Feed our animals!
Every morning after breakfast, we feed our animals with the help of the young apprentice farmers staying. The very favourite activity is always feeding the chickens, ducks, geese and collecting the eggs. Even our tiniest guests love our poultry and are brave enough to throw a handful of corn! We always have chicks and ducklings hatching, and there is a chance to feed and hold them every morning too.
Our feeding activities also include filling the water troughs for our pigs, and on hot days making a mud bath for them to cool off with the hose. You’ll be introduced to an assortment of orphan lambs (all desperate for their bottles of milk!) and our family of pygmy goats. Our goat population has grown over the years from two to ten these days – all with names and big personalities and all very tame. Your children will love feeding them branches of leaves and stroking them every morning before feeding them their breakfast.
Twice a week, weather permitting, there is a chance to groom and ride our ponies. During 2009 we trained our pony, Pippa, to pull a trap, which has been a tremendous success as it has enabled even the most nervous toddler to have a ride.
Farmer Andrew (as he has now become known!) is a beef farmer, when not helping with breakfast and feeding our farm animals. He is happy to take you to see his herd of limousin cows and to tell you about the history of farming at Higher Lank. The farm has been in his family for three generations and our diversification has enabled our traditional and non-intensive farm practices to remain viable.
Our herd comprises mainly Limousin/South Devon crosses, which are bred on the farm and then sold to other local farmers for finishing. The beef you eat when staying with us is almost always our own and the sausages and bacon served at breakfast from our own pigs too.
Depending on the time of your visit, we will also be hatching and rearing chicks, ducklings and goslings and tending to piglets, or orphan calves.
All these experiences are ones your children will remember and talk about long after your holiday is over.
As our animals are reared from infancy on the farm, they are all very children friendly, and are always pleased to see visitors. You are able to return and visit them at any time during the day. Many visiting children refuse to go to bed until they have been round to say goodnight!