We try to offer our guests a real Cornish farm holiday experience, and guests, of any age, are welcome to help with the animal feeding and petting that usually starts at 8.30am most mornings. Many of our guests find this a very special experience, and we are told that even our youngest of guests remember and talk about "Melanie's farm", for months after their holiday has finished. We feel really privileged to be able to create such wonderful holiday memories.
Our 'animals' are a real favourite with guests of all ages. We like to keep a few of many different sorts, but some are more seasonal than other. To see our free range Aylesbury ducks wandering past your cottage door is one of the delights of staying here. We currently keep poultry, ducks, and kune kune pigs, also pygmy goats and Shetland ponies. We also keep a rabbit and guinea pigs to pet. At certain times of year, and subject to nature (!) we have chicks to hold and lambs to bottle feed or walk around the paddock.
We a number of free range hens which lay eggs during the summer months.
Our white 'Jemina Puddleduck' Aylesburys are very popular with everybody. See if you can take a photo of them all in a row. They waddle along in a comical fashion, tending to follow the leader, usually Harry, our drake with the curly tail who keeps his wives well 'in line'. The ducklings are so cute - they start off as yellow balls of fluff and you can see how they have grown day by day.
We also keep a number of Muscovy ducks. Tucker, our old boy, is a big fellow and doesn't fly much - or maybe he's just lazy. He was called Tucker by one of our younger guests after I explained that as a duckling he was brought up with turkeys and now thinks he is a turkey, as he still eats, roosts sleeps and generally hangs out with them. Our female ducks who tend to be called the 'black and white' duck and 'black duck with white head' (appropriate names are always appreciated!!) are smaller and lighter and can fly a bit more - especially if it is feeding time. However, they are not very good fliers and sometimes only just make the top of the fence! Their ducklings are black and yellow and are even cuter than the Aylesburys.
We usually have a number of beautiful bronze turkeys, the babies were actually quite pretty and fluffy. Our daddy turkey, Timothy, is much admired and photographed as he can display his tail feathers in a beautiful peacock-like way and has even been accused of being a peacock!!
When we have eggs available, over the summer months, we do try to hatch ducks, chickens or turkeys for our guests to enjoy. It is amazing to see how quickly they can grow, even during the course of a week.
Our Shetland pony Snowflake enjoys being groomed and led around the paddock.
In the summer we often keep a couple of pigs, their antics are always very popular and they usually run over to the fence when they see you. They love a treat of banana skins or vegetable peelings. We do find that being able to feed the pigs the scraps does encourage children to eat more fruit and veg! We currently have kune kune pet pigs. They are supposed to be grass eaters, but sometimes they are guilty of digging too. We let them free range our fields in the summer, but confine them over winter when they are most likely to dig.
Our Pygmy Goat
Our pygmy goat
We have a mischievous pedigree pygmy goat called Badger. He will nibble most things, and is an excellent escape artists and capable of hurdling very high fences if so inclined. He loves eating pieces of carrot from your hand.
Our Guinea Pigs
The real stars of the show are often the guinea pigs, who so enjoy to be petted in the mornings and love nibbling carrot and cucumber. There seems to be something relaxing about holding a guinea pig, they are such gentle creatures.
We also have lambs to bottle feed subject to season, and when they are older they are sometimes halter trained so they can be walked around the paddock. When they are fed up of this they just lie down and won't move any further!