Animals


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Two white goats

With goat meat tipped as a future food trend, third generation farmersJames and Lucy Hewison are diversifying into rearing their very first herd of Boer goats at their tenant farm on the EnglefieldEstate in Berkshire.

The couple’s investment last year in 10 breeding does, four doelings, four bucklings, and a breeding buck called Bruno, is currently in the process of doubling as kidding gets underway. The farm – Hartley Court Farm – is situated near the village of Three Mile Cross to the south of Reading. It was originally a dairyand arable farm when James’s grandfather first became a tenant in 1953.

Today the couple look after a 40-strong herd of Aberdeen Angus suckler cows and their calves, and two pedigree Angusbulls alongside 214 hectares of wheat,barley, poppies and grass at Hartley Court Farm and on the neighbouring Manor Farm, also owned by the Estate. They are also contract farmers for the Estate’s 111-hectare Great Lea Farm.

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Arla farmer in field

Farmer-owned dairy cooperative launches Project Pollinator as part of Arla UK 360 research and development programme

A group of farmers from the Arla Foods dairy cooperative have launched a trial initiative to see whether their efforts for environmentally friendly dairy farming can be broadened to help increase wild bee populations given the crucial role they play in supporting our ecosystems.

The news follows the recent UN report which revealed 1 million animal species are at risk of extinction globally. Of these species, a further report found pollinators, in particular some bees, have been in steady decline, with an average of 11 species lost in every square kilometre in the UK between 1980 and 2013.

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Rebecca Storey, from specialist country and equestrian store Houghton Country

Horses can be rather hardy animals, but they’re susceptible to a few cuts and scrapes now and then. Rebecca Storey, from specialist country and equestrian store Houghton Country, told us what essentials you need for treating minor horse wounds.

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Alpaca Yoga at Rosebud Ranch

Rosebud Ranch have recently diversified into a very successful alpaca farm, offering plenty of activities for visitors including Alpaca Yoga and Tai Chi. Farm Diversity had the opportunity talk to Lucy Aylett, to delve into how they created this delightful farm and made it into exactly the venture they had dreamt of... 

'Rosebud Ranch is an alpaca farm in North Devon, recently known as 'the wellness ranch', and it is our home along with the Rosebud Alpacas. They are quality alpacas which we breed for fleece, we sell the yarn from our prize winners and we make/sell other alpaca related products. We also sell alpacas to appropriate homes as pets or for breeding and our herd participate in alpaca experiences. We pride ourselves on offering sessions in the alpaca's environment, ensuring our herd are relaxed and interested. Their welfare is paramount but this also provides a more authentic experience to our guests.

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Flock of sheep listening to music

A luxury bed-maker which owns a 300-acre farm producing natural bedding materials has struck a creative note to enhance mattress comfort – it has discovered that playing music to its flock of sheep softens their wool, creating a more sumptuous bedding material. 

 Researchers at Harrison Spinks, a 179-year-old family business which employs 600 people in Yorkshire, found that music naturally increases the levels of lanolin produced by the sheep resulting in a thicker, more luxurious wool.

 The company, which has installed speakers across its farm near Bolton Percy in North Yorkshire, is now looking at different musical genres to see if it can pinpoint the best performing tracks for maximum lanolin production.

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Young farmers of the future learn from novel addition to Fallen Stock Collection System…

A group of level 3 agriculture students from Northumberland College have recently witnessed an animal autopsy to learn essential livestock techniques to help their studies and future farming careers.

 

The twelve students, aged between 17 and 20 years old, attended the workshop located at the Warrens Group fallen stock collection centre in County Durham. The autopsy event was delivered by leading vet, Ben Strugnell, of Farm Post Mortems Ltd.

 

Mr Strugnell is a pivotal player in the livestock community as he devised a novel addition to the Fallen Stock Collection System, where farmers are offered autopsies on their deceased cattle [fallen stock] with the essential results enabling them to better understand the cause of death and help protect their remaining stock.

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Alpaca Farm diversification

Two alpaca farmers from Ilfracombe have transformed a disused, centuries-old threshing barn into luxury, disabled-friendly holiday accommodation.

Thought to be one of very few bespoke disabled-friendly holiday lets of its size in the country, Kate and Simon Brookes turned their empty stone barn into luxury holiday accommodation with the help of just one labourer.

The property has been awarded the highest level of accessibility standard by Visit Britain and a 4* gold quality award rating.