Newbie farmer saying hi!

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12 years 1 month ago #32003 by Lacce19
Hello there,
My Names Charlea, I came over to NZ 6 years ago, from England.. and i live in rural Waikato on a small 4 acre property (which will expand as we're eyeing up some more land -grins-) with my lovely parents.

We're looking to expand and we reallllllly want to be self sufficient! Our first step to getting there was purchasing 4 chickens off of TM 1 year ago :D This was good and bad! yummy eggs yes.. but we have become chook obsessed and have opened a 'chicken sanctuary' where we take in unwanted chooks, be it hens, roosters, or chicks, young or old, who need a life-long home... we can't bear to put them in the pot, so they end up staying here, enjoying food, scratching, and afternoon dust baths.. soppy i know :D

Our next 'step' was working our veggies n fruit.. well i soon learnt that veggies die on me, so im still working on that, but our few fruit trees on the farm are doing well.. and taste yummmmmy!!!

We got in a few kune kune pigs, for pets, and a few saddlebacks which eventually -gulps- will depart to a colder climate..

At the moment we're desperatly trying to find some lovely dairy goats! we've owned goats before, but never thought of milking them, until now.. anyone know any breeders? hehe.

So currently we have 1 lovable old dog, 4 domestic cats (2 of these were found as kittens under the house, and we tamed them up) 3 gorgeous pilgrim geese, 1 lonely 3week ducky, Snuggles, who thinks im her mumma, 1 lorikeet, 9 guinea pigs, 6 pigglies, and about 60 chooks!!! we have ducks on the way for snuggles and hopefully we will get our goats in soon!!

We're new 'farmers' who love our animals a bit too much hehe :) but we'll get there huh? It's great to meet everyone, after watching the forums so often in the past :) And i talk too much :/

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12 years 1 month ago #428256 by Andrea1
Replied by Andrea1 on topic Newbie farmer saying hi!
Hi, Charlea -- welcome the forum! It's a great ride, eh? :D

If you're after dairy goats (if you're after Toggies, I know most of the breeders in the country) - try getting in touch with the NZDGBA: www.nzdgba.co.nz/

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12 years 1 month ago #428260 by gemini kiwi
Hi Charlea, welcome to the forum. You'll have a blast growing your own veggies, with all your chooks though you may need to site your veggie patch behind some good chook proof fencing, and I'd suggest raised beds plots. So easy on the old back and to maintain.

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12 years 1 month ago #428310 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Newbie farmer saying hi!
Hi Charlea. Welcome to the site and the country. My own ancestors came from England too. Just a few generations earlier than you. Our total land area is just a little smaller than yours. Just enough to wish it was more. We've already bought another small block not connected to our main house block but close enough to walk the cow back and forth at milking time. We have our hens and ducks fenced into our small orchard but some of the hens can fly quite well so they go where they please. MIL has suggested we build a chook fence around the vegetable garden and just allow the poultry to wander over the rest of the house block. She may be right. They would be healthier that way but it might be a bit more difficult to find the nests. We have Saddleback Duroc cross pigs and they are delicious. Roast pig head tonight. Yum.

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12 years 1 month ago #428391 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Newbie farmer saying hi!
Welcome.
Think carefully about getting pigs, and find out if the fencing that you have is good enough to keep them where they are supposed to be. Our neighbours were not able to keep in their piglets (weaners) that were able to climb wire netting. We were not able to keep Miss Piggy, who you no doubt have read about on the My Place forum, in either. She became a real nuisance with the other animals, and if she had stayed until spring, she would have eaten our newborn lambs, kids, chickens, etc, etc, etc. She had to go when she tried to maul the dog :-(.

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12 years 1 month ago #428517 by Lacce19
Replied by Lacce19 on topic Newbie farmer saying hi!
Aww thanks for welcoming me guys.. your all awesome ^_^
We was after some toggies yeah :) We wen't and picked up a 2 week old billy yesterday, who is just oozing in cuteness... maybe will have to upload pics huh? he is almost pure white, with one brown stripe along his back/spine.. gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!! just gotta get some older girls in now ;) OMG i just read Tehuafarm.com!! We was more looking into getting Arapawa's to keep their breed pure, and keep going...we like the idea of helping the breed stay true, and continue to be apart of NZ, but we've been so unlucky in finding any :( hence switching and trying to find Toggies.

Hehe, Gemini - we managed to land a house where the veggie plot is tucked faaaar away from the chooks! i just hope they dont wander that far to them eek... my veggies are still dying on me - yay :( so far i have only been able to grow peas... how dyou do it?!? lol

we got some yummy bacon from our neighbours 'processed' pig, gonna try it tonight - first time tasting home-grown bacon.. my taste buds are tingling already. People have been saying its yummy.. i hope your right Igor >:D We have electric fencing around the place now, you were right, they used to escape, the rascals.. but they thankfully now stay behind the electric fencing! humans 1 - Pigs 0 ;) ours will be ready to process in a couple of months hopefully :D

We took in 3 bantam roosters yesterday, who needed a home before their owners moved :) surprisingly they settled in fast!! and one tiny lil runt of a hen, 12 weeks old and is the size of a 2 week old chook. bless her, I hope she stays strong, as we've fallen in love with her. We'll most likely put up a blog of her soon at littleacrescottage :)

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12 years 1 month ago #428540 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Newbie farmer saying hi!
How old is this buck ????? If 2 weeks, he will need lots of bottle feeding. If he learns to suckle off of bottle, then he will become very tame. tame bucks are very as in VERY dangerous, so ensure that you put a ring over both his testicles when he is about 12 weeks old (at weaning).
Never, never, never have a tame buck if you value the lives of your friends and families. Our tame wethers are hugely scarey to other people. Tame bucks are dangerous.

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12 years 4 weeks ago #428665 by Aria
Replied by Aria on topic Newbie farmer saying hi!
Hi Longridge - do you think that non hand-reared entire bucks are generally less dangerous than hand-reared ones? I realise all such questions/opinions are generalisations. But I am curious as we have a reasonably tame entire buck (not hand-reared) and really don't tend to worry too much about him - although I admit a number of the neighbours keep a wide berth. I'm always very careful where children are concerned, no matter what animal.

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12 years 4 weeks ago #428685 by LongRidge
Replied by LongRidge on topic Newbie farmer saying hi!
Hi Aria, as a generalisation, and only a generalisation, handreared males are always more dangerous than mother-reared males. This is because a mother will usually teach it's off spring that humans do horrible things to them. But if the handreared anything thinks that humans are safe to play animal games with, which usually involve bunting, kicking and biting, the anything will not be afraid to try it on a human.
But I have managed to handle rams and bucks that were not handreared so that they became unafraid of humans :-(. It's great being able to do a ram or a bucks feet in the paddock, but they are very dangerous, and I have been bowled.....

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