We love our animals here and believe that rare-breed animals should be fully protected.
It suits us as we’re not full time farmers, but we just love this lifestyle and hope that we can pass a little bit of this on to our children and all those that visit the nursery. We may sometimes appear a little “odd” but we can live with “odd” if its “nice odd”.
Our animals all have names and are friendly, they have to be as we have young children too and unfriendly animals and children don’t mix.
Our sows are all in pig and should be having young within next few weeks so plenty of piglets, we have mainly Middle white pigs which are the rarest breed in this country and they are fabulous looking pigs with sweet natures, our two sows Mint & Evie greet you from a good way away and are always delighted to have a tummy rub. We then have one Mangalitza sow, Curly, who is also in pig and she is a very strange looking pig, being sometimes mistaken for a sheep herself with her long hairy coat. Our pigs keep our fallow land fertilised and root it all up putting back nutrients into the ground better than we could wish for. The pigs have a lovely new paddock that encompasses a small wooded area that keeps them really happy and gives good shelter - they seem to just love their new home!
Plenty of chickens in lots of breeds, some for eggs like our wonderful friendly Orpingtons, some for breeding like the Silver-laced Wynadotte Bantams and the Silkees. If you're looking for chickens for your garden then we have both hens and advice so just ask!
The last of our Hampshire Down lambs was born this morning, no intervention at all needed the young ram lamb was bounding around before we arrived this morning thankfully doing really well, this years lambs were all singles so big strong lambs and so have needed a fair bit of help lambing. Hampshire Downs are a wonderful breed that we graze under the trees, cutting down the need for chemicals and manpower to keep the grass and more importantly the weeds down and the land clean underneath the trees and also leaving behind and valuable commodity of manure. We now have a flock of over forty so they are doing a great job under our sixty plus acres of trees in production.We keep a rare-breed of Sheep, Hampshire Downs that helps us keep down the amount of chemicals we use on our nursery as they eat the grass and weeds without going near the trees. The sheep provide an extremely good source of fertiliser (if you know what I mean!!) We have started a succesfull breeding plan of these sheep and we now have five of our very own this year.
Our cattle don’t have a job as such on the nursery except for keeping our two wettest fields clean, they are Highland cattle and are just magnificent, we have eight now with one still to calf hopefully within next week or so and three of them that should have been put back into calf by our magnificent bull, Roddy last month. They’re amazing creatures and so gentle and quiet, unlike some of the commercial breeds that we see down at the Mart, next to our Carlow nursery.
Our goats are our newest arrivals and just haven’t been allocated a field yet on the nursery as they aren’t keen on staying where they are put and have been bunking in with a friends horses, somewhere where they can’t do the same damage as they can on the nursery but they will be coming home soon as we have a more secure place for them as they are such characters, we have two older males, one pygmy called Tony and an Angora, DJ and then two Saanen females Ruby and Betty. The two boys are very affectionate and just want to be rubbed and Ruby is kind and gentle, Betty is our showoff and just loves being the centre of attention, she climbs on gates and fences and if she thinks that she has your attention she walks across the field on her hind legs, such a character. We adopted all four of them from Airfield House in Dundrum where they were all attractions.