While some animals come and go, some are here to stay at Wolf-Beach Farms. Either because they have become pets, fill a specific purpose, or are part of our breeding program most animals that have names are here to stay (at least until they misbehave, then it is freezer camp).
Here are some of our residents. Click on the images for larger pictures and more detail.
Everyone on the farm for the most part eats grass. Our goal is to never mow again, ha ha, and to have as much pasture raised animals as possible reducing the need for feed or added inputs. We use One Feed to Feed Them All, you can read more here.
The llamas are here for several purposes/reasons. 1st they are guardian animals who will watch over the sheep and goats once they are on the pasture regularly. 2nd we can shear them and use their wool for fiber such as weaving, knitting and crafts. 3rd they eat grass and brush and help restore the pasture. Tango is an older boy, and Hey There younger girl. Both were in the 4-H clubs for a while. Our Wee One (5YO) can go out and round them up in the pasture with no issues.
We have a variety of goats and all for different reasons.
1st we have Norman. He is a Pygora goat (Pygmy Angora) nothing pygmy about him. His wool is long and soft. He needed a new home and previous owners were moving. We needed more brush cleaners. Norman provides wool, brush cleaning, pasture restoration, and companionship for other goats. Norman is fixed so no more wool babies from him. J has adopted him as HIS goat. Strangely, only J can pet Norman.
Next we have Blue aka Blue Holland and John Deere both Oberhasli goats. A friend needed to reduce her herd, and blue who was originally supposed to be a milking goat, was unable to become pregnant. She found a home here. Blue is queen bee and top of the herd currently. She is a brush cleaner, pasture restoration, and companion animal for other goats. She is also our yard goat. She does not require a fence, stays within 20 ft of people at all times, or just hangs out on the deck/yard around the house.
John was a boy born into a milking herd. His previous owner already had a good proven buck, so John was going to be banded (fixed) and didn’t have a need at her farm. We took him in, in tact, with horns and he will be our breeding buck. He was born 10+ lbs and put a real strain on his mother. He was also taking all the milk she could produce which put an added strain on her. He lived inside for a month and we bottle fed him. He is now outside and loving it.
Next we have Scarlet aka Scarlet “mow” Hanson. Scarlet and her twin daughters (Shera and Oreo) are Myotonic Fainting Goats. Myotonic goats are a meat breed. These ladies will be part of the breeding program with John when he gets older. All three are registered goats. Despite the name we haven’t seen much fainting.
Adele is our oldest goat. She is a Oberhasli as well. She is rumored to be pregnant when she came, and should be due to kid, June/July sometime. Her previous family had a full plate going to school and working, and wanted her to go to a good home with the other milking does. She is used to being queen bee, so we will have to see how her and Ms Blue get along. Might be a battle for the crown. We changed her name, because Rick couldn’t remember it, and we thought more fitting.
Fergie was told to be a Toggenburg goat. We again changed her name. She is like Adele, supposed to be due in June/July. She has been our escape artist, and we have had to constantly make improvements on the goat palace. She really doesn’t go anywhere, but just wants to be by us and the other goats.
Piper and Lilly also came from the same farm as Fergie and Adele. They are both Oberhasli and Lamancha cross. Piper has very small ears, while Lilly has full ears. They are in a separate goat palace because of their age and size.
Pixie is a Finn breed of sheep. She has become the favored of animals for Brandie. She was one of three born and didn’t take to nursing from her mother very well. She was the runt, and wasn’t going to make it unless someone bottle fed her. Her previous owners didn’t have a schedule that would allow for this. So Pixie came to live with us. She has the additional nickname of the Little Gremlin because of the sounds she makes when she sees us. She is still living inside due to her size compared to the other sheep. Pixie is here as a breeder, for wool, and pasture/brush control.
Here is a video of the famous Pixie…aka the lap lamb
Ramona and Valentines Day are Rambouillet sheep. They are a dual purpose sheep breed for wool and meat. These two will be part of the breeding program. They are here for wool, breeding, brush and pasture maintenance. They spent a month inside until temps got warmer, and were bottle fed. They follow us around like dogs.
Thirteen new additions in June. Five rams and eight ewes. a couple of the rams will take a trip to freezer camp later this year, but the ewes are all staying. Some already have names. Individuals will be posted later. These will be part of our breeding program. These are Shetlands.
We currently have a mixed bag of breeds for rabbits. Their primary purpose has been for meat, and we keep back a buck and a few does over the winter. We are re-evaluating our stock and currently have a lot. they are mowing the grass around the orchard in mobile rabbit tractors. Here is a post on how it was built.
We also have a mixed bag of laying chicken breeds, we liked the variety, some going on 5-6 years old. They lay brown and green eggs. Most have names and even though not laying like they used to, they have become pets. The chickens have several purposes. Laying eggs being the primary. They also are great at processing any food scraps or spoiled foods. Currently they are in their own yard to free range, and have a house they go in at night. They will eventually be mobile and work the pasture behind the goats and sheep. We turn them loose into the vegetable gardens at the end of the year as well. We have recently added 12 more laying chicks. Mr. Magoo is the resident rooster and watches over his ladies. Once the chicks are out we will have close to 30. We have a variety of breeds, some on the watch list from the Livestock Conservancy.
We have read for several years about the Freedom Ranger meat bird. It supposedly does better on pasture, takes less feed, has less health issues, but takes longer to mature to a butcher weight. This year we will experiment and compare the Freedom Ranger to the Cornish Cross who will be arriving in May.
In theory the perfect bird for us would be hardy, produce a large amount of flavorful meat, forage, be good on pasture, good feed to meat conversion, and not have the health issues associated with a cornish cross. While it is a dream/project down the road we may try to cross a Jersey Giant and a Freedom Ranger. This may or may not be possible, and may take years of breeding to figure things out. We have time.
We currently have 18 Khaki Campbell ducks. They are primarily for egg production. Some people prefer duck eggs to chicken, and some people who are allergic to chicken eggs can eat duck eggs with no problems. The ducks recently got a new area of their own and no longer have to share with the chickens. The duck pond has the additional benefit of emptying into our vegetable garden. The duck waste makes an excellent fertilizer for the garden. We would have to clean the pond out regularly anyway so might was well put it to good use. We added some drakes in the newest additions so that we can start increasing our flock without buying new birds. Campbells are on the Watch list from the Livestock Conservancy.
We have six Saddleback Pomeranian geese. These are on the critical list from the Livestock Conservancy. They are primarily for repopulation of the breed, mowing the orchard, and guardian geese. After our time with Karma (Canadian goose who lived with us for a while in 2015) we decided geese needed to be a part of our farm. The geese are currently Rick’s favorite. They get special treatment.
We have added Bourbon Red turkeys to our mix of animals. These will be for meat and possibly breeding once they get older. Since the turkeys weren’t sexed we don’t know males from females. Until we can figure things out and be able to tell them apart, they are nameless. The Bourbon Red is classified as a threatened on the Livestock Conservation list.
We were told guineas are great for tick problems. We were never told how stupid they are. They literally have a death wish. Out of twenty keets we have three left. They like to hang out with the remaining turkeys and seem to go into panic mode if they lose sight of one of the turkeys. They are VERY loud as well. If you thought a chicken was fast you haven’t seen anything.
We have three American Guinea Hogs breeders. Burt (Reynolds), Dolly (Parton), and Sally (Fields) are full-grown are our bacon seed makers. The AGH is classified as threatened by the Livestock Conservancy. The bacon seeds will be for sale as piggies for your own farm, pets, or when they get bigger we will sell them whole and take to a butcher for you. They are only 50-100 lbs of meat, but lots of lard. Lard can be used for all those yummy baking dishes like grandma used to make. Our three prefer fresh grass over any kinds of feed we have provided them. The breeders and the bacon seeds will all be out on pasture. They are part of our rotation plan for the fields.
Daisy is currently the only farm dog. She is our inside pet, but loves to be out with the animals. Despite having no training, she has picked up a few skills. When chickens have gotten loose Daisy has been there to help herd them back in and keep them contained until we can return the birds. She has also done this with the goats and rabbits. In her early days we lost a chicken or two from her wanting to play with them. She has since learned, and harms no animals. She is also the guard dog alerting us of people and vehicles that drive up if we are in the barn or pasture. Daisy is at a constant pace, RUN, run everywhere, there is no walking. It must be the whippet in her. 180 degree difference from Jack.
Jack is a true guardian dog, well at least he is supposed to be. He was, before moving and I guess we spoiled him. He is a Great Pyrenees and Bernese Mountain dog cross. He is a giant 250 lb puff. EVERY animal was afraid of him for the first three weeks. He never did anything aggressive, but his sheer size. They have all gotten used to him. He still won’t sleep in the fields, instead preferring to sleep in the mudroom at night. He does insist on the window to be open. He is outside all day, roams, and unfortunately his favorite place to cool off is in the flowerbeds. We heard coyotes close right before Jack came to stay. After taking him for a walk, showing him his domain, we haven’t hear another one. Like Daisy, he also hates the turkey vultures present, and is diligent about chasing any birds larger than a songbird away. For his size he eats very little, but also is in energy conservation mode aka he doesn’t run, or move unless necessary, and even then, it is the minimal about of energy.
Isabelle is a Doberman and used to live on the farm before we bought it. She got homesick was didn’t adjust to her new surroundings. After spending the majority of her life on the farm she wanted to come back. She loves it back here and has been adopted by the pack. Her one weakness, are the rabbits. She spends hours just watching them. We think she thinks they are moving toys. She just wants to lick and slobber on them.
What is next?
We are constantly adding to our farm. Still to come, possibly this year we hope to add, cows, and horses/pony. We are expecting baby goats July, and baby piggies July/August.