passed away on Wednesday morning. Fortunately Beanie has recovered and is back to her normal self - we know she is feeling much better as she is jumping in and out of the pen looking for extra food.

On a lighter note, Beauty gave birth to a set of beautiful twins. One male [Bow] and one fermale [Bellamy] on Sunday 10th April and on Wednesday 13th April Farthing also gave birth to twins - a female [Foyle] and a male [Fred].  So that brings our count to 15 males and 10 females so far.  We are waiting for Francs whose due date is 16th April and then we have a break until Pesetas is due about 28th April before the next batch starts about 12th May.

The weaner pigs were loaded and taken to the abbatoir on Monday and then onto the butcher on Tuesday.  They were better weights than we anticipated coming out of the abbatoir at 88kg and 85kg.  From personnel, at both the abbatoir and the butcher whom we use for the butchering, we have had some wonderful comments on the excellent quality of our pork, which obviously pleased us a great deal particularly after the sad start to the week.

2nd April to 8th April 2011

On Saturday 02/04/11 Honey gave birth to our fourth set of twins.  She had a male [Syrup] weighing 5kg and a female [Hanalei] weighing 4.5kg. Hanalei has joined Lundi up at the house to be hand reared and they will become the next additions to the breeding herd for the years to come.

Beka was next to give birth on Sunday 03/04/11 on her due date and although we thought she was possibly having quads she fortunately only had twins. She had a male [Stripe] weighing 5 kg and a female [Bindi] weighing 4kg.  Bindi has also joined Lundi and Hanalei in the house to be handreared.

Monday arrived with a 2 hour journey for Flopsie, our middle white pig. She is going to another farm for 4 to 9 weeks to stay with a male middle white boar and she will hopefully come back to us in pig and will then be having piglets in the late summer - fingers crossed.

Tuesday was a busy day, first Sovereign gave birth to twin males [Bruno and Splodge] each weighing 4.25kg but we had to take a trip to the vet with Lundi, Hanalei and Bindi to get them disbudded [have their horns removed] and not long after getting back home and getting the three kids fed and settled Lyn gave birth to a single female weighing 4kg [Lena].

And that was not the end of the births as Val gave birth to a single female [Vispa] weighing a tiny 3kg and Val's sister Beanie also gave birth to twins, a male weighing 4 kg [Velvet] and a female [Verde] weighing 4kg aswell.  We thought that Angelica was going to kid on Wednesday night as she was showing all the classic signs but she held off until 8pm on Thursday when she had twins both weighing in at 4kg- a male [Bruno] and a female [Ash].  While we were seeing to Angelica [who needed some assistance because her first born [male] had a big head and she was having some difficulty], Fennel started showing signs of being in labour and she too needed some assistance. At first to help with the first kid at 11pm who was coming out tail first and then to help get them out the cold wet straw and get their noses cleared and breathing as triplet 2 and then 3 followed very quickly after each other with triplet 3 also coming out backwards. But all are well and all three females [Fox, Fire and Fawn]weighed in at 3kg, 3kg and 3.25kg. One [Fawn] has gone up to the house to join the handreared girls and the other two are doing very well with Mum and names will be chosen for them shortly

Lizzie gave birth to twin males on Friday with Bill having a black head and weighing 4.75kg and Ben having a brown head and weighing 4kg.

We had to have the vet out to Honey on Wednesday as she was looking very unhappy and not at all like her normal self. Turned out that she was having a calcium problem due to milk fever so she was given a calcium injection, long acting antibiotic and an anti inflammatory - poor girl was probably feeling like a pin cushion but by Friday she was starting to look better.

So from the 12 Mums we now have 2 singles, 9 sets twins, 1 set triplets of which 10 are females and 13 are males and all doing well

26th March to 1st April 2011

Lady followed suit and gave birth to twins on Monday 28/03/11. She had a male [Blackie] and then a female [Lundi], both weighed in at 4.75 kg each. Lundi was taken down to the house to be bottle fed and handreared.  Part of the reason is that Lady still has severe mastitus and may have had difficulty feeding twins.  Once her colostrum has passed through we can focus on trying to clear this nasty infection which must be making her so uncomfortable, although we have started her on some homeopathic medication.

On Thursday 31/03/11 Hebe gave birth a few days early to two beautiful males Brownie and Whitey and both of them weighed in at 4.25kg.

Lundi has been doing well up at the house and is drinking her bottles well.  She is getting used to the household animals - dogs, cats and puppies, and is beginning to follow them around the kitchen and try and cuddle up to the - look on Devese Farm Animals Facebook site for the photos of all the young kids as they progress

19th March to 25th March 2011

We have not managed to totally get rid of Lady's mastitus and now that her bag is filling up ready to kid, we will have to wait until she kids and then give her some medication to get rid of it quickly so that she can feed her babies.  She is looking huge and we are wondering if she has more than one this time - unlike last year when she gave birth to one large male when she looked like she should have had twins or even triplets - have a look at our Facebook site under Devese Farm Animals to see a photo of her taken this week.

We are now on alert as we wait for the girls to start kidding. Violet was due on 27/03/11 - which would have been her 151 days but she gave birth two days early [just as she did last year].  She had twin male goat kids at about 17:30 weighing 5 kg [Patch] and 4.5kg [Spot] with no help and no human intervention and during daylight hours!  Just the way we like it, so hopefully all the others will follow her good example.  Both the boys had been up and drinking and were clean and dry by the time we got back down to see.  Good girl Violet.  She brought on two lovely males last year and was a very good Mum with lots of milk [her mother is a British Alpine which is a dairy goat].

12th March to 18th March 2011

The borehole is up and running and we have beautiful clear water.  One of the automatic water feeders has been installed in the fields for the 8 girls and Hercules. it did not take them long to work out how to get a drink and even the noise did not put them off.  Won't be long and we can have them all in place in the fields and then it is just a matter of checking twice daily that the bowls are clean [from the birds visiting them!] and to make sure that they work.

The kids have a new game - a number of them have worked out how easy it is to jump from pen to pen over the hurdles - so now we have steeple chase races as the charge back and forth - not very easy when you are trying to put the haylage in the racks.

5th March to 11th March 2011

Saturday brought lovely spring like again weather which helped bring the crowds out to the Fareham Farmers Market.  A very busy market and thank you to the lady who was singing the praises to all who passed our stall about goat meat and all the health benefits that it brings for people for heart or cholesterol problems. We told her we could give her a job at our markets.

Sunday was another lovely day for Romsey Farmers Market and yet again we sold out of steaks, neck fillets and the butterfly chops.  We had a lot of interest in our cured goat and sheep skins.  Hopefully we will have a lot more available in a few months time when they come back from the long curing process in Somerset.

The rest of the week saw some of the girls needing to have their lambivac vacinations before they kid.

26th February to 4th March 2011

Wednesday brought a trip to the vet with 6 of the female kids whose horn spurs have grown through.  Cherry came back relatively unscathed but poor Pansy, Peony and Saffron had large holes in their heads.  We kept them in the trailer overnight to keep them calm and quiet and then set up separate pens the next day away from the rest of the kids.  But all best laid plans go awry - some of the male kids have learnt to jump the hurdles so they were jumping in with the walking wounded and were knocking the girls about and Pansy decided she was going to stay in the main pen with all the rough boys - despite the fact she must have had a bad headache!

Collected the meat from our butcher on Friday and spent the afternoon and evening weighing and labelling ready for the two Farmers Markets. Thanks to Alice doing the feeding routines we could focus on the meat and the markets

19th February to 25th February 2011

We had to make sure that all was still neat, clean and tidy for the Environmental Health Officers visit and we needn't have got into a panic as we passed with flying colours.  

Wish the weather would make up its mind - very changeable but still too much of the wet stuff.

Saturday was fun and games with the kids.  They were all weighed and their hooves trimmed.  We now have multiple red bums and multiple green bums, 2 black bums and 1 blue bum. If little Cherry was being coloured coded she would have been in a category all of her own by only just weighing 25kg - it is highly unlikely that we will put her into kid this coming Autumn as she is still so tiny - not unless she finds some fertiliser and has a major growth spurt!

Five of the males went to the abbatoir and then onto the butcher ready for Fareham Farmers Market on 5th March and Romsey Farmers Market on 6th March

12thFebruary  to 18th February 2011

Saturday brought lovely spring like weather which helped with the fact that we had some in-house spring cleaning to do in one of the barns - how can a previously tidy space attract so much clutter when it was only decluttered not so long ago?  

Our borehole is nearly ready so we will have beautiful natural water with the added benefit of having some pressure behind it. We just have the final electrics to be completed, the water has gone to be tested at the labs and will soon be connected and then we can get the automatic water feeders in,  which will save a lot of time by not having to fill lots of water buckets for drinking.

5th February to 11th February 2011

We started this week off, on Saturday, with a trip to our local butcher who was butchering our goat carcasses for us.  We decided to try some different cuts this time and had the leg joints cut into fillet steaks, shanks and a mini leg joint and the shoulders we had boned and rolled.  We weighed and labelled all the meat and we tried out some of the goat meat steaks ourselves for dinner - well we have to know what it tastes like - a perk of the job I think you can say!  

Thankfully Alice fed, watered and saw to the livestock on Sunday morning so we were able to get to Romsey Farmers Market for 8am, on a very windy but thankfully dry day.  As our banner is long and reaches to the floor we had to take it down as it was acting like a sail and we nearly had it and the gazebo go flying across the carpark.  We welcomed a lot more new faces and some previous customers returning after the December Romsey Farmers Market, and it was good to welcome them back when they bought some more goat meat. The goat meat steaks proved to be very popular as was the goat neck fillet and the diced goat meat. If you have a favourite cut of goat meat that you would like to buy from us then please email us and let us know [email details are on the contacts page].  If you have a favourite tried and tested goat meat recipe and would like us to publish it, then please email it to us.  We will try the recipe with our goat meat and then publish it with your name and where you are in the world alongside the recipe.

We had a few traumas this week and have gone through more iodine. Pansy and Holly knocked their horn spurs and Noisy did something to the end of his tail - so lots more brown / yellow stains on their lovely white coats aswell as our hands and clothing.  Lady is still being treated for her mastitus but thankfully for her it is reducing and becoming softer day by day.

We had our Scrapie test results back and we are now clear for another year and can say that we are Scrapie monitored.  So a good start to the year on our test results.

29th January to 4th February 2011

This week we have still been attending to Lady and her mastitus.  We have managed to "bribe" her to come onto the milking stand which does make it a lot easier for us to see to her, although she does try to get away and thinks that by leaning and putting all her weight on us will make us stop and release her.  The udder is becoming less hard and has reduced in size dramatically since we first started treating her but we still have some way to go until it is clear, hopefully by the end of the next week we will nearly have cleared it for her.  She is definitely liking the apple bits that we are using to tempt her.

Alice helped us on Saturday to do some of the hooves on the pregnant Mums, back breaking work for us humans but another necessary job out the way. Any golfers on the golf course could have been correct in thinking that we were mudering one of the Mums because Farthing was bawling her head off even though I am sure she felt much better after her hooves were done.  Some of the young ones have also been having their hooves done and Cherry was the most wriggly goat kid and she made it very hard work for us as she tried jumping about to wriggle free, even though she is the tiniest of all the kids. If only they would all take their cue from Goldie who actually sat with her rear end on the straw bale with her legs stuck out for me, which made it much easier to see to the hooves while she was cudding away - good girl Goldie!

Poor Peony now has yellow brown streaked ears instead of lovely white ones. Either someone has been at her eartags or she is catching them somewhere in the pen, so she needed to be treated with iodine.  Anyone who has tried to use iodine on animals will understand when I say that we too had brown streaked hands.

22nd January to 28th January 2011

Another busy week on Devese Farm Animals.  Last weekend saw us introducing our new young assistant, Alice, to the animals and the duties required to attend to them.  Alice is going to help us, particularly on Farmers Market weekends when everything is a bit hectic.  Thankfully she is used to working with animals so she has not had too much of a shock as to what she will need to do.  Saturday had us weighing and pricing up the goat meat that we had collected from our local butcher who had butchered and packaged our goat carcasses for us.  Sunday morning found us at Bishops Waltham Farmers Market bright and early and thankfully although it was still quite cold it was lovely and dry.  Thank you to all our regulars who came to see us and bought their favourite cuts of goat meat, or goat meat sausages and goat meat burgers and thank you to all our newcomers and we hope to see you all again soon at Bishops Waltham or either Fareham and Romsey Farmers Markets. For future market dates look on the Devese Events Calender and you will see where and when we will be at these Markets.  The market was successful and we sold out of quite a few products particularly some of the goat meat sausage flavours and the Mediterranean goat meat burgers.  The goat neck fillet is still proving to be a very popular cut and seems to be the first to sell out.
Our blood tests for CAE have come back and they are all clear which we are very pleased about but Monday saw us start having fun and games with Lady who has developed mastitus.  We have to catch her twice a day and treat her udder with a warm solution made of herbs and oils and then massage the udder and try and milk the infection out, not very pleasent for her but a necessity.  She has about 8 weeks until she kids so we do not want to give her any medicines but we do need to clear it as soon as possible so that her colostrum and milk will be there for the kids - and we say kids as we have told her that we want at least one female that we will handrear, so we can get a grade 2 from her, and then she can have one her two males that she can bring on herself.

Wednesday also saw another trip to the abbatoir with two more goat kids [Honey's Boy and Lizzie's Boy] for the Romsey Farmers Market on Sunday 6th February, the carcasses were collected from the abbatoir and we took them to our local butcher to be hung until next week when they butcher them to our requirements


15th January to 21st January 2011

We have had a much better week, at least the rain has eased off most of the time.  The temperatures have dropped which means that we have had some lovely crispy frosty mornings and coupled with the blue skies have made for beautiful days.  The goats that are outside have perked up with the dry weather, although they are avoiding those areas that are still boggy.  I think they were beginning to think that they were supposed to have webbed feet - don't blame them as we felt the same.

We are busy getting ready for the Farmers Market on Sunday at Bishops Waltham which will be from 10am to 2pm. Lots of local producers selling a variety of products and we will have our free range goat meat which will come in diced goat meat, goat meat joints and some goat meat gluten free sausages and goat meat burgers - so come along and help support us and the other stall holders - even for just a chat will be nice to see you and answer any questions.  Looks like it should be a dry day weather wise, so that makes for a good Farmers Market day.

We have some escapologists in the area where the young ones are being kept.  Some of the larger male kids have worked out that they can hop over the hurdles and help themselves to the food for the goat kids in the other pen. Not good for them or us - particularly when we have to try and catch them and "put" a 40kg goat kid back over the hurdle when he cannot work out how to go back the way that he came.  Hope there is no one with a camera ready to do a "you've been framed" scene.  All in good fun - but at least it keeps us out of mischief - not sure about these goat kids though!

8thJanuary to 14th January 2011

And we have had another very wet week, not sure where all this water is coming from.

Wednesday saw us having fun and games with the breeding goats [34 females and 1 male] as we had an arranged visit from the vet to take blood samples from all the goats over 12 months of age for our CAE testing.  And as luck would have it, the rain came down when we were trying to do the outside girls [13 of them in all]  - not much fun in trying to keep the paperwork dry and readable in such wet conditions or trying to find somewhere "clean" to put the box down that contained the vets equipment and samples, that was also out of the way of the inquisitve goats wanting to have a nibble while our backs were turned. Hopefully the next time round it will be dry.

We also had a trip to the abbatoir and the butcher a couple of days later with 2 goat kids, which will be for us to sell at the Bishops Waltham Farmers Market on 23rd January 2011 from 10am to 2pm.

We have some goat kids who have worked out that once the water bucket is dry they can get it out of its holder and then proceed to use it as a toy.  The bucket is either used upside down as a platform to launch themselves from or they end up with the handle round their neck and the bucket hanging like a large medallion - not good when they run and get a leg caught in it!!  We defintely do not want any broken legs.

1st January to 7th January 2011

From all of us at Devese Farm Animals, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2011.
A good start to 2011 as it has been fairly mild and fortunately without the freezing December temperatures so we have not had to carry buckets of water back and forth. However, we have had lots of rain yesterday and today, so needless to say it is like a quagmire everywhere.  The goats in the outside shelters are looking decidedly dirty where they insist on lying down in some of the muddy areas on the grass.  But the pigs are loving the mud and rooting away to their hearts content.

December 2010

What a white start to the month.  It was not just us humans who were not too happy with the white stuff but so too were the animals.  The goats in the outside areas were much more keen to stay in their warm cosy arcs as opposed to lying in the snow. The piglets went into hiding in their thick straw bed in their arc by burrowing deep into the straw - that is to say when they weren't outside eating.  The sheep were very willing to come close and come in for food.  Water was a major problem as all the water containers inside and outside froze, so the ice had to be broken a few times a day.  The worst part for us humans was the fact that the water pipes froze in the barns and fields which meant that we had to carry buckets of water from the house to the animals - we think our arms have grown by a few inches.

From all of us at Devese Farm Animals we wish you and your loved ones a wonderful Christmas 2010.

                                               Our 8 new arrivals who only just setteld in before the snow arrived December 2010
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