New Arrivals Lounge!
Spring is upon us and we are very excited as we are expecting lots of new arrivals into the New Arrivals Lounge (aka Main Barn!)
The New Arrivals Lounge Page was so popular last year with you all keeping up to date with all our little new bundles of joy that we will be updating it again this year. With the help of our fabulous livestock team and their breeding programmes, we can now bring you all the due dates to help you plan your visits. If you are lucky you might see one being born and watch as they find their feet for the very first time, it really is the most exciting time of the year!
Who are we expecting to ‘check in’ this spring…
Whilst we can predict approximate dates, mother nature is in charge and dates may change!
Expectant Mums and Dads
Over the coming months there are many different animals and breeds expecting beautiful babies.
Aries, our Jacob Ram, is enjoying his third year here and has fathered all of the Jacob lambs due this year.
On February 8th 2017 we welcomed a brand new bore, Pumba, a 1 year old pure breed Gloucester Old Spot. Pumba has been enjoying time with Pippa and Patsy since his arrival and we hope to expect the pitter patter of tiny trotters in approximately 4 months.
The Main Barn is currently home to many different breeds of ewes who are expecting over the coming months, including: – Lleyn, Romney, Badger Face, Hampshire Down, Jacob, Shetland and Herdwick Sheep. This means we will have an array of different lambs in different sizes, colours and personalities. The Romney and Llyen ewes are fairly new breeds to the farm and this will be their second year lambing with us.
Back in Autumn Woody the Pygmy Goat joined the herd, this will be his first season with us and are hoping for 7+ healthy Pygmy goat kids from the 8th March.
If this wasn’t enough… we are also hoping for lots of bunnies. The bunnies will live with their mums until they are approximately 5 weeks old and then they will start to come out and play.
Due to the guidelines put into place in December by DEFRA to prevent the spread of Bird Flu across the UK we are not currently fertilizing chicken eggs but as soon as the guidelines are lifted we will be popping eggs into the incubator and look forward to little chicks hatching. We have also recently seen our Chinese Geese are sitting on eggs which is super exciting. The success rate of hatching goslings is not as high as chickens but we are keeping a close eye on them and keep our fingers and toes crossed.
In this day and age where you can seemingly buy absolutely anything online we thought we would put this to the test…
On a snowy day back in January 2016 two amazing Highland cows trotted off the trailer and joined the Godstone Farm family. Heidi is now 3 years old and along with Poppy, our Friesian cow, are ready to raise their own calves. We were able to head to a fabulous website and browse an endless list of eligible bulls and found a strapping Highland Bull in France who was more than happy to donate his services, so via the powers of Google we ordered his semen.
On the 11th July the vet popped along to the farm to start the artificial insemination (AI) process by injecting Poppy and Heidi with hormones. The hormones allow the cows to come into season, so ten days later when the AI technician came along to artificially inseminate them the chance of conceiving is higher. The success rate of conceiving on the first round of AI is only 50% so we were delighted to be informed both Poppy and Heidi were pregnant on their first go. You go girls!
Like us, Cows are pregnant for 9 months so we are expecting the calves around the 29th April. The bull selected was black in colour, Heidi is brown (or red in technical cow language) and Poppy has a coat of black and white patches so we are super excited to see what that calves will look like and equally how different they might look from each other as their mums are very different breeds.
This will be the first calf for both cows so they will be having them in the Main Barn which will already be a hive of activity with many lambs and goat kids due before them. They will be well looked after by the livestock team and we will of course post lots of pictures when they are born for you to see. As highland calves are so rare here we hope lots of you will come along to see them in person and keep up with their progress.
So there you have it… you really can buy the most obscure things online!
Watch this space for updates!
Who’s new in the New Arrivals Lounge?
Welcome to the world: