The farming and smallholding thread

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Had a skeg, couldn’t find a dedicated farming thread.

If there already is one, I don’t give a fuck, I’m starting a new and improved one.

It doesn’t really belong in DIY or any of the other forums so it can go in here.

So farming...........I know there are a few of us on here who keep animals, grow stuff, have tractors etc. So let’s have it.


I’m from London, the first time I ever saw a cow was probably in the petting area at London Zoo. Farms and farming is never something I ever imagined I’d get involved in, much less enjoying. I had mate who was into toy tractors when I was growing up. He was weird and we bullied him.

Anyway, fast forward a few years and I somehow end up marrying a bird who’s dad owns a shit ton of farms and who’s brothers are all farmers. And so here I am now, living on a farm, surrounded by animals, doing stuff like trimming tag nuts off sheep’s arses.

Our primary customer is our own pub and hotel business, we don’t intensively farm in order to sell loads of meat to Tesco’s. As such we can concentrate on quality over quantity and keep it low key enough to be fun, while still turning a healthy profit.

It all started some years back when my brother in law started breeding pedigree beef shorthorn cattle. He took it all very seriously, importing embryos and bull jizz from as far afield as Canada and Japan. He grew his herd into the best beef shorthorn herd in the country, winning various shows and frequently breaking records for the highest auction price realised for the breed. When we took on our farm, he moved his cattle here on account of the very good quality limestone soil, which means very nutrient rich grass.

I must stress that these cows are not for burgers and steaks. Of course the ones that don’t make the grade end up in the pub and restaurant kitchens, but the primary objective here is to produce the finest specimens of the breed, that other farms will want to buy and breed into their stock.

As the pub business grew, we branched out into other forms of meat Including rare breed pigs (we now get through one a week for sausages and bacon), boer meat goats, poulet de bresse meat chickens, geese for Christmas, ducks and lamb. Of course there is also the wild game like venison, pheasant and partridge which is plentiful in our woods.

Unfortunately the beef business took a big hit due to our area being declared a high risk area for bovine TB. We didn’t have it on our farm, but someone nearby did. Overnight the value of our herd pretty much halved. No one wants to risk buying breeding cattle that might bring TB onto the farm. We’ve moved all the best ones to one of our other farms, far outside the risk zone, but we’ve still got the dregs here which will become steaks.

This summer we bought a small flock of Herdwick Sheep for the kids to raise and run as their own little business. It’s about teaching them how it all works and how to make money from selling animals. Herdwicks are relatively easy to keep as they’re used to living on mountains where there is nothing to eat. They can live outdoors all year round and generally don’t need any additional food. They have protected origin designation. This means you can only sell the meat as “Herdwick“ lamb if they’re born, raised and slaughtered in Cumbria. Due to the fact that they’re fairly wild and haven’t been intensively bred, the meat has a distinctive flavour that is subtly different to other lamb.

Our neighbours are building a dairy goat business. In return for a cheap rent on half the farm and a wing of our house, they help us out and keep things ticking over. I’m not gonna claim to be a proper farmer here, I just help out at weekends and fuck about on the quad bike. Without people who really know what they’re doing, this wouldn’t work.

Moving ahead, we plan to grow our little flock of Herdwicks. We’ve just chucked our tup (Ram) in with ladies yesterday. Spring should see some lambs, many more goats (last count we had 240) and some more cattle.

Spin your farming dits here.

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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Of course it’s not all glamour.

E343D066-EFC8-4C73-B093-8D20173D21F1.jpeg
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
This is our Herdwick tup.

The kids have named him Buzz.

Weighed him yesterday and he’s 83kg. For comparison our smallest yew is 42kg.

He’s an absolute beast but soft as shite.

The red on his back is “raddle.” It’s just tradition to put it on Herdwick tup. Makes them look bigger and stronger apparently. I bought him with it already on. He’s fairly unusual as most male Herdwicks have horns.
166929E6-E93D-4AE8-B845-9680928AE511.jpeg
 

Oyibo

LE
Tell us more about the 'petting' as a kid and the bull jizz.

A friend is interested.
 
Do you knock any of your stuff out to Booths?
I've had some nice Herdwick Lamb cuts from them.
Have you thought about sending stuff out by mail order? I'd have some of that.
 

Londo

LE
Had a skeg, couldn’t find a dedicated farming thread.

If there already is one, I don’t give a ****, I’m starting a new and improved one.

It doesn’t really belong in DIY or any of the other forums so it can go in here.

So farming...........I know there are a few of us on here who keep animals, grow stuff, have tractors etc. So let’s have it.


I’m from London, the first time I ever saw a cow was probably in the petting area at London Zoo. Farms and farming is never something I ever imagined I’d get involved in, much less enjoying. I had mate who was into toy tractors when I was growing up. He was weird and we bullied him.

Anyway, fast forward a few years and I somehow end up marrying a bird who’s dad owns a shit ton of farms and who’s brothers are all farmers. And so here I am now, living on a farm, surrounded by animals, doing stuff like trimming tag nuts off sheep’s arses.

Our primary customer is our own pub and hotel business, we don’t intensively farm in order to sell loads of meat to Tesco’s. As such we can concentrate on quality over quantity and keep it low key enough to be fun, while still turning a healthy profit.

It all started some years back when my brother in law started breeding pedigree beef shorthorn cattle. He took it all very seriously, importing embryos and bull **** from as far afield as Canada and Japan. He grew his herd into the best beef shorthorn herd in the country, winning various shows and frequently breaking records for the highest auction price realised for the breed. When we took on our farm, he moved his cattle here on account of the very good quality limestone soil, which means very nutrient rich grass.

I must stress that these cows are not for burgers and steaks. Of course the ones that don’t make the grade end up in the pub and restaurant kitchens, but the primary objective here is to produce the finest specimens of the breed, that other farms will want to buy and breed into their stock.

As the pub business grew, we branched out into other forms of meat Including rare breed pigs (we now get through one a week for sausages and bacon), boer meat goats, poulet de bresse meat chickens, geese for Christmas, ducks and lamb. Of course there is also the wild game like venison, pheasant and partridge which is plentiful in our woods.

Unfortunately the beef business took a big hit due to our area being declared a high risk area for bovine TB. We didn’t have it on our farm, but someone nearby did. Overnight the value of our herd pretty much halved. No one wants to risk buying breeding cattle that might bring TB onto the farm. We’ve moved all the best ones to one of our other farms, far outside the risk zone, but we’ve still got the dregs here which will become steaks.

This summer we bought a small flock of Herdwick Sheep for the kids to raise and run as their own little business. It’s about teaching them how it all works and how to make money from selling animals. Herdwicks are relatively easy to keep as they’re used to living on mountains where there is nothing to eat. They can live outdoors all year round and generally don’t need any additional food. They have protected origin designation. This means you can only sell the meat as “Herdwick“ lamb if they’re born, raised and slaughtered in Cumbria. Due to the fact that they’re fairly wild and haven’t been intensively bred, the meat has a distinctive flavour that is subtly different to other lamb.

Our neighbours are building a dairy goat business. In return for a cheap rent on half the farm and a wing of our house, they help us out and keep things ticking over. I’m not gonna claim to be a proper farmer here, I just help out at weekends and **** about on the quad bike. Without people who really know what they’re doing, this wouldn’t work.

Moving ahead, we plan to grow our little flock of Herdwicks. We’ve just chucked our tup (Ram) in with ladies yesterday. Spring should see some lambs, many more goats (last count we had 240) and some more cattle.

Spin your farming dits here.

View attachment 430793View attachment 430794View attachment 430795View attachment 430796View attachment 430797View attachment 430798View attachment 430799View attachment 430800View attachment 430801View attachment 430802View attachment 430803View attachment 430804
Excellent thread @Ravers hope to be following this a lot in the future .
Only got the garden for growing things in but am self sufficient with a couple of veggies plus grow small amounts of other greens .
 

kimmi851

Old-Salt
There are risks that come with land. My best friend has the land and zero interest in farming it, she also had 3 pet pigs (she does run a luxury campsite, people like to see token gesture picturesque animals where the smell is elsewhere but they can Instagram that they were in the countryside). Unfortunately word got about and now she has found people have lumbered her with 13 rescue pigs and no idea what to do with them. They are avoided by the 13 cats. And the goats. I love her but if she asks me to come down to take care of the animals while she goes away... my answer is a firm "no".

Oh and she also has an orchard she doesn't really make use of - Autumn at hers is a season of drunk pigs as they eat the apples which have been fermenting on the ground.
 
There are risks that come with land. My best friend has the land and zero interest in farming it, she also had 3 pet pigs (she does run a luxury campsite, people like to see token gesture picturesque animals where the smell is elsewhere but they can Instagram that they were in the countryside). Unfortunately word got about and now she has found people have lumbered her with 13 rescue pigs and no idea what to do with them. They are avoided by the 13 cats. And the goats. I love her but if she asks me to come down to take care of the animals while she goes away... my answer is a firm "no".

Oh and she also has an orchard she doesn't really make use of - Autumn at hers is a season of drunk pigs as they eat the apples which have been fermenting on the ground.
Gerr'em dead.
 

mickeyluv

War Hero
They say to make a small fortune farming you need to start off with a big one, so you should be fine for a while, then when it goes tits up at least you can borrow a nice gun to shoot yourself with
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Farming porn nice!
I grew up looking after a caravan site that was a sideline for the farm it was on!
It was dairy with some wheat grown so I used to help out sometimes after school! A massive change from living in a council estate in south Manchester.
 

Troy

LE
This is our Herdwick tup.

The kids have named him Buzz.

Weighed him yesterday and he’s 83kg. For comparison our smallest yew is 42kg.

He’s an absolute beast but soft as shite.

The red on his back is “raddle.” It’s just tradition to put it on Herdwick tup. Makes them look bigger and stronger apparently. I bought him with it already on. He’s fairly unusual as most male Herdwicks have horns.
View attachment 430809
Shouldn't that red be on his underside so it can rub off, then you can see which ewes he's shagged.
 
This is our Herdwick tup.

The kids have named him Buzz.

Weighed him yesterday and he’s 83kg. For comparison our smallest yew is 42kg.

He’s an absolute beast but soft as shite.

The red on his back is “raddle.” It’s just tradition to put it on Herdwick tup. Makes them look bigger and stronger apparently. I bought him with it already on. He’s fairly unusual as most male Herdwicks have horns.
View attachment 430809
Here in East Sussex - the raddle is a coloured marker strapped to the chest of the ram to show which females he has serviced.
Unknown.jpeg
images.jpeg
 
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