We decided to put Mack and Flow together last week. Its been 3 months since they last bred and Flow seems to have had a good rest. The exact date was 22nd of June, so that should give us a kindling date of around the 20th of July. We might try them one more time before the winter, we will see how she is.
Becs and I have been thinking about what we might do in the next cycle of animals. Its been great to have a go at everything this first year, and we will happily keep all of our animals into their retirement, but realistically speaking after the first 5 years we will be in a position to have a change. Rabbits are only really fertile for the first 3-4 years of their life, so I think Mack and Flow would become pets after that. My experience of chickens is that 5 years is a pretty long life and they defo don’t lay eggs after that. Muscovys and geese are much longer lived. Geese can live for 20 years (although I think this is uncommon) and Muscovys can live for 10 plus.
My thoughts are that we may not continue with Rabbits, as although they are very productive, they are a pain when they are growing as they escape a lot! I don;t like the idea of raising them in small hutches, so ours always have a large outdoor run. Also I feel the same about chickens, they are very productive in terms of eggs, but we can’t keep a cockrill, so we can’t breed them and they are so susceptible to mites etc. Muscov ducks are so hardy, I love them to bits and will always keep them, the geese are here for the long haul, and the sheep are brilliant and practically no work.
Becky has different views on this, but my view of the 2015 farm would be;
More Soay sheep
More Muscovy ducks and maybe a few female Karki cambells for eggs
and our Geese.
I would stop selling eggs, and just have enough birds to keep us in eggs. I would run the Muscovy and the geese in together and the Soays in a seperate pasture. We would hopefully have bees my then as well.
Anyway its along way off, but that is my thinking at the moment.