Ewe needs a manicure

Nobody likes to see a lame sheep hobbling across the paddock, so when our eldest ewe started limping I knew it was time for a toenail inspection. Sure enough her back hoof had grown so long that it was preventing her from walking properly and action was required. Normally I take advantage of the good nature […]

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Little Bo Peep has lost, and found, her sheep

It’s a phone call I never enjoy. “Hello Alex, it’s (insert proper farmer’s name here) .. do you own (insert small number and a species of farm animal here)? They seem to be in my field/on the road/heading west (delete as appropriate).” When the call came this morning, I leapt onto my bike and headed […]

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Pig despatch diary

The diary note from last November was clear: don’t dilly dally over sending the pigs to the abbatoir. There are many reasons for this but let’s just say we are still suffering the humiliation of being told we could have fed another whole pig based on the amount we overfed them last time. We are lucky […]

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Bellowing Dexter gets the sack

At first we thought it was just a phase – perhaps our large Dexter steer was bellowing because he missed his old farm, give it a few weeks and he’d settle in. Earplugs at the ready we did our best to rise above the noise and avoid eye contact with our nearest neighbours. Time passed […]

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Dexters join the smallholding

We’ve long debated adding cows to the species list here so we booked a visit to Andrew Tuck’s farm in Tetbury for a discussion about what’s involved. There we met lots of charming cattle – from the gorgeous Brown Swiss to tiger-striped Hereford crosses. However, Dexters seemed like the obvious choice as we only have […]

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The hungry gap: unless you’re a bee. Or a fox.

The sun is out and the field is full of lush green grass – things have never felt more fertile and productive. In self-sufficiency terms however, things have seldom been less busy. The vegetable patch is miles behind compared with previous years and apart from a few strawberries and the occasional egg (thanks hens) we’re […]

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Back to the blog

Sometimes living the rural dream is a full-time job (or so I like to claim) – and writing about it feels like just another item on the to-do list that can be put off until tomorrow. When there are animals to be fed, moved, cleaned out, butchered and cooked, logs to be chopped and stacked, […]

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