Good Morning! So we have not had a guest blog post for a few weeks as Summer has been so busy here! However, we have a great new guest blog here for you! Pete and Becky tell us about how they started up in Smallholding and all about their pygmy goats:
“When I was asked to write a blog by Katy, it took me a while to think about where to start! It has been such an exciting adventure living on a smallholding, I love to talk and there are so many stories/ events to talk about! The first question people usually ask is how we got into living with so many animals and our smallholding, the truth is it gradually grew and grew without us even knowing! We bought our first house back in 2007, we both have always liked animals, Pete had reptiles and I worked with horses. We moved in with our 2 pet rabbits (Delia and Geraldine) and soon became really interested in chickens, the thought we would know where our eggs were coming from and also be able to share our home with such wonderful, interesting creatures! We soon headed off to a farm in Surrey to collect our first hens, 2 hybirds Kim and Aggie! We turned up very excited, we didn’t realise ITV happened to be at the farm filming a piece about people from urban areas keeping chickens, we were soon miked up and I stood nervously gripping hold of a chicken very awkwardly ( I had never held a chicken before!) whilst the man interviewed us. I remember the horror when we saw the article on the news a few weeks later; with a full shot of my company car at the time, full of shavings, chicken feed and chickens!
We absolutely loved chicken keeping and soon realised this is what we wanted to do. Our garden was soon full with more chickens and our first pair of pygmy goats Harold and Lou. We were very lucky as an opportunity came up where we could move to a bungalow with a lot more land, the bungalow and land needed a lot of work but it was a fantastic opportunity for us to follow our passion.
After 4 years of hard work renovating the house, building fences, aviaries, brooders and stables we feel like we are getting somewhere; but it is a never ending job! After keeping lots of different breeds of chickens- large fowl, rare breeds and bantams we decided which breeds were best for us and our set up and now keep a wide selection of bantams, all being millefluer or laced in colour. Our herd of pygmy goats have expanded too! We have 5 billy goats and a herd of female pygmys that we breed from. A few years ago we discovered the pygmy goat club and were so happy to find other goat enthusiasts. We started showing the goats last year; we were very nervous when we started; we thought it was something we were going to love or hate and we are very pleased to say we absolutely love it! And have met some wonderful people. We also have Indian runner ducks and pigs and hatch ducklings throughout spring and summer each year.
We are very excited about the future of Pete and Becky’s Smallholding. Each year it is growing and growing. Currently we still support our smallholding by having other jobs but our dream for the future is to be able to make it our living. We would also love to expand our poultry with more breeds of bantams and grow our herd of pygmy goats further. I would still love to grow fruit and vegetables in order to make us more self-sufficient ( sadly I have no luck at all with growing food in the past- Pete made me amazing raised beds out of old scaffolding, unfortunately our turkeys liked them too and one afternoon ate all the strawberries!) We have found running our smallholding has both good times and bad; and many lessons we have learnt the hard way but we could never change what we do. There is nothing we enjoy more than sitting down in an evening with a glass of cider watching the goats relaxing, chewing their cud before the sun goes down; this makes everything worthwhile.”
If you would like to hear more tales from Pete and Becky’s Smallholding head over to http://www.peteandbeckyssmallholding.co.uk/